Sonia McDonald Instills Leaders with Confidence

Earlier in the week Brisbane’s own Sonia McDonald, CEO of LeadershipHQ, commanded the stage at Brisbane Powerhouse for FUEL’s most recent Feed The Beast Talk. To say that the audience of teen girls left fired-up and ready to rock would be an understatement – but not before Sonia had some interesting insights to reveal about the audience…


The 90 minute jam-packed event saw the Leadership Expect and pocket-rocket of energy ask teen girls to reflect on their own leadership roles, whether it be sport captain, prefect, older sibling or even younger sibling – and ask them to raise their hands if they actually considered themselves leaders. While not to our surprise, but still unfortunate nonetheless, less than five audience members saw themselves as a leader –  despite those around them thinking otherwise.

Perfect, we thought! Sonia’s talk was pitching to the right set of ears!

“If there is one thing I would have said to myself back then, it would have been to find out as much about yourself as you can!

Ask more questions. Try more things. And don’t be shy to ask for feedback!” – Sonia

Sonia McDonald addressing FUEL audience

After a series of intimate questions that exposed how Sonia reached her status after her own challenging start, we delved into what it really takes to be a leader, even if the person in question doesn’t have a suitable ‘title’ to match. After many nodding heads and pens taking furious notes, we couldn’t help but feel the room’s energy start to shift. The girls were starting to understand that they too are leaders, despite the lack of those initially raising their hands. But, in order to ensure these newfound perceptions stuck, Sonia quickly demanded the girls jump up for a round-robin of interactive activities.

Getting talking with strangers, pitching skills!

Starting off, the girls were challenged to pitch their strengths to a room full of strangers. While at first they started with shy mumblings, soon the room became so loud you couldn’t hear yourself think! Perhaps exactly the point Sonia was trying to make… By drowning out any seeds of self-doubt and throwing themselves into a new experience, the girls shifted focus, and allowed themselves to concentrate on their skills and not their flaws.

After the energetic exercise concluded, Sonia walked the audience through a debrief; ensuring that the girls remembered this activity and used it to fuel their fire when pursuing their future endeavours. By demonstrating the simple notion that building on your experiences, believing in your own strengths, and harnessing confidence, the girls left refreshed and realised that no mater how old, or what title you have, leadership extends well beyond the traditional definition.


We’d like to thank once more everyone who came out for the event and shared in FUEL’s Feed The Beast Talk series, proudly brought to you by CQUniversity Australia.

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