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Sarah Cornally

Sarah Cornally

When leaders are looking for the extraordinary they come to Sarah Cornally who is the insightful guiding force of Leading People, the business leadership consultancy.

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Testimonials for Sarah Cornally

In addition to coaching my business partner and myself on our personal effectiveness, she facilitated a session between us which has resulted in higher levels of effective collaboration and cohesion in our business dealings.

Centre For Corporate Strategy


Thank you for the work done to date. It is providing visible changes in working patterns and relationships across the team.

Ageing, Disability And Home Care


All your insightful and probing questions paid off. I got what I wanted, people walking away with can do's for business and life in general.

Toyota Corporation


“The process engenders within a leadership team a renewed energy, respect, trust and confidence, which literally breaths new life into an organisation and empowers the people within it.”

Sue Mather – H.R. Director, Schering-Plough

“The practical Leadership ideas you gave seem to have struck a chord. Our current leaders are looking at ways to develop their teams, the staff we have acquired are asking “what can I do” rather than “why is this happening to me” and the Company has started to address some very real Leadership and succession planning issues.”

Mark Silveira – GM, OAMPS “The practical Leadership

Sarah Cornally Travels from NSW
Fee Range: :$5001 to $10000

Sarah Cornally's Biography

When leaders are looking for the extraordinary they come to Sarah Cornally who is the insightful guiding force of Leading People, the business leadership consultancy.

Sarah was sought out by C-suite executives to provide consulting services in the area of leadership and issue resolution as a result of her reputation in resolving complex and challenging issues. Since then she has consulted to and advised leaders in many of the top 100 companies, federal and state organisations in Australia including AMP, APRA, the Dept of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Coca Cola Amatil, KPMG, NSW Department of Human Services, Microsoft, PWC, QBE, Schering-Plough, Suncorp and Woolworths.

Her leadership experience includes National President of the National Speakers Association of Australia (over 700 members) and various NFP boards including Chairman, depressioNet.

Sarah's work focuses on enabling leaders to collectively create successful businesses and organisations where people thrive whilst achieving the organisation's purpose. She has a special interest in developing greater capacity to respond insightfully and effectively to uncertainty and complexity by identifying elegant solutions.

Sarah leads certifications in the Asia Pacific region for the transformational leadership technology the Leadership Circle Profile. She is a member of the AICD faculty for the Board Ready program and advanced diploma, 'Mastering the Boardroom'. She has trained internationally in systems dynamics in organisations.

Sarah's deep inquiry into issues, needs and desired outcomes ensures that organisational objectives have their right place in the development of the brief. Sarah's expertise is in drawing out the creativity, knowledge and wisdom to address the challenges and uncertainties of the marketplace. Sarah elegantly manages the balance between people, commercial outcomes and the commercial ecosystem. Her bespoke methodology liberates potential, uncovering insights and awareness, an expanded perspective and new ways of working that achieve the organisation's goals. Respecting commercial sensitivity and reputation, Sarah stands alongside leaders as they face challenges and opportunities facilitating the interests of both the individual and the organisation.

Drawing on diverse experiences and a broad spectrum of integrated approaches, Sarah individually targets her methodology, integrating a combination of services to enable healthy, vibrant and energetic people deliver the organisation's mandate for productivity and profitability.

Speaking Topics Include

Leadership and Courageous Conversations - Courageous Conversations is a style of engagement that requires deep honesty and the willingness of each participant to explore their motivations and take full responsibility for their contribution in every interaction. Business outcomes are enhanced in organisations where leaders are prepared to have and initiate courageous conversations.

Courageous Conversations are not without risk. Each party is given the choice to participate with authenticity, openness and vulnerability. It removes the transactional nature of negotiations and paves the way for a truly creative and collaborative approach to problem solving. The outcome of Courageous Conversations can be profound as both parties discover truths about themselves and about each other. A new, shared perspective is discovered in the process, allowing new insights and new resolutions to be possible.


Board CEO Dynamics – A highly productive and collaborative relationship between the board and the CEO is crucial to the success of an organisation. In private and listed companies alike, pressure for results is constant and the management of the Board/CEO relationship is critical to both parties to ensure they are receiving timely and accurate information and appropriate support.


Sarah is highly skilled in working with Boards, Chair(s) and CEOs. Her unique approach is sensitive yet pragmatic. It promotes robust dialogue, whilst preserving harmony and respect, defuses tension and creates new effective models of communication and engagement. It enhances the performance of both the Board and the CEO, realising true value of this partnership.


In a time where the role of the Board is under increased scrutiny from shareholders and regulators alike, Sarah is in demand in corporate boardrooms. As a trusted advisor to government agencies and large private and listed companies, Sarah works with individual Board Members developing Board Leadership and influence skills to leverage their value and contribution.

Business Constellations - Business constellations are complex personal, organisational and social patterns, relationships and dynamics embedded within the organisation. A 'business constellation' is a breakthrough method of identifying 'system dynamics' with unprecedented speed and accuracy. The invisible forces inside an organisation are made visible. Importantly, the unveiling of the dynamics enables participants to interact with or alter the dynamics if they choose.


A 'business constellation' is a diagnostic tool that identifies issues and maps a path forward. Once you commence a 'business constellation' the patterns and behaviours that require attention reveal themselves. A 'business constellation' accesses the inherent knowledge and wisdom within the system, provides space for reflection, offers a new perspective and gives certainty to actions.


Culture Transformation - Culture transformation is one of the most potent points of leverage and opportunity for most organisations. It is also one of the most difficult pieces to address as it asks the organisation to shift its identity; to move from where the culture is now and to let go of the familiar, including the patterns, habits and stories that are no longer relevant and with awareness embed new ones. This requires the leaders to be the role models and consciously create the desired culture usually a prerequisite to realise the vision.


Strategic Alignment - One of the biggest challenges in organisations is getting alignment through the whole system. Complex systems and complex initiatives create the need for people to bring rich thinking and perspectives to realise results. This puts the spotlight on distributed leadership and collaboration. Sarah recognises these skills do not always come naturally and require a strong sense of self and sophistication.


This is where Sarah's deep inquiry into issues, needs and desired outcomes becomes a valuable asset in ensuring that the organisational objectives are met. Creating alignment between the individual and the collective to serve the organisation's purpose is where the true potency of strategic alignment lies.


Systems Dynamics - Organisations have intrinsic cultural and operational dynamics that can either support or stifle the business, often referred to as 'system dynamics'. Understanding the most influential dynamic in a complex system of dynamics is important for executives and crucial for the leadership of a successful organisation.


As in nature, 'system dynamics' is optimal when there is 'flow'. The system is healthiest when the energy flows through unrestricted. Signs of a healthy system include people flourishing, ideas generating freely and effective problem solving with minimum interruption. Symptoms of an unhealthy system include constant disruptions, resistance and lethargy leading to chronic incapacitation.

The challenge in identifying and documenting 'system dynamics' is that they are largely informal and often not recognised at a conscious level. The 'unconscious' nature of system dynamics means that they are often more powerful than formally adopted mission or vision statements, permeating the very fabric of the business and guiding every decision and action. Sarah is renowned for the potency she brings in mapping and understanding system dynamics. Her methods encourage individuals and organisations to review alternatives, seek clarity and gain perspective, create alignment, provide insight, resolve confusion, and create healing.


Critical Issues Resolution - Effectively resolving a critical business issue requires the best minds in the business to collaborate and work quickly and effectively to review options and develop a plan of action. Personal differences, factions and infighting have no place in a crisis and the role of the leader is to corral the organisation into a cohesive, agile and high-performance team.


Sarah's capacity to deal with complexity and focus on the key people and commercial issues in a crisis, position her as a trusted board and executive advisor. The real opportunity when a critical issue surfaces, is to view it as a developmental opportunity for the people within the organisation. "In some organisations crises bring out the best in people, they perform brilliantly in the crises but not when the crisis passes. This is another form of critical issue."