Back to Index

#080: Holly Ransom – Born in perpetual motion

By Jordan Michaelides

Holly Ransom ( @HollyRansom ) is the CEO of Emergent, a Keynote speaker, Port Adelaide FC Director, the 2014 G20 Youth Chair, a fan of avocado with Vegemite and the youngest person to be named in Australia’s “100 Most Influential Women”. She has been featured on ABC’s Q&A, Channel 7 News & Channel 10’s The Project for her commentary on intergenerational economic and social issues.

Holly specialises in disruptive strategy and building the capacity of leaders for change, which has seen her work with the likes of Microsoft, Virgin, INPEX, Europcar, KPMG, & the AIS, as well as government. She’s an experienced non-executive director who has shown her capacity to lead across many organisations – including when the Australian Prime Minister appointed Holly to Chair the G20 Youth Summit.

Her corporate career has involved working as Chief of Staff to NAB Wealth CEO Andrew Hagger and for Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh, with Sam imparting an immense sense of what real leadership is.

Holly represents what happens when you maximise the opportunities given to you in life and that when you ask for more responsibility, how meaningful life can be. She’s so industrious to the point you almost think she must be carrying a “Time-Turner”, the time-travelling device used by Hermione in Harry Potter. But she’s also aware that life requires balance, having dealt with the overwhelm of responsibility and depression. That’s an incredible message for anyone to hear.

Many thanks to Michelle Bourke for the introduction.

This is a wide ranging chat that included:

  • Her love of the AFL and Port Adelaide
  • Sam Walsh and leadership
  • Time and energy management
  • The role of business leaders on social issues
  • Depression and self-care
  • Reframing vulnerability
  • Her first 100 days as PM of Australia
  • Lessons learnt from her grandmother
  • What is difficult to find middle-ground on?

Listen to the episode

Watch the episode: 


01:22 – Introduction
04:59 – Her love of the AFL & Port Adelaide
10:04 – Diversity & inclusion, hiring process
15:28 – Sam Walsh and leadership
18:05 – Time and energy management
20:59 – The role of business leaders on social issues
25:01 – Born in perpetual motion
30:32 – Depression and self-care
35:43 – Reframing vulnerability
38:43 – Questioning and learning
42:18 – Her first 100 days as PM of Australia
47:09 – Lessons learnt from her grandmother
49:25 – Morning and evening rituals
50:28 – Best purchase under $200
50:37 – What’s obvious to her, but not to others
51:13 – What is difficult to find middle-ground on?
51:33 – If she could have a billboard anywhere in Australia