Simon Challies masters the detail and has "devoted himself to this company for a long, long time with great results for Ryman Healthcare."
That's what the Top 200 judges said about the 2014 Executive of the Year.
Ryman's aim is to provide elderly New Zealanders with a first-class choice in their retirement.
Twelve years of record double digit profit growth tells the story.
"It is no mean feat and Simon has to be given him full credit for Ryman's success," the judges added.
Challies joined Ryman Healthcare in 1999 as Chief Financial Officer.
He was appointed Chief Executive in 2006 and Managing Director four years later.
In the past 12 months Ryman has executed on its expansion in to Australia, built up its land bank and grown operating earnings by 32 per cent continuing its outstanding performance under Challies' leadership. Ryman raised $25 million when it listed on the stock exchange in 1999 and now has a market value of more than $4 billion.
Shares in retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare rose 14 cents after it posted a record interim profit last week on the back of strong sales and higher prices.
The "underlying profit" was $66.3 million for the six months to the end of September, 13 per cent higher than a year earlier.
Challies said a record 450 beds and units had been built in the last six months and the company was set to top the usual 700 beds and units by an additional 200 for the full year.
He said Ryman planned to open one village a year in Auckland and Melbourne from 2017. Pay rates for its caregivers had been raised and they are qualifying for national certificates which would result in more consistent care.
In his video interview with Herald Business Editor Liam Dann, Challies singled out a team approach and "giving people space to take charge of their own domain and be responsible", as the secret to CEO success.
"Together with finding people that are really passionate and obsessive like me."
"I learnt a lot form Kevin Hickman- who I took over from -- he was very fired up, and motivated, and motivating, and that's what I want. I want people to be fired up and passionate about what they do.
And having a long term view on the company, we don't want people there for two or three years, we want people there to make a career out of being passionate for looking after old people. "
Challies said the biggest challenges Ryman had faced were the credit crunch and the property market slowing "Putting strategies in place to deal with that was really challenging. The second biggest challenge would be last year when we had a carer crisis in Wellington. Both of them spurred us on to be better, brighter and stronger. These really disrupt normal behaviour and all of a sudden fire you up to do things differently from the status-quo."
Simon Challies is a consistent long run performer.
Rod Duke, Briscoe Group
Rod Duke is an "original", a hands-on chief executive who runs and owns most of the company. The judges said Duke was one of the older mould of leadership in a very hard sector -- retail. They said Briscoe Group's success was hard to ignore.
"Not just last year, but over a period of time. He's very much the driver and very much the key person."
In an interview with Herald Business Editor Liam Dann, Duke was asked what makes a successful CEO: "I think if you've got a good strategy, and a good strategic bind -- if you've got a very very strong work ethic, and I think if you've got very powerful teamworking skills, that'll set you on the way."
On business leadership, Duke said the important thing was to "get a strategy together and running with the folks -- walking the walk, doing the job with them, showing them that I was very serious about how we're going about it and what we're going to do.
"If you demonstrate that and have a strong work ethic, people will follow, and they'll follow in spades."
Briscoe was also a finalist for this year's Company of the Year Award.
Dean Bracewell, Freightways
Dean Bracewell is also a long-term chief executive, having led Freightways since 1999.
The judges said Bracewell had overseen two changes of owners; weathered the Global Financial Crisis; and diversified into a new industry and country. The market capitalisation had increased by 21 per cent in 2014. "He is a safe pair of hands."
In his interview for the Herald video series, Bracewell said the secret to being a good CEO was to, "Surround yourself with good people. As the business grows and gets bigger, decisions aren't solely made by a CEO, they're made by people within the business. So it's about creating the right culture, and we do that as a team."
On business leadership: "We keep it real. We're a feet on the ground type business. We're a service industry sending things from A to B.
"It's about understanding what we're in business for, creating shareholder wealth. To do that, you need a good team of people, and then you need your customers to retain and grow them.
"Our office is right in among our depots in Auckland -- you can't walk to your car without feeling or hearing about the impact of a decision that's been made."
See the finalists
Meet the Deloitte Top 200 executive of the year, Ryman Healthcare's Simon Challies as he chats about leadership and what it takes to make a great manager with Business Editor Liam Dann in our online video series.
The video series also includes executive of the year finalists Rod Duke, CEO Briscoe Group and Dean Bracewell CEO of Freightways.
The three young executive of the year finalists: Michael Lewis -- northern operations manager, New Zealand Post, Mike Wilson -- general manager, K9 Natural and Oliver du Bern , visitor experience manager, Wellington Zoo also feature in interviews with business reporter Holly Ryan.
Also in the series Deloitte CEO Thomas Pippos discusses the awards theme -- the power of the idea, business disruption and diversity -- with Liam Dann.
All videos are available to view here.