Past Performance is the Best Indicator of Future Performance
“In his role as Managing Director at Hirepool, Tenby embarked on an ambitious growth strategy that would see the Hirepool business grow from 14 branches, located mostly in Auckland, to having 57 locations, and many more integrated business units, spanning the length of the country, from Whangarei to Invercargill.
And this all happened in three years!
Tenby’s wide range of business and leadership skills were instrumental in changing the landscape of the Hirepool rental business and he has left a lasting positive impression that will stand the test of time.
Whilst the physical growth of Hirepool was impressive, aligning Hirepool alongside New Zealand’s largest construction industry organisation was key to Hirepool becoming the most recognized and respected Equipment Rental business in the country.
For those that were a part of the cultural change and transition of Hirepool, this growth had to be supported by a team that could operate and function at a level never before experienced in our industry.
Changing the culture of the business and getting many hundreds of staff singing from the same song sheet was a feat to be admired.
"He is a leader that motivated by trusting and empowering other whilst ensuring they were up-skilled and educated to perform their tasks."
From my experience, Tenby Powell is a great leader and communicator who inspired a group to follow a vision to be the industry best.
He is a leader that motivated by trusting and empowering others whilst ensuring they were up-skilled and educated to perform their tasks.
Tenby is a leader that is always looking to innovate whether that involves utilizing technology, building and surrounding himself with the best people in their fields, understanding the scope of the issues and outcomes required, then positioning his resources to ensure a successful result.”
Kingi Pikaau – Business Development Manager, Hirepool
"I Chair SWEP (Sector Workforce Engagement Program) - which also acts as the Governance Group for Te Ara Mahi. It brings together MSD, TEC, MOE, Immigration, Unions, MBIE, MPI, Business NZ and Small Business to work together to create pathways and jobs for New Zealanders in sectors reliant on immigration and the regions. Tenby is very committed and works well with the group. He is an independent thinker with a broad business background. He brings great challenge to the group, while clearly focussing on the issue to be solved. I have no doubt the outcomes we have achieved have been shaped and assisted by Tenby’s contribution. "
"I have no doubt the outcomes we have achieved have been shaped and assisted by Tenby’s contribution."
Susan Paterson ONZM ,Independent Director
"I've had the privilege to work with Tenby Powell in Small Business Council since 2017. As an authentic leader, he shows genuine passion in SMEs life cycle. He worked extremely hard to fight for material change and improvements for small businesses in New Zealand. And finally, we've achieved that by delivering a blueprint of actional plans for NZ SMEs. His successful business experience also added value to the APEC Business Advisory Council that benefits NZ businesses that connect with Asia pacific regions."
Jerry He, Young leader class of 2018 - Asia 21 Society
Council Member - Small Business Council New Zealand Government - MBIE
Chairman - APAC MSMEs Trade Coalition Chairman - New Zealand Green Industry Association
Founder/Investor - New Zealand Green Wave Limited
I had the pleasure of working with Tenby in two different businesses.
With Hirepool from 2003 to around 2008, where Tenby lead Hirepool through a significant growth phase, going from an 11 branch, largely Auckland based business to one where we had over 50 business units all across New Zealand. In those 5 to 6 years our revenues and earnings increased dramatically (and largely proportionally) – Hirepool had been purchased by a consortium including Tenby & JB Were Private Equity for $46m in July 2003 and was then on-sold to a new consortium in July 2006 for $172m. Without Tenby’s strategic abilities, and his ability to inspire others to follow his leadership we would never have been able to achieve all of the growth that we achieved in his time with the business.
"Without Tenby’s strategic abilities, and his ability to inspire others to follow his leadership we would never have been able to achieve all of the growth that we achieved in his time with the business."
Later, in 2014, I joined Tenby in another business venture, where it is fair to say that the business was struggling to survive when we joined. The business had been in discussions with private equity purchasers but could not agree on value turning down an offer of around $2m – around 9 months later the business was sold to other purchasers at an effective equity value 5 times that, ensuring its’ survival.
I certainly wouldn’t have joined Tenby in that second business were I not strongly confident in Tenby’s strategic abilities, leadership qualities, and the way that he can galvanise people to not only be aligned but also so effective.
Tenby works hard for New Zealand locally and internationally as a strong advocate for small business people and exporters. He loves to see New Zealand products doing well in export markets. Tenby volunteered to join me on a number of visits to supermarket retailers around Asia. His tireless positivity and energy builds connections and gets things done.
Katherine Rich, The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council (FGC)
I first met Tenby in 1996 when he was CEO of Projex Equipment Hire. I was employed in the New Plymouth branch as a mechanic. What immediately impressed me about him was his genuine interest in the people of the business, taking time it hear and encouraging open dialogue – the good and the not so good.
He implemented a High Potentials programme in the business of which I was fortunate enough to be a product of. He has always been committed to developing people, bringing those that want along for the journey and seeing more in some us than we can see in ourselves. The programme he implemented set me on a pathway, and his guidance, belief and constant challenging took me to an opportunity I would never have envisioned for myself.
What immediately impressed me about him was his genuine interest in the people of the business, taking time it hear and encouraging open dialogue – the good and the not so good.
We reconnected in 2003 when Tenby (and consortium partners) successfully acquired Hirepool. Tenby shared his vision for Hirepool, I wanted to be part of that and joined – without even asking what my role will be!
Under Tenby’s leadership, between 2003 through to the beginning of the recession the business grew at a phenomenal rate (the details were very public pre IPO attempt). Many people played important parts in the success but Tenby had the vision and the leadership to deliver it. He built a community of stakeholders that wanted to be part of what the business stood for; employees, customers, suppliers alike, and a culture that most (lucky enough to have been part of) still look back to fondly.
To those that question his business success, “what’s he done since”. Those opportunities are rare, he saw this one, made it happen, lead it. There may not be another opportunity like that for him, but the smartest business is often the business you don’t do! Not creating another Hirepool only means the right opportunity hasn’t presented.
Mark Powell , HTC Group
I had the privilege of working as a Personal Assistant for Tenby Powell when I was relatively new to the business world. The guidance, leadership and kindness that Tenby showed, not only myself but my co-workers, was something I had not encountered prior.
I have witnessed, first hand, how Tenby managed a restructure. It was a carefully throughout process, remembering that the staff were 'people', and finding the best outcome for all involved, whilst not being afraid to make the hard calls. It was the smoothest restructure I have seen.
"The guidance, leadership and kindness that Tenby showed, not only myself but my co-workers, was something I had not encountered prior."
Under Tenby's guidance/recommendation, I was able to move through the company in to a new type of role, I was always supported and given opportunities to better myself, and felt incredibly valued as a team member. He has a great knack of seeing strengths in people and encouraging/helping them to use them in a valuable way.
I was encouraged and inspired watching Tenby's leadership style, passion, smarts and forethought for everything he did/does. Hearing of, and watching, Tenby's ventures in the time since I worked with him, makes me grateful that I was able to be mentored by someone who is so knowledgeable.
To date, it has been the best leadership I have had as there is a genuine passion for what Tenby does, and this brings out the same in the people around him.
Jen Durham, Homestay Manager & Administrator, Mount Maunganui College
I first met Tenby Powell in Papua New Guinea in early 2017 when he was doing a brief consultancy to the Defence Force of PNG. It was around this time that Tenby was appointed to ABAC (APEC Business Advisory Council) by the government of New Zealand.
Tenby has been a significant contributor to the ABAC forum on behalf of New Zealand business, and has been a strong advocate for small business and inclusiveness. The qualities of leadership, humanity and passion have been very self evident in all of his interventions and contributions at ABAC.
"The qualities of leadership, humanity and passion have been very self evident in all of his interventions and contributions."
The Auckland SME LEAP Summit in January 2018, which was organised by Tenby in the margins of the first ABAC meeting for the year, is a particular example of Tenby's capabilities. I'm certain there are many NZ attendees who would attest to that.
Tenby concludes his term with ABAC at the end of the year. His contribution has been greatly appreciated and he will be missed. I know he will make an outstanding contribution in his next role.
David Toua, Co- Chair ABAC
15 odd years ago I was working for a great little hire company locally owned called Ready Hire , I was head hunted by none other than Tenby to become the local rep for an Auckland based hire company called Hirepool .
I was sold by Tenby’s charisma and leadership style as he approached me personally ( he could of easily sent another delegate ) , for a split second I doubted his military back ground thinking we were all going to have marching lessons and polished shoe inspection but WOW how wrong I was , I embrace all he had to offer as a true visionary, leader, the a guy that oozed respect and mana !
His goal was to take Hirepool out of Auckland and make it NZ leading hire company , everything was so seamless had purpose, calculated and planned for a reason , he had a vision and he achieved everything he set out to do ,whilst we all had fun along the way !
" I was sold by Tenby's charisma and leadership style"
I stood back in awe , it wasn’t long before Tenby tapped me on the shoulder and said he wanted me to take a position as his regional manager in the Central North Island, (13x branches with 10 odd managers along with 65 odd staff ) I had no management experience at all ( I did an apprenticeship as a chef ) at the time of this up massive upheaval I was doubting my abilities , I paused and wondered how am I going to achieve success at this role, it was simple , I would follow how Tenby empowered and motivated me and how made me feel , it was his leadership style that I embraced as he is a true leader and perhaps that military style I mentioned earlier, he made me feel important and how he acknowledged me and my family, as he said one day, the business is all about the people which was probably the most valuable statement any one has made to me about a business and I see council as no different !
Dave Constable, Rental Territory Sales Manager - The CAT Rental Store
I set about my new role with no management skills as I mentioned , I copied Tenby’s style to a tee as it was so infectious seeing people grow, I focused on going to every branch and starting at the back of the business or the least important people as such and got to know them, including their family members names and interests working my way to the front of the business finishing off with the managers , this earnt instant respect by all concerned , after repeating this religiously on all branch visits the culture changed, everyone felt import and everyone knew their roles and what was expected to create Tenby’s vision, we created an environment that valued family, people smiled, people enjoyed there job’s right down to the portaloo drivers, budgets / health and safety and all others KPI’s fell into place the public liked to deal with us they also felt the vibe all staff had ownership as everyone was made to feel important – Just as Tenby made me feel .
"He made me feel important and how he acknowledged me and my family, as he said one day, the business is all about the people which was probably the most valuable statement anyone has made to me about a business and I see council as no different!"