TOP 200 : Deloitte/Management magazine Chief Executive of the Decade – Ralph Norris

Of all the many comments on the leadership style and skills of Ralph Norris, formerly chief executive of ASB Bank and Air New Zealand and now chief executive and managing director of Commonwealth Bank of Australia, none summarises them better than those of his former Air New Zealand chairman John Palmer.
He calls Norris’ management style “assured” and explains: “Assured managers are rare breed. Ralph is confident in his capability, doesn’t get overawed and is never arrogant. It’s to do with getting that balance between being confident in your abilities and being able to attract good people around you. That’s often failure of managers who feel threatened by other highly confident people around them. Ralph doesn’t feel threatened. He is energised by it so others feel confident in their own ability and understand what their role is. That’s an absolute hallmark of management success in my view.”
Norris was the Deloitte/Management magazine Top 200 Executive of the Year in 1997 as CEO of ASB Bank and repeated the performance in 2004 when he was again voted Top 200 Executive of the Year, this time as CEO of Air New Zealand. He has now taken his outstanding leadership skills with him to Australia, but his leadership legacy is deserving of the Deloitte/Management magazine Top 200 special accolade of New Zealand’s Executive of the Decade.

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