Earlier this year, I decided to join Davidson as the General Manager for the Projects & Operations business in Queensland because I genuinely felt their approach to recruitment is different, which suits me because I like to do things differently too.

Davidson Projects & Operations is a successful recruitment business that has established itself as a market leader within the Energy, Resources, Infrastructure and Construction & Property sectors and it is my absolute pleasure to be leading a team of seven specialist consultants across this technically focused area.

But my leadership style is not necessarily the approach everyone takes, I am definitely more of a coach and motivator than a manager. I love training and developing individuals to reach their full potential.

I grew up playing many sports as most Australian’s do and was heavily involved with athletics and basketball for most of my schooling life. More often than not I was nominated by my teammates to be the team captain, and over the years a natural progression eventually lead me to team coach.

These coaching positions have definitely shaped me as a leader and have taken me down the path to where I find myself today. My personal approach and technique as a General Manager can be best described by using the analogy of the basketball coach vs the baseball manager. Two very different sports and two completely different roles, one has to do with directing, the other has to do with teaching.

Managing teams is about directing individuals towards the desired outcome, while coaching is aimed at facilitating long-term improvement. During a baseball game, the manager focuses primarily on strategy and managing the flow of the game. As a coach I am responsible for driving the team’s performance; laying out the general strategy with my talented, trusted team members, who then run with the ball while the coach steps out of the way.

In basketball, the coach has the same authority as a baseball manager, but they get more involved with the action on the court. They call out plays and defensive schemes to the players from the sidelines during the games, but the players are then free to implement those plays (using their skills and knowledge of the game) as they see fit. A coach offers encouragement, support, and suggestions, and they instruct players on how to react to different possible outcomes depending on what the other team’s strategy of play is.

Noticeably, the roles and responsibilities of a baseball manager and basketball coach do overlap, however, while the baseball manager focuses on authority and directing, the basketball coach works in more of a teaching or facilitating capacity.

I believe that this coaching methodology works best for developmental purposes, especially when you have a team of competent professionals already performing at a reasonably high level like I do. Once you define ‘winning’ for your organisation, team members may need your guidance and support as a coach, but in most cases, they shouldn’t need direction.

This is personally what I love about coaching. My job is to coach a highly productive and professional recruitment team, by ensuring we exceed the expectations of our clients and candidates alike, and that is exactly what I plan to do.


Kylie Ringelstein has over 10 years of human resources and recruitment experience and has been operationally leading and managing teams for the last 15 years. She is currently the General Manager for the Projects & Operations business at Davidson in Queensland. Follow Kylie on LinkedIn.