Friday, 06 April 2012 03:24

Team Leadership

Sunday, 18 March 2012 23:24

Michael Peiniger (MM)




Michael Peiniger

Principal, Kameleons - Developing Leaders
MBA (HR & Leadership), BSc (Physics), Cert. IV TAA, AIPFM


Michael Peiniger is the founder of Kameleons, a boutique leadership & team building consultancy committed to providing businesses and individuals with the expertise and solutions that they need to succeed in today’s ever changing work environment. Michael is passionate about leadership and the need for businesses to harness individuals’ natural skills in order to fulfil their full potential.

Michael has a broad professional background that includes leadership and team facilitation, leadership course design, management consulting, change management and senior manager coaching and development. Michael’s key skill is his ability to weave complex leadership theories and the strategic ‘big picture’ into simple and practical leadership solutions through his honest, direct and results oriented style.

Michael’s career began with Royal Australian Air Force where he succeeded in a wide variety of challenging roles, including an exchange with the Royal Air Force in Scotland. During his defence career, Michael won the prestigious Air Force Association leadership sword in 1998 and progressed to the rank of Squadron Leader ahead of his peers. As the senior instructor at the Air Force Officers’ Training School, Michael trained more than 1500 junior officers to meet the demanding requirements of leadership and adaptation to change that is required of a leader in the dynamic military environment.

Since leaving the Air Force, Michael has used his extensive leadership and management experience to provide tailored leadership consultancy services and dynamic facilitation for a wide variety of organisations. These include: APIA, Australian Unity, Cambridge Integrated Services, Fosters Group, Jetstar, The Laminex Group, Lonely Planet Publications, Sensis, Shannons Insurance, realestate.com and the Victorian Workcover Authority.

Michael holds a Master of Business Administration (HR / Leadership) and a Bachelor of Physics. He is a qualified facilitator (Member of the Australian Institute of Professional Facilitators) and holds a Diploma in Assessment & Training Systems as well as the Certificate IV in Training & Assessment.







YouTube Channel    






If you would like to know what previous participants have said about Michael, click here for the LinkedIn Recommendations page.

Friday, 29 July 2011 07:43

Home Page

altKameleons is a leadership and team building consultancy created specifically with the aim of ‘Developing Leaders’. The Kameleons team provides specialised learning modules through leadership and team design, training, facilitation, coaching and evaluation of leadership activities for superior leadership and cultural change results.


What makes Kameleons different?

Kameleons is successful in developing leaders because we focus on developing excellent leadership behaviour rather than excellent leadership knowledge.

Too many organisations are filled with managers and leaders that can ‘talk’ good leadership, but ‘walk’ poor practises, demotivating their people and limiting their ability to make substantial change. Many of these managers have attended leadership courses in the past, but poor content design and limited feedback have resulted in wasted time, cost and effort from the business and the participant.

Kameleons puts leadership into practise, allowing participant leaders to ‘feel’ what it is like to be a leader in normal, difficult and crisis situations, with development areas focussed on applying learning to the workplace. No one ‘attends’ a Kameleons training course; an environment of learning and feedback is developed between all participants and the facilitator to ensure maximum retention of skills and knowledge.

Kameleons develops leaders that can be a successful driving force in your business by changing behaviours; not by filling leader’s heads with endless theories that cannot be applied or used in the workplace.


Why the Kameleon (Chameleon)?

532px-Bradypodion pumilum Cape chameleon female IMG 1767 croppedIn real life, the chameleon changes its colour under the influence of light, mood and temperature, playing an important part in communication and dealing with conflict. Importantly, (and contrary to common belief) the chameleon cannot change its skin to any colour of the rainbow; it can only change its colour within a limited range to camouflage or express itself. 

At Kameleons, we use the chameleon's actions as the basis of our leadership model; developing leaders to adapt to the changing mood and environment that they must work in. As with the chameleon, we recognise that leaders cannot adapt to every leadership style, nor will they become expert at all leadership requirements. Effective leaders learn which environments work best for them, and adapt their style and demeanour to their advantage.

Leaders cannot be all things to all people, but Kameleons will help develop leaders to enhance their strengths and negate their leadership limitations to adapt to their team and business environments.

Why not read our article - 'The Chameleon - The Ultimate Change Manager' 

Monday, 18 February 2008 19:36


stabilityBlueBallsLeadership Development Courses     

Kameleons leadership development programs can be tailored to suit your individual or business needs. Whether those needs are tailoring content to suit a particular group of individuals, focussing on a skill set that is currently missing or adapting course programming to meet your available time, we can develop a leadership program that suits your business needs.

Kameleons leadership program facilitators are not facilitators who talk about leadership. They are skilled leaders that have managed large teams, large budgets and have implemented strategies for team large and small - their ideas, tips and leadership advice has been forged through knowledge and experience.

Kameleons has leadership programs to help develop potential or future leaders, provide valuable leadership skills training for those new to the supervisor / manage / leader role and help those with existing leadership experience hone their skills to the next level.

Most Kameleons leadership courses can be mapped to an accredited Diploma of Management module, blending a quality, tailored leadership program with a valuable qualification.


team puzzle-100x80Team Development Workshops   

Whether you have just established a new team or whether you have an existing team in crisis, Kameleons can help your team function and communicate better.  Kameleons Team Development facilitators don''t just talk about teams - they have led teams large and small, happy and in crisis, and have learnt the skills needed to develop a team through experience.


istock_000004737163medium - coachingBusiness Skills Workshops 

The Kameleons Business Skills workshops are designed to focus attention on a particular skill set. Business Skills workshops can be highly tailored to meet the needs of your individual business or specialisation; adapting cultural references, case studies and examples to get the best skills development for your people.


Accredited Courses

istock_000005937538medium - hands upIn partnership with registered training organisation Australia-wide Business Training (awbt), Kameleons offers training in the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAA) and the Diploma of Management.



Thursday, 21 October 2010 03:33

MetaMorph CCGS 4

"I thought it was great having Mr Peiniger come and give both year 6 classes a session about teamwork at the beginning of the year. Mr Peiniger had us take part in some activities exercising our leadership skills. My team didn’t go so well, but we all learnt how to effectively support each other and it really enhanced our teamwork skills."

Year 6 MetaMorph participant

Thursday, 21 October 2010 03:27

CCGS Beryl Gregory

"I can thoroughly recommend Michael Peiniger's positive and practical workshops."

Beryl Gregory, Headmistress, CCGS

Tuesday, 18 May 2010 02:32

Manage Client Relationships

istock 000005937538medium - hands upClients are the lifeblood of any business - we can’t survive without them. You could go as far as to say that no matter what industry you work in, you have one primary goal - that is to serve a client.  Internal or external, we must meet a client need to ensure that tasks and functions meet expectations.   Yet many businesses treat their clients as a given - an expected commodity. It is this mentality - particularly in the current environment - that can severely damage a business for years.  

Consider these 7 questions:

  1. What compelling ideas can you bring to your clients?
  2. What 'Core' relationships are you going to focus on developing this year?
  3. Do you build trust your clients?
  4. Are you clear about whom you do and do not want as a client?
  5. What are you going to do this year to ensure that clients call YOU?
  6. Which established clients of yours will you ask for a reference or referral this year?
  7. Can you clearly communicate to clients how you can help them and their businesses GROW?

If you or your team members struggled to answer these questions, perhaps this Business Skills Workshop is for you! Developed in partnership with Marie Farrugia of Time for You (www.timeforyou.com.au), the purpose of this Business Skills Workshop is to provide participants with the skills, tool and behaviours to ensure that they manage client relationship effectively for their own, and their businesses, prosperity.

The key themes for this workshop include:

  • Why Manage Client Relationships?
  • 6 Keys for Client Relationship Management
  • Building Your Personal Networking Tree
  • Enhancing Personal Networking Relationships
  • Best Practice Communication with Clients
  • Understanding your Clients Needs
  • The 4 Steps to Client Development
  • Institutionalising the Growth of Client Relationships
  • The 7 Principles of Dealing with Client Crises
  • Personal Development Requirements to Grow Client Relationships

All topics covered employ the use of case studies, activities, practical examples and experiences of the participants and facilitators to enrich learning and aid knowledge retention. Each participant will leave the workshop with a client development framework to ensure that learning is put into practise.


Designed for: Account Managers, Client Relationship / Liaison Managers, Sales Managers and people seeking to excel in a client-facing role.

Duration: 1 day

Booking: To book a Manage Client Relationships workshop for your team members or supervisors, call our helpful and experienced staff on 0409 627 270 or click on the link below.


Monday, 10 May 2010 13:49

Sin May Leong - Jetstar

“Michael has been great to work with in past and present training projects for our business. His sense of humour and natural rapport with people is outstanding.”

Sin-May Leong

Manager, People and Culture, Jetstar

Monday, 10 May 2010 05:06

What is Leadership?

istock_000003772656 sword  officerDiscussions regarding leadership and the qualities, traits and skills you must possess to be a leaders have existed for thousands of years. Place 15 people in a training room and ask them to discuss ‘What is Leadership?’ and you can end up with hundreds of responses, all of them being right for the person that thought of it. Here are a few examples:

‘Managers are people who do things right, while leaders are people who do the right thing.’ Warren Bennis, Ph.D  

‘The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.’ Ken Blanchard  

‘When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say it happened naturally.’ Lao Tse  

‘A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.’ John C. Maxwell  

‘One measure of leadership is the caliber of people who choose to follow you.’ Dennis A. Peer  

‘Leadership is the lifting of a man’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a man's performance to a higher standard, the building of a man's personality beyond normal limitations. Wishing won't make it so; doing will' Peter. F. Drucker      


The problem in defining leadership is that our ideas on leadership are shaped by a variety of beliefs, culture, expertise and experience. Our definition is also coloured by who we have been led by and the positive / negative behaviours they demonstrated. More than one leader can trace their leadership style to an early influence ie “I want to be just like……” or “I never want to be like……”. Both positive and negative examples of leadership are powerful drivers for shaping leadership expectations.   Further, leadership requirements can change depending on the situation that a leader is placed in. The skills required to lead a not-for-profit organisation are different to those required to lead a corporate or military organisation. Winston Churchill is an example of a leader who led his country brilliantly during World War II, but was not as successful in leading his country in peace.    

So how can we try to simplify the leadership debate? I would put forward that leadership is about influencing others. Paraphrasing some of the leadership quotes presented above, leadership is getting others to willingly assist you in completing a task / venture that you have set. You will notice that I have used to the word ‘assist’ when completing a task, as I believe that a leader needs to be involved in the task they set. Whether that involvement is clearly defining the task, providing encouragement or showing people how to do something, it is imperative that a leader ‘walk’s the talk’ and is involved. It may not be necessary to complete every step of a task side-by-side with the people you are influencing, but a key component of influence is having the respect of the people you are influencing and ensuring they do not feel taken advantage of.  

A further key aspect of leadership is action. The best leadership intentions will count for very little if no action takes place. If leadership is defined as influence, then that influence must be used for a purpose. The best leaders are recognised hand in hand for two things; the leadership style in which they influenced others and what their leadership achieved. Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler – leaders that are instantly recognised for their leadership style as well as their actions.  

I might be criticised for including the last leader in the previous paragraph, but he highlights an additional requirement of leadership and an adjustment to the definition of leadership. Leadership influence can be positive as well as negative, and Adolf Hitler highlights that example. To be a respected leader, the influence that is exerted over others must be positive and result in a  positive outcome.  

‘Leadership is positive influence that results in positive outcomes.’  

As already stated, leadership is shaped by a variety of beliefs, culture, expertise and experience. That being said, if leaders applied this definition as their benchmark for leadership success and measured themselves against its expectations, perhaps more would deliver positive results.


0902-014 n1 cweb4x6Want to develop the leadership ability within your business? Michael Peiniger is a leadership and team development specialist who helps CEO's and heads of business 'develop leaders' within their organisations. As a specialist facilitator working with the top businesses in the country, he can provide your managers, supervisors and aspiring leaders with the skills, knowledge, behaviour traits and attitudes that will make them successful in your business. To discuss your leadership needs, call Michael on 0409 627 270, email

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or hit the link below. You can reach him at or hit the link below.


Monday, 14 December 2009 01:46

Articles & Resources

Developing Leaders can happen in a variety of ways. We have provided the following articles, audio recordings and videos for leaders and managers to think, consider, argue, analyse, ignore or adopt the leadership ideas presented. 


Media Releases

May 2013: Greater Efficiency May Be Right Under Our Noses

Apr 2013: Enforcing Standards Too Hard for Most Leaders (Featured in Wealth Professionals magazine)

Feb 2013: Lack of leadership development opportunities reflected in lost talent...or worse!

Dec 2012: Has Poor Training Put Your Business Health at Risk?

Sept 2012: Childish Leadership - A Poor foundation for the Future

May 2012: Leadership with a 'little l'

Apr 2012: The Chameleon Leader - The Ultimate Change Manager


Published Articles

Guild of HR: June 2013 Cover Story. Are Your People On the Same Page as You in 2013? Originally published as Blog Post here

Australian Anthill - 17 June 2013. What Business Leaders Learn From Sport

Wealth Professional Magazine - 5 June 2013. Five Ways to Boost Planning Productivity.

Smart StartUp Magazine - 5 June 2013. How Start-Ups Can Stop Wasting Time and Have The Time to Drive Their Business Forward.



Our articles represent the type of leadership and facilitation philosophies that form the basis of our training programs.

Learning & Development

Is Your Business Health at Risk from Self-Diagnosis?

Losing Your Leadership Talent - 5 Leadership Development Lessons Business Can Learn From the Military

Do You Have the Weapons You Need for Success?

Leadership / Change Management

Chameleon Leader - the Ultimate Change Manager

What is Leadership?


Stop Taking My Time! 17 Tips to Avoid the Pointless Meetings

Team Development

15 Team Development Lessons Learnt with my Dog (Abridged Version)


The Insidious Effect of Negativity

Presentation Skills

What makes a rock star trainer?

Time Management

10 Tips for Avoiding Unplanned Interruptions



The Kameleons blog focusses on the discussion of leadership, leadership attributes, team development and facilitation.



L&D Forum

Run approximately once every three months, the L&D Forum provides an opportunity for L&D practitioners from both large and small businesses to get together to network, discuss relevant L&D issues and up to date practices. If you, or one of your L&D Managers is interested in the L&D Forum, send an email to the Enquiries page and we will be back in touch.

31 May 13 - L&D initiatives, big or small, that are efficient and effective

14 Sept 12 - How do you engage Managers / supervisors to take part or be active in training?

01 Jun 12 - How do you develop leadership skills within your organisation?


Podcasts & Audio Interviews

Once a month (and included in our newsletter Developing Leaders), we interview a leader / senior manager regarding their views on leadership and developing leadership skills. 



 Developing Leaders - Leadership Series

A series of short, tip-laden videos covering the leadership development and business skills workshop topics.

Developing Leaders - Leadership Series Introduction

Developing Leaders - Facilitation Series

A series of short, tip-laden videos covering the art and science of facilitating and training.

Developing Leaders - Facilitation Series Introduction


Recommended Reading

Developing your leadership skills is a life-long pursuit. In our pursuit, we have found a number of books that have been fantastic at distilling complex leadership, team or change issues into simple 'take home' ideas. The books listed here focus less on making you sound like a good leader, and more on helping you develop skills and leadership behaviours.

Book Review: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team - A Leadership Fable. Patrick Lencioni

Book Review: The First 90 Days. Michael watkins

Book Review: The 100 Best Business Books of All Time. Jack Covert and Todd Satersten

Book Review: Effective Leadership. John Adair



A useful set of checklists, evaluations, questionnaires and templates that we use within Kameleons leadership, team and business skills workshops.

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