Sacha Coburn


From Onehunga High to Otago to the University of Waikato I’ve always been obsessed with learning and development. I quickly discovered that a career in law wasn’t going to suit me – I wanted to solve problems and make a difference, and for me that meant telling the truth. “Don’t worry about your neighbour’s fence Colin, let it go.”

This desire to authentically lead and enable others to do the same has led to a fabulous juxtaposition in my career. I’ve been involved with the Les Mills group ever since I left school, and for the past 10 years have run leadership development programmes for them both here in New Zealand and across the globe. In my own business, Coffee Culture, with the support of my partners, I’ve been able to oversee the training and development of leaders as we have grown from 10 staff to 300 across over 20 sites.

My passion has been to better understand how to unleash potential in leaders, how to unlock peak performance in teams, and how to ignite a spark within business leaders so they create environments for their people to flourish and excel. Life’s curve balls and home runs have gifted me the insight to see that the fundamental truth about leadership is about how you make people feel. About themselves, about their work, about their company, about their possibilities and their own potential. I am outspoken, direct and tackle the tough stuff, and work hard to be compassionate and kind. I try to carry the weight of leadership lightly knowing that ultimately people are picking their own path. Most of us are doing the best we can with what we’ve got every day.

Working with Tonia is extraordinary. She has shown tremendous courage throughout her career to take on new opportunities and destroy the misconceptions of what it means to be a woman who leads. Her real world experience at both consultant and governance level gives her incredible insight into the challenges facing organisations in this rapidly changing operating environment. The programmes we have developed are a wonderful mix of evidence-based thinking and practical wisdom about leading from the inside-out with a keen eye firmly fixed on remarkable results.

With a fresh Masters in Education it seems to me that everyone would benefit from truly understanding how they learn and how they can tap into their own unique super-powered potential.

My gift is to make the complex, simple and to call out the crap that might be holding you back.

Give me a call or connect on line and I can talk you through which of our accelerated, immersive programs will deliver the best results for you, and your people, in the company you keep.

From Onehunga High to Otago to the University of Waikato I’ve always been obsessed with learning and development. I quickly discovered that a career in law wasn’t going to suit me – I wanted to …

Tonia Cawood

BCom, BPhEd, CMInstD

After finding myself in my dream job leading sports marketing with Adidas NZ just as we kicked off with the All Blacks and all things NZ Rugby, and roles with TVNZ and various projects with the Halberg Foundation, A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, the Home of Cycling/Avantidrome bid to Government, and managing double Olympic gold medallist’s Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell, I’m now focused on delivering value through my governance and high-performance consultancy work.

I’ve previously served multiple terms as an independent Director on commercial and for-purpose boards such as Rowing New Zealand, Tidd Ross Todd Limited, Alandale Lifestyle Village, CatWalk Spinal Cord Injury Research Trust, and have recently retired the Chair role, having been the first female Chair of any professional rugby club in the world, and remain a Director of the Chiefs Rugby Club. I also manage a role with the New Zealand Olympic Committee, to accelerate New Zealand sport through philanthropic funding.

Casting an eye back over my experience so far has highlighted the vital and bloody hard work method of self-directed learning I took to developing (I’m still at it) leadership and what I’ve come to align more with, guardianship. I could have stressed less and mastered the craft more fluidly with specialist expertise in leadership development if I had invested in training and development offerings.

Across multiple domains, I see time and again, people struggling to find their passion, or swimming against the tide in a company they never had, or have lost alignment with, and being unable to harness their talents in any meaningful way. Simply put - people are working really hard with little purpose and clarity about what truly enables their own performance and lights up their energy.

Believing that when we find our full potential, it’s just the beginning, I’ll always be learning, curating intelligence and inspiration from thought leaders across a really wide range of sources. I will champion being a thought follower and stand on the shoulders of giants, and do all I can to reach beyond myself, to help others reach their potential. To pass my compass on.

The development programmes Sacha and I have designed encapsulate the very latest management and leadership excellence research and thinking and draw on our collective experience as business owners, directors, advisors and strategists and facilitators to ensure that everything we share and teach is grounded in practical truths. Sacha is a genius with hundreds and hundreds of hours of leadership teaching and mentoring under her belt. Her abilities as a workshop facilitator and keynote speaker are truly world-class. I see her to be her – and am inspired constantly to bring my A (for authentic) game to our work together.

I’m super passionate to direct my energy to Australasian companies by help them unlock their leaders – their stewards and guardians. By being willing to get real, and to understand what makes each of us tick, and then get out of our own way, people come through our programmes inspired and equipped to do great things in their own lives, with their companies and their communities.

There’s no woo-woo, or kumbaya, nor mind numbing presentations of 3,000 slides. We use case studies, our own failings and vulnerabilities, workshopping, deep dives, crowd source sharing, digital learning and the best of pracademia in action to catalyse transformative leadership development - that sticks. OK -so we might also use the breath, and immersion. You may or may not get wet while figuring out your comfort zones!

Our calendars are pretty full, and workshops sell out quickly so call or drop me a line now if you’d like to connect and discuss how to fulfil your leadership potential and performance with courage and heart.

Mother, daughter, sister, business owner, Independent Director, Chair of the Board, protector, courageor (yep, new word), hill walker, talker, recovering perfectionist, with a gift of ability to take in the view. I’m a believer in optimising your own potential, and in that, creating exponential potential in those around us.

We’re walking the talk,

Together is better.

It’s about the company you keep

Talk to us.