active CEO Podcast #31 Holly Ransom Next Generational Leadership

Holly Ransom – CEO / Founder Emergent

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Holly Ransom about being forensically curious; the richness of a conversation; importance of pre-game routine; the power of reverse mentoring; learning to harness fear; and intergenerational leadership in the 21st Century.

We explore conversations with Sir Richard Branson and former US President Barak Obama; high performance leadership; what makes New Zealand Primeminister, Jacinda Ardern a great leader; signing up 100 days before her first Ironman triathlon; and Learning from a Lifetime of Experience on the Coffee Pods Podcast.


Holly Ransom is a highly articulate, pragmatic, futuristic, energetic and curious young leader. She is a thought-leader who thrives on challenging the way people think, facing market disruptions head on, unlocking opportunities and helping leaders build their capacity to effect change.

A high achiever and born leader, she held numerous sport captain and leadership roles, while at Methodist Ladies College. She holds a law degree and a BA Economics from the University of Western Australia, however she will quite openly state that she didn’t quite fit in at University.

As a teenager she thrived as an events manager at Challenge Stadium in Perth, before becoming a paralegal at Francis Burt Legal Chambers. Her talent was recognised early by Rio Tinto CEO, Sam Walsh, which paved the way for former Australian Primeminister Tony Abbott to appoint her as the 2014 G20 Youth Summit Chair. She was Chief of Staff to the NAB Wealth Chief Executive, before taking on her current role as CEO and Founder of Emergent in 2015.

As a Director, Chair and Advisory member she currently sits on the Boards of Hudson, Hub Australia, Cox Architecture, United Nations Global Coalition of Young Women Entrepreneurs, Victoria Police, the Prince’s Charities Australia, Port Adelaide Football Club, Black Sheep Capital and was the youngest President of a Rotary Club.

In her spare time she loves to stay fit, compete in Ironman distance triathlons, speak all around the world and moderate conversations with world leaders such as Barak Obama, Sir Richard Branson and the Dalai Lama. O

Holly talks about:

  • Being described as forensically curious by her mentors
  • Her Grandma’s life lesson, “If you walk past it, you tell the world it is ok.”
  • How easy it is to jump into action without seeking to understand context or appreciate nuance.
  • Running Virgin Disrupters in London with Richard Branson.
  • How leaders of the business world failed to consider themselves as leaders as equivalents as high performing athletes.
  • Her people-orientated, interactive and engaged leadership style.
  • Leading the Youth Summit for the G20 in 2014.
  • Encouraging people to reflect on the diversity of the 5 people they spend their time around.
  • Facing a new fear every single day for a year.
  • Like an elite athlete, you need have someone who is continually giving you that performance feedback.
  • The biggest change in her life was shifting from managing her time to managing her energy.
  • The most important habit to build is ironically to continually reflect on your habits.
  • A lot of CEO’s have trouble making time for on the business and they get too lost in the business.
  • Learning from a lifetime of experience, the catalyst behind the Coffee Pods Podcast.
  • Jacinda Ardern being an extraordinary example of a next generation leader.
  • Making a habit of doing something new every day, one thing you are afraid of everyday.
  • How do we prepare the next generation?
  • Layne Beachley AO and Jan Owen having the greatest impact on her career.

Active CEO Wellness Tip                                                       

Habit Reflection – As CEO’s we need to be aware of our Habits and know that the best Habit is to reflect on your habits. Allocate some time 2-4x per year where you find the space to reflect on your habits and determine what habits you could tweak slightly, commit to stop doing, rethink, start doing more of.


“Great leaders are hungry for new knowledge, different perspectives, to be challenged on their view on the world or to seek insight into something they may not of thought about yet, and find great benefit in surrounding themselves with a real diversity of people.” Holly Ransom, on the active CEO Podcast.

“With a role in a large organisation, you appreciate that as one person you can never turn the titanic” Holly Ransom talking about the complexities of leadership, on the active CEO Podcast.

“The compassion, empathy and the way she has put her arms around the community.” Holly Ransom describing Jacinda Ardern, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Holly Ransom Linkedin
Holly Ransom Instagram
Holly Ransom
Coffee Pods Podcast
Layne Beachley
Jacinda Ardern Wikipedia
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole Performance Coaching

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben Gathercole

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