Powerful Leadership Development

Practical competency building programs for business leaders

by Annie McCubbin and David McCubbin

We are

Over 20 years in professional people development with major Australian and international companies;
an award-winning, utterly unique, boutique professional development firm
founded by Annie and David McCubbin.

Annie McCubbin

Founder, Actor, Director, Author

Annie is committed to elevating the quality of critical thinking in business and life, focusing on helping women avoid being conned by new-age nonsense and self-help platitudes. After appearing in major theatre productions and Australian TV dramas, Annie founded COUP with David.
Having trained and coached thousands of women leaders, it became blindingly apparent to Annie that understanding cognitive flaws and unconscious biases can protect our lives from unwelcome drama and ruin. She became deeply irritated that the benefits of critical thinking are overlooked while New-Age nonsense and pseudoscientific health offerings are widely consumed. She wrote 'Why Smart Women Make Bad Decisions" in 2020 and has just followed this up with "Why Smart Women Buy the Lies.'

David in action

David McCubbin

Founder, actor, Managing Director

As Founder and Managing Director, David has pioneered the adoption of skills and disciplines from dramatic art as effective learning and development mechanisms in dozens of blue-chip corporations across banking, professional services, retail, pharma, telecoms, tertiary education, social housing and government. He has designed and delivered countless development programs for senior leaders and provided executive coaching to C-suite execs, CEO's and senior academics. He founded COUP with Annie in 2001. Since then they have delivered programs across Australasia and abroad.

HS accredited-practitioner



Today, perhaps more than ever, the difference between genuine integrity and its artificial counterpart is often blurred.  


The talk aims to  expose the manipulative use of Artificial Integrity in power dynamics across politics, business, and personal relations, offering new perspectives to combat these abuses effectively.”  

Key Ideas

The Mechanisms of Manipulation: How manipulative tactics are subtly woven into our daily communications and their impact on personal and professional relationships.

The Psychology Behind Artificial Integrity: Understanding why and how individuals use these strategies to gain power and control.

Strategies for Recognition and Resistance: Practical advice on how to recognise signs of manipulation and protect oneself and others from falling victim to it.

The Link

Please use this link to view the talk on the TEDx Youtube platform and please, share it with people who will benefit.

What we can do for you

Our main development modalities

Workshop Training Page

We train

Building your power and ability across the competencies described below; skills that bring career and personal satisfaction. We deliver face-to-face and via online video and utilise a 10:20:70 approach.

2023 - April - Annie and David_

We Coach

Helping you get your thoughts straight; clarity about your business context and goals; your purpose, your personal strategies and tactics, and encouragement to back yourself.

Screenshot 2023-04-03 at 10.50.51 pm

We Conference

We offer Keynotes, Team-building and Large Group Facilitation and Skills Transfer; Session design and agile media production.

Annie David tech

Media Production

We offer cost-effective production services.

David & Annie 2024 v1.0

Acceptance Commitment Therapy

For people needing more focused personal, professional development.

The Core Competencies

The powers and abilities that underpin effective leadership and help you win at work


The power and ability to be calm and connected when things get challenging


The power and ability to create awareness, understanding and belief


The power and ability to build and lead high performing, high-achieving teams


The power and ability to see clearly, apply critical thinking and make good decisions

Book a meeting

If you want to increase your impact and influence book us for a complimentary consultation.  We’ll help you:-

  1. Clarify your personal and professional goals
  2. Gain expert insight and guidance on what it takes to achieve them
  3. Learn about your development options and opportunities.

Our experience

Over the last two decades, we've worked with many great companies

What experienced leaders Say

"Watching Annie and David work is a joy. Illustrating behaviour, with superb acting skill, ensures the leadership insights and wisdom come to life and truly land with participants - often with humour, always with impact."
Kathleen Bailey-Lord FAICD
Independent Non-Executive Director
"Their approach is innovative, creative and tailored to the specific needs of the organisations they work with. It has proven to be highly successful with participants who take away practical strategies they can use immediately to be more effective leaders. David and Annie’s experience training leadership teams in Australia and Asia allows them to work effectively and productively across all sectors and industries."
Dagmar Schmidmaeir AM
Educator, Mentor & Book Adviser to Business Leaders
"I worked with David and Annie from COUP for 4 years from 2017 to 2020 delivering the CEW Leaders Program. Their programs are competency based and their delivery style is creative, thought provoking, fun and most importantly different to other leadership programs. I can’t recommend David and Annie highly enough."
Amanda Mostyn
HR Advisor, Non Executive Director, CEW Member, Former Group Executive Human Resources, ASX.

What most interests you?

Building Strength in your Leadership Pipeline

Building Your Core Leadership Strengths


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