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Kia ora

Mike brings three superpowers to the game of sustaining extraordinary performance:

  • Coaching – the full spectrum from providing an in-the-moment solution through to enabling others to generate that for themselves in a way that builds their own capability and capacity for the next time.

  • Communications – listening for the unsaid through sense-making, and generating impact in one-on-ones, group dynamics or conference settings.

  • Complexity – simplifying the paradoxical, ambiguous or complex to the extent that insights, pathways and actions are available in a way that was not previously possible.

Mike's Story

Mike’s global career has enabled him to know a little about a lot.  In that sense, Mike has unusually broad experience across all organisational capabilities.  That has enabled him to be an effective CEO for the past twenty years, and for 25 years as a Director or public and private companies.  Mike has extensive knowledge and a proven track record in leadership, culture and what it takes to sustain extraordinary performance.  Relative to other ex-corporate CEOs, Mike’s organisational capabilities are stronger in brand, customer experience, digitisation, innovation (human-centred design), and risk management.

For over a decade Mike has been in the middle of the energy transition and the challenges around environmental and social sustainability.  From this, he has developed extensive networks and unique perspectives to inform strategy development and corporate communications. 


These superpowers, knowledge and organisational capabilities have been developed through four decades of global corporate experiences and (a parallel) eight years of venture capital.  Mike’s skite sheet of experience includes:

  • CEO and Company of the year (2016) in the Deloitte Top 200.

  • Supreme Award winner (2023) in the HRNZ annual awards.

  • $3bn of M&A deals in NZ since 2016.

  • Founding convenor of the Climate Leaders Coalition.

  • Significant corporate events – IPO, competitor acquisition, debt and equity raises, and takeover response.

  • A level of mastery in leading culture, validated by Michael Henderson (corporate anthropologist) and evidenced by Z’s employee NPS in the top 10% of Peakon global comparators during a 2022 takeover and companywide restructuring.

  • Development of the Z Why, first published in May 2011 and subsequently revised three times.

  • Moving from Shell, one of the world’s most recognised brands, to Z, positioned as a uniquely Kiwi brand and achieving NZ leading corporate reputation scores in the first five years following the change in brand.

  • Chair of Punakaiki Fund Limited, now a $100m venture capital fund, having started with $1.5m in 2016.

  • Cross cultural leadership experience through working in Africa, Asia and Europe.

  • Governance roles since 1999 in joint venture, private and public companies in South Africa, China, Singapore and New Zealand.

Mike Harbour City.PNG

What does the Internet Say?

In March 2023, we asked Chat GPT - the open source AI - what is Mike's leadership style?  Having trawled the internet for all relevant information, this is the response:

Mike Bennetts, the CEO at Z Energy, is known for his transformational leadership style.  This style focuses on motivating and inspiring employees to work towards a common goal.  Bennetts encourages employees to think creatively and take ownership of their work, which helps foster an environment of innovation and collaboration.  He is also known for being open and transparent with employees, which helps build confidence in the company. 


Overall, Bennetts' style is focused on creating a culture of growth and development, both for the company and its employees.

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