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Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading

7 Questions with Steven Renata

helps you in your leadership.



Jonno White

7 Questions with Steven Renata

Name: Steven Renata

Current title: Managing Director

Current organisation: KIWA Digital

Made in 66, I'm the eldest of the Renata whanau siblings and co-owner of KIWA Digital. As a proud graduate of Otago University, an advocate for whanau wellness, sport, entrepreneurship and cultural intelligence.
As a director, I bring a couple of decades of governance and business experience through ownership and positions in global and national organisations.
I'm now dedicated to the strategic direction and success of our company and partners. As a leader, I observe and influence through the lens of Tribal Leadership. This approach focuses on language and relationships that drive performance in a sustainable manner.
Kiwa operates in the 'new' media industry at the cutting edge of quality content delivery. It is an industry experiencing massive disruption, driven by the global shift to digital consumption, the introduction of new technologies, increasing dominance of mobile, new business models developed away from the constraints of physical distribution, and above all growing consumer demand for authentic content “when where and how I want it.” Not for the faint of heart....
Within this fast-moving environment, Kiwa is focusing on the publishing and post-production industries, playing to its strengths in enabling digital formats that are relevant and accessible across languages and cultures.
I reside in Auckland, NZ with my family. In my spare time, I enjoy cycling, music, food, viticulture, and travel.
Born in the small township of Kawakawa, but grew up in Milton, Otago and take pride in my Maori and Pakeha heritage. In 1994 I received my Master's degree in Marketing in 1994, to become one of the first Maori graduates from the University of Otago. This followed with a career in Maori tourism at Auckland University of Technology.
Life skills from education, fitness and wellness created a launchpad to live 20 years as a global citizen for which I am very grateful. In my spare time, I also act as a business consultant and executive wellness coach. Mauri Ora

7 Questions with Steven Renata


1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

Finding the balance between strategic and operational and personal leadership

2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I've been in the CEO role twice, once through succession and the most recent through ownership

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

Leading a global tech company the hours can be challenging with early mornings, late finishes and 6-7 days a week. I'm a firm advocate and practitioner of early starts preferably with a workout to get me in the right zone to maximise concentration, presence and performance.

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

A great litmus test of your leadership legacy is what gets done when you're not around.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

Unopened Gifts by James McPartland
I was fortunate enough to be life and business coached by 'Mac' back in 2014-2016. This experience was transformational, his book was a key reference tool to his approach to leadership.
Through his teaching as a leader, I observe and influence through the lens of Tribal Leadership. This approach focuses on language and relationships that drive performance in a sustainable manner.

6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

Recruit a diverse team of high performers and implement a world-class education. and training culture and program.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

In my current company KIWA Digital we have developed VoiceQ as a software suite of macOS and cloud-based applications licensed to studios and professionals across the global sector. Its value has been validated in the market with 122 clients that include 27 of the largest Streaming Video on Demand (SVOD) and major network partners. It has global brand recognition for helping to drive the global English dubbing boom “making sprawling international productions easier, faster and cheaper” and sector product recognition as “a really clever piece of kit.”
Underscoring this story is our staff who are young Māori, Korean and Pakeha trained and employed here in Aotearoa. To achieve this level of success and recognition is nothing short of mana enhancing and world-class.

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