Course Information

A contemporary approach to leadership development

This is our signature course that takes participants from their egoic selves right through to understanding the complexity of the systems they are working and living in. Along the way, core principles and tools of contemporary leadership that can be utilised immediately are seamlessly integrated into the programme. Hence there is a strong emphasis on how participants play in between sessions.

In collaboration with our alumni, we have curated what we have experienced to be the most relevant and impactful techniques to activate leadership in real-time. All participants undergo a 360 evaluation using the Leadership Circle Profile tool which is used extensively due it being the only 360 set in a context of stages of adult development as well as its correlations with exceptional leadership effectiveness.

It has a strong emphasis on developing the conscious maturity of the participant to enable a depth and robustness when navigating through complexity. While life situations become clearer for participants, challenges inevitably continue to arise but the deeper understanding of self means they are more able to hold their own, and less likely to be thrown off balance or overwhelmed.


Simply put, we aim to build a strong foundation not just from which to lead but from which to live, work and play.


The Group Process

Leadership is often mistaken as a solo act. But human beings are social animals, so how we interact and turn up in a team or group is key. Because of this, working within a group process accelerates growth. Play CoLab has developed an expertise in optimising this "group process" and uses one on one coaching with experienced certified coaches as a support mechanism for group work.

The course is staged over a few months with the facilitators holding the group more intently in the early stages. As developing the group’s own skills in coaching leadership is a core part of the work, as the course progresses there is less dependence on the facilitators and the peer group itself starts to provide a supportive and learned perspective that extends beyond the course itself.

Note the groups are curated in a particular way. While there is diversity of sector and backgrounds, there will be a commonality in life stage or organisational position.


The process is initiated via a conversation with Play CoLab to ensure the course and the specific group is the right one for the participant.

Leadership@Play Course Details

The four-module course is spread over 3-4 months. How one plays in between modules is as crucial as what is discovered in the module itself. 

Module 1: Understanding Your Inner Game 

Held in one evening and two consecutive full days, this module considers the belief systems and narratives that have brought you to where you are at this point in time. Understanding how belief systems are constructed (and hence can be deconstructed) is liberating as it opens up new possibilities for being.

Session 1
Session 2
Session 3

Setting the Scene
This evening session sets the tone for how the group will play over the months ahead.

Understanding Ego
This session nails the real habits of being that are keeping you both safe and stuck. It explores questions such as: How come some people and situations trigger you? How do you get a handle on this? This session explores the concept of ego in relation to self, who you really are. This is not about what you are doing as a leader but who you are being as a leader.

The Impact of your Inner Game
All participants will undergo a 360 evaluation using The Leadership Circle Profile to understand their leadership strengths and further clarify potential derailers. This workshop unpacks the Leadership Circle so you fully understand which habitual ways of being will potentially propel you forward and which will hold you back.

Module 2: The Outer Game of Communication

Increasingly leadership is understood as a balance of exceptional people and task competency, hence this two-day module focuses on the most critical leadership skill of communication. Hence this module focusses on...

Sessions 4 & 5
Session 6

Communications Presence

We introduce a highly effective communication framework and toolkit to immediately enhance the participants’ ability to a) ask the right questions to unlock possibility, b) listen to understand a situation more fully, and c) hold a room with a far stronger presence.

The Group Process

This session moves leadership away from the effectiveness of the individual leader to look at the group as one unit. It considers practices and skills in leading teams and asks the participant to step into a more curious space about their own behaviours in a group process.

Module 3: The Bigger Game of Systems & Culture

This two-day module considers the context in which leadership sits.

Session 7

Leading in Complexity

In this session we link organisational culture to the systems in which they operate. This sharpens understanding on narratives relating to diversity and inclusion and potentially disrupts entrenched worldviews.



It has been said that ‘the leader brings the weather’. We consider leadership must be viewed in the broadest possible context: one that connects the personal to the global and incorporates legacy and impact.

Module 4: Integration

Session 8
Impact Session


This session starts to integrate all the concepts explored and challenges the participant to show up in a more authentic light than ever before. All participants set a leadership intention for their journey beyond the course.
Note that at this point the group has begun a process of peer coaching to support their on-going development.

The final day is a culmination of group process where key themes are revisited and the group sets group intentions for the months ahead. This includes a powerful feedback session where each participants receives coaching and wisdom from all their peers in the room. We end with a celebratory dinner.



While we invite the cohort back in six months to explore the impact of the course, we also have follow-up course options for alumni, either as individuals or as a cohort.

Session 9


Each participant receives two 90 minute individualized coaching sessions with two experienced leadership coaches. (Any further coaching during or post-course is arranged privately but note that the course itself is designed to dramatically reduce dependency of one on one coaching).


A peer-to-peer coaching programme is introduced toward the end of the course that helps all participants not just receive coaching but practice and refine their coaching leadership skills learnt on the course. This extends beyond the course itself.


Each participant is also offered an informal session with Creative Mentor and past Play CoLab participant Yolande Dewey who collaborates with Play CoLab in a pastoral care role.


Note that all participants have a conversation with Play CoLab before the course starts. This will help ensure the course is the right one for the participant and that the group is curated in a way that enhances the experience for all.

Is this course right for you? 

  • You may be a Divisional Head or CEO/MD depending on the organisation and sector. You may have had some professional development or leadership coaching already but sense the need for something perhaps deeper and more fundamental to shift the way you play.

  • You are self-aware enough to know that repeated patterns may be tripping you up and may even have had some feedback about your leadership that has left you flummoxed or out of ideas on how to really shift you and your team’s output and impact.

  • You could do with some sort of “toolkit” for immediate use to enhance how you play with others and perform in the workplace.

  • You are fully prepared to be challenged in a safe environment.

  • And you might be aware of a nagging voice at the back of your head that says “so, now what?”


  • Cost per participant $11,500 plus GST
    Includes coaching, workshops, The Leadership Circle evaluation and all other admin expenses.


  • Location: Play CoLab, Level 8, 187 Queen Street, Auckland.

  • Lead Facilitators/Coaches: Sandy Burgham & Jenny Devine. Each group consists of around 8 people from different sectors.



Leadership@Play Matariki 2021 - FULL

Leadership@Play Spring 2021 - FULL

Leadership@Play 2022 - dates TBC