active CEO Podcast #9 Mike DeNoma Creating an Earthquake

activeCEO Podcast #9- Mike DeNoma

Mike DeNoma – CEO KBZ Bank

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns and Ben Gathercole speak with Mike DeNoma, delving into being the CEO of KBZ Bank, 20,000 staff with no job descriptions, being the first country in the world to have loving-kindness as the number one value of a company, rewarding managerial competence, and spending a lot of time in meetings with translation. Mike DeNoma then gives us an exhilarating insight into taking up Ironman, Ultra-running and other extremely challenging endurance events at the age of 50; why getting married and having a family has had the greatest impact on his life; and preparing for his latest challenge the Moab 238 Mile Ultra-marathon event, which he has 88 Miles left to complete, as this episode goes live to the Podcast world.

Mike DeNoma

This is part 2 of the active CEO Podcast interview with global leader, Mike DeNoma. Mike has held senior executive roles across the globe, including managing multinational teams across North America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Over the past 20 years he has led large teams in the emerging markets banking sector with CEO and Leadership roles in CitiBank Singapore, Taiwan’s Chinatrust Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Singapore, and his current role at KBZ Bank in Myanmar. Awarded Global Retail Banker of the Year in 2008, he has also held senior roles in well-respected companies such as GLH Hotels, PepsiCo, Proctor and Gamble, and Asia Foods Limited. It is a highly entertaining, thought-provoking and insightful chat. Enjoy listening to the show.

If you missed Episode 8 – Mike DeNoma (Part #1) Your Strengths Are What Energise You, please click here

Mike talks about:

  • Myanmar being closed off to the world for 50 years
  • Casualties of Myanmar being closed off are that is they didn’t build any institutions and a dismantled a superb education system
  • Arriving at KBZ Bank where not one of the 20,000 employees had a job description, an objective or a personal performance review.
  • The value of loving-kindness.
  • Why these people and this company are worth fighting for.
  • Rewarding managerial competence rather than linguistic competence.
  • If you do the right things in the wrong order you will fail.
  • Why the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children is important to Mike.
  • Taking up physical endurance challenges at 50 years old,
  • Why Mike found something that there was no way on earth I could finish.
  • The first conversation with Brendon Downey, and Endurance Coach from New Zealand.
  • Wanting to do something to show that you can be a beginner and be terrible, but if you are willing to be a beginner and struggle through it you can achieve a lot.
  • Why Ironman wasn’t enough and giving ultra-running a crack.
  • Riding in Death Valley for over 48 hours with no sleep, hallucinations and loss of motor control in his hands.
  • Prepping for the Moab 238 mile ultra-run in October 2018.
  • Life is short and then you die.
  • Using meditation every day and why it helps you to become a better executive.
  • CEO’s aren’t allowed to have a bad day, that’s just how it is.
  • Why getting married and having a family had the greatest impact on his life.


Mike DeNoma takes us on an inspiring journey into leading 20,000 staff at KBZ Bank in Myanmar. You can listen here

“There is a 100% non-cynical desire to learn. They really do want to learn if you were to teach them”. Listen to Mike DeNoma on the active CEO Podcast

“These people and this company are worth fighting for”. Taking leadership to a whole new level with Mike DeNoma on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

2019 Home

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben’s best selling book

Previous active CEO Podcast Episodes:

#8 – Mike DeNoma (KBZ Bank) Part #1 – Your Strengths are What Energise You link
#7 –
Trina Gordon (Boyden World Corporation) – Recruiting World Leaders link
#6 – Indiran Padayachee (RentCorp) – Winning Only Matters link
#5 – Suzie Hoitink (Clear Complexions) – Enemy of a Great Life is a Good One link
#4 – Rene Zondag (PBI) – People Are Our Greatest Asset link
#3 – Anne Gripper (NSW Office of Sport) – 6 C’s of Leadership link 
#2 – active CEO Intro (NRG2Perform) Part 2 link
#1 – active CEO Intro (NRG2Perform) Part 1 link

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