Listen to What Our Clients Say...

They were once where you are right now...and they took action inside the Great Managers® Academy

Vanessa Chan, General Manager

“…The Great Managers Academy is a foundation piece in the leadership program of our organisation.

After our managers completed the program, we demonstrated, through a culture survey and 360 degree assessment, a significant improvement in the calibre, and skills, and impact of our managers.

The Great Managers Academy is unique. Content is provided over time, in bite size chunks, which really embeds the learning. The practical exercises attached to each skill development area and series of ‘peer group’ leadership forums creates deep level applied learning.

The Great Managers Academy delivery method recognises that leadership and management development requires deliberate and continual improvement, so in addition to the on-line content and face to face leadership forums, my teams have found enormous value through ongoing involvement in the Alumni, participation in the interactive monthly Masterclasses, and Executive Coaching.

I have no hesitation in recommending the Great Managers Academy to any organisation, whether you have an established history in supporting leadership development or are looking for early or discrete activities to improve your team’s management capability….”

Vanessa Chan, General Manager Ashfield Council and Inner West Council (formerly)
Naomi Mitchell, Director

“…The Great Managers Program provided a refreshing and practical approach to leadership and management.

Colleagues queried why I was doing The Great Managers Program after twenty years experience in the accounting industry however, the insights gained and new approaches, strategies and tools have been invaluable and provided a great “shake up” of bad habits and traditional approaches.

I really liked the practical nature of the program and the fact that we focused collectively on something important to us, and in doing so we are well on the way to reducing our Write-Offs by 5%.

I highly recommend the program to all managers, and particularly people that have been in management or leadership roles for extended periods of time as it will alter your traditional approach to be more effective for the workforce we encounter today….”

Naomi Mitchell, Director YCG Accountants
Darren, Managing Director

“…This is a learning and skills based course that will appeal to a broad range of individuals. The Quay/SILA team all got something from this course and we have applied many of the learnings to our business….”

Darren, Managing Director Quay Shipping
Paul Hickey, General Manager

“…The Great Managers® program is an excellent and innovative program to help manager’s understand how their daily interactions can impact on people, both positively and negatively.

The program provides realistic examples of the actions and initiatives you can undertake to improve your own performance as a manager that will ultimately result in a more productive, engaged and satisfied workforce….”

Paul Hickey, General Manager Ballina Shire Council
2014 AIM Manager of The Year - Aleisha Davis - Director Clinical Programs

Sandra has worked with our team many times over the last 8 years, and each time has achieved outstanding results with both the people she has worked with and for the organisation.

She has worked with us to successfully guide our teams through change management processes, significantly improved levels of staff morale, effected long standing behaviour change, shaped our team culture and guided and coached our managers to be true leaders, inspiring great results from those around them.

The feedback from those she has worked has always been overwhelmingly positive, motivating them to continually better themselves in working with others.

Sandra is a true people management expert and I would thoroughly endorse her skills, knowledge and expertise in working with you and your team

2014 AIM Manager of The Year - Aleisha Davis - Director Clinical Programs The Shepherd Centre
Andre Vlok, General Manager

“…In 2014 we implemented a new quality department structure at Phebra and in doing so I realised that many of the newly appointed supervisors and managers had no form of leadership training.

I did some investigating of training courses, looking at one day, two day and three day courses on first line leadership but thought that actually this is not an appropriate approach as over the years I have experienced that so many people attend these training sessions and come back all enthused but never apply it in the workplace. Participants get all the theory and it’s trained over a very short period of time but there is limited practical application thereafter.

When I went through the Great Managers information I thought it was a very appropriate course for our new managers.

I also recognised that irrespective of your years of experience or former training that you’d had, the Great Managers® course content was very applicable to established managers as well as the new managers.

Participating in the Great Managers® program was a timely reminder that the seven strategies represented a very different approach from the old Plan, Direct, Organise, Control steps of management which was very insightful and the bonus on top of that was that you were given a toolset that you can apply.

Sandra, thank you very much for taking us through the process, for introducing the course as well as the whole forum that was established, it was very beneficial.

Andre Vlok, General Manager Phebra Pty Ltd
Glen Doherty - Managing Director

Since starting the Great Managers® program in 2013 I’ve seen some significant changes and a lot of growth in the management team at BVCI.

As a result of better management & control we have increased productivity, reduced wastage and achieved a 19.7% reduction in stock control errors, which contribute to increased profitability for BVCI. Our EBITDA is up 20% on last year!

The senior management team are much more aware generally – of themselves, of each other and how to lead their teams. They’re more skilful in having critical conversations with each other and with staff. They now know how to prepare for these conversations, get the outcomes we need and keep relationships intact.

We are getting better results because of that and there is a noticeable improvement in our culture and morale at BVCI.

I am really impressed with the accessibility, convenience and quality of Great Managers® and thrilled about the results that the program has enabled us to achieve.”  

Glen Doherty - Managing Director BVCI Group
Kerry Bryant - Area Manager

“…The thing I love most about being a part of the Great Managers Academy is that I have an amazing resource at my fingertips that I can access when dealing with a challenge.

After revisiting this module I am stepping into a critical conversation with more confidence and ultimately a sense of calm.

I feel very supported in my home-based business and I am most definitely improving my leadership skills through the modules that you offer – thank you…”

Kerry Bryant - Area Manager Thermomix
Phil Warner - Manager, Assets & Major Projects

“…Great Managers has been an excellent program that from my perspective teases out the key threads of management development and skill, then weaves those threads back together in a integrated and creative way.

I appreciated how each of the strategies overlapped and built on prior learning. I particularly liked the way the program started with yourself and the issues of knowing yourself and managing yourself.

The program is well researched and whilst very contemporary, maintains a practical and grounded approach. Sandra is a no nonsense educator.

On a personal note, the S + T = R piece of learning was most helpful as circumstances had combined to make the year challenging for me on several fronts and the approach encouraged me to address my thinking round those difficulties.

The techniques and ideas presented in Great Managers have been variously deployed across the organisation and it has been encouraging to be part of these processes. For example, I was recently part of a selection committee that used a profiling tool as part of the process and in particular the formation of the second round interview questions. This approach and the commitment to recruitment for Talent and Fit was a significant step forward in my view.

I would like to thank Ken for the opportunity to participate in Great Managers, also for his personal commitment to staff development. I think there is real benefit in the shared learning experience. Also thanks to Sandra and her team for their professionalism and unfailing positive approach….”

Phil Warner - Manager, Assets & Major Projects Byron Shire Council
Alyshia Hansen - Information & Analysis Manager

Finally a leadership and management course worthy of the word ‘great’. This course has set up a flexible and supportive learning environment. I can choose not only an optimal learning time for me but the best environment as well. Unlike day seminars, I can watch sections of interest over again; I can listen and then note-take rather than that mad scramble to write down what a presenter is saying which, when you read it back afterwards, makes little sense! In the first 3 weeks of the course, I feel like I’ve been planting seeds, watering them and watching them sprout. Management courses I’ve attended in the past are all crammed into 1 or 2 days. There’s no time for a thought to develop; for awareness of one’s own behaviour; or time to implement a strategy with support still available to you. While instantly appealing to any introvert, this learning model makes so much more sense for everyone.

Alyshia Hansen - Information & Analysis Manager The Shepherd Centre
Shannon McKelvey - Executive Manager Organisational Development

The current cohort of our staff in Great Managers® are clearly talking enthusiastically about the program with their teams because we have had more unsolicited requests from staff wanting to participate in future rounds of Great Managers® than we have had for any other training.

So we are happy to confirm that we will be signing up our second cohort of eager staff shortly.

Shannon McKelvey - Executive Manager Organisational Development Byron Shire Council
Kylie Burnett - Chief Operating Officer

Participating in the Great Managers® course has been a life changer for me.

I would honestly have to say that the success of the business I manage over the past 12 months has been from using the tools I’ve been shown in the Great Managers® Academy.

The work I’ve done with Great Managers® has made me a great manager through practicing skills in bite-sized pieces, knowing it’s a new skill set I’m learning. The results have been amazing!

Kylie Burnett - Chief Operating Officer Your Inspiration At Home
Faye Rescigno - Senior Project Manager

If I was only armed with this information a number of years ago when I had to deal with poor performance in my team.  My life would have been a lot easier. 

This is why the Great Managers program is a great tool and source of information for current or future managers, especially about dealing with poor workplace performance

Faye Rescigno - Senior Project Manager Elton Consulting
Damiaan Van Zanen - CEO

A must for any manager!

Sandra’s lesson structure, delivery method and coaching style give you a clear picture that builds with the course as well as the confidence to apply the concepts learned immediately.

I now understand more about how I operate and how others operate and perceive me. This has helped in my role a great deal, especially when taking staff through tricky compliance issues.

I highly recommend the course to anyone wishing to be a better manager. It will give you a new perspective and the confidence and power to grow yourself, your role and your business!

Damiaan Van Zanen - CEO TRB Group
Nelette Kettle - Director Corporate and Community Services


The Great Managers® Academy is exactly what I need – self paced, practical information that really hits the mark.

The balance between big picture theory, case studies and the practical tools and tips is just right.  And the opportunity for reinforcement through the Q&A webinars is so helpful.

I know I will refer back to this material for many years to come as I continue on my journey to being a great manager.

Thank you Sandra!

Nelette Kettle - Director Corporate and Community Services Ashfield Council
Wayne Bertram - Manager Development Assessment & Certification

As part of a current restructure, I was given responsibility for managing a team who had not been meeting their nominated KPI’s, which had the potential to create additional work for me, particularly as the team was struggling to undertake the critical work.

As part of the settling in process I used the strengths-based approach that I learnt in the Great Managers Academy®, and rather than direct staff, I started by involving all the team members to establish what strengths the individual team members had. 

By empowering the individuals, using the individuals strengths working in the team, the whole team’s spirit has lifted (along with productivity) to the point where we look like achieving the KPIs for the financial year.

Wayne Bertram - Manager Development Assessment & Certification Byron Shire Council
Kim Anson - General Manager

I have engaged Sandra Wood’s services as a Leadership consultant for over 10 years now and continue to do so due to the high quality of her programs, as well as her outstanding ability to engage, build trust and develop the skills of managers and leaders at all levels in an organization.

Sandra’s programs are always evaluated highly and we get the results we are looking for.

If you want to improve your people management and leadership skills Sandra’s courses are second to none.

Kim Anson - General Manager Elton Consulting