1 May 2024



At CCC we’re passionate about empowering and celebrating women. Our Empowering Women Series focuses on Inspiring Women who are all doing their part to help others and make positive change. Grab a cuppa and listen or read along while they share their experiences, challenges, insights and advice.



“I believe everything rises and falls with leadership.

If you can’t get that right the rest won’t work as well as it could.”


From Banking to Travel, Kylie Paatsch has never been afraid to take the plunge when it comes to new opportunities and challenges. Her passion for coaching individuals and teams has taken her through multiple levels of management, forging the path to her own business Kylie Paatsch Leadership

Carole recently caught up with Kylie to discuss her biggest challenges in business, including breaking down stereotypes as a working and travelling mother, navigating the business world with ADHD, along with Kylie’s invaluable leadership tips.

Hit play to listen to the podcast below, this is one you won’t want to miss!




Curious is one description of me that always comes up. I’m also playful by nature. Being purposeful is also really important to me. There needs to be some sort of impact, outcome or being connected to something.



When I left school I went straight into the Banking and Finance industry. I  actually studied it for a while. I didn’t love it but it was easy to find work in that industry and good for career progression. I didn’t enjoy working in that field so I went travelling and eventually decided I wanted a career in the travel industry.

I worked in the industry for a really long time and ended up in leadership positions through Flight Centre. I’m truely grateful for the opportunities I had through Flight Centre. The organisation suited my personality and the way I approach things. Some people walk slowly to the edge where as I tend to jump straight of the cliff, hit the water and then wonder what I’ve done! Flight Centre was wonderful because they took the approach of “you’ll be ready for that next thing now” when I thought I wasn’t really ready. I worked my way through team leader, general manager and then the national leader. About 3-4 months before covid hit I took the plunge and went out on my own. Both my parents had their own businesses and there was always something there that I wanted to have a go at running my own business. I finally took the leap. It’s been a bit over 4 years since I’ve had my own business and it has gone so quickly!



I am neurodivergent with ADHD. In the banking industry and even now on my own I have a different way of processing information, learning and being engaged and that can be a little challenging. Being out on my own in my own business it’s great because I can make it work for me. When you work within an organisation it can be challenging because you have to work how they choose to operate. I’m really proud that I’ve been able to work my way around this throughout my career.

Being a female and really wanting to progress in my career, there’s so many challenges that have come from this. Even recently in my own business, when I put proposals in and I’m up against males who may not have the experience that I do and they still get the job. This can be a little disheartening at times. 

Breaking down some of the stereotypes as a working mother has also been challenging. With my previous role I was on a plane travelling at least 3 out of the 4 weeks and my husband and I juggled this with our twin boys. People would ask how I could leave my kids and how selfish I was to have a career. My kids are now 16 and very grounded, confident, well rounded young men. It was a big challenge navigating those stereotypes and knowing that you’re being judged. People would ask “how is my husband coping?” while I was away, and that was also insulting to him. If the roles were reversed it wouldn’t be an issue. 



I got better at work life balance over the years. Early on I wasn’t so great at it and I had a pattern of working really hard, juggling lots of things and then hitting burn out. This became a pattern for quite some time. I had a bit of a life changing moment. I fainted in front of a group of 140 leaders one time overseas and one time at home as a result of burnout. It blew up into a panic attack and that was a big wakeup call to take care of myself first or I would be no good to my teams, my husband or myself! This was really a turning point for me and I started to work on finding that balance. I now like to look at it in terms of priorities and broke my life up into 4 areas – myself, my family, my work and other. I would allocate what percentage of time I was prepared to spend on each of those areas. I started to be really intentional with that which led me to coming up with a daily routine I’ve been practicing for 14 years – meditation, breath work and yoga everyday along with some cardio. This also helps with my ADHD.



I like to say that I specialise in leadership, teams and culture. I work a lot in corporate. My clients have been varied including large organisations such as Qantas and the Commonwealth Bank. I also work with small and medium businesses and I like the variety. I run a lot of leadership development programs and a lot with executive teams – high performing successful teams. They are 3 areas that I’m passionate about. I believe everything rises and falls with leadership. If you can’t get that right the rest doesn’t work as well as it could. Leadership is a craft I’ve been involved in for 2 decades and having worked at virtually every level of leadership, I know what it’s like to work in someone else’s shoes. That’s a unique position to be in.



I am really passionate about leaders taking a coaching like approach to their leadership. When you take this approach you have this mind set that is about being curious, helping people learn, develop and grow. Taking a group or individual from where they are now, to where the could be should be or want to be. Come into with kindness, curiousity and empathy. But also calling out limits and barriers that get in the way. Asking lots of really great questions that help solve problems. It’s a collaborative style of leadership. Post Covid things are so different. Some people want to return to work, some don’t. We now have 5 generations working in the workforce all operating differently. It’s a much more empowering and autonomous way to lead others. That is what newer generations coming in want. It’s a really nice balance to leadership.



In order to lead or coach someone you’ve got to be really clear on what is important to you, what you stand for and what style you want to bring. It’s difficult to lead, coach and develop others unless you know this. When you’re clear on that, other people trust you and you trust yourself.

Don’t wait for it to happen. Be really proactive and seek mentors. Having your own personal board. Imagine a boardroom table with individuals who will help you with different areas of your business or leadership. 



This leadership style has shown proven increases in engagement, and recent surveys I’ve completed have increased engagement by 10%.

People feel seen, heard and understood so it’s natural they’ll see more productivity and results. From my own personal experience and looking at myself before and after this approach, I’ve doubled the results I was able to achieve with my teams. It can take a little longer with profitability results but the increase will be sustainable. It also has a flow on affect from leaders to teams through to their customers.



People! I get inspired and engaged when I’m around people. This is something I realised more that ever during covid.


You can connect with Kylie on LinkedIn here


“When women help women amazing thing happen”