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Hi everyone, here’s what we have for you this week:
Managers need to play both the role of supervisor and mentor. In this week’s episode of The Everyday Leader, Mumbi Annstella shares her experience managing a team of 5 as the Country Growth Manager for Tala in Kenya.
Did you miss last week’s conversation about leveraging LinkedIn? Find a recording on LinkedIn Live of CoffeeChat founder Chris Suzdak speaking with Akua Nyame-Mensah about his experience using the platform as an introvert and solopreneur.
Read on for more details…
Creating collective ownership by setting strategy through OKRs, leveraging internal expertise at larger organizations, and playing the roles of supervisor and mentor for team members
Mumbi Annstella is a mechatronics engineer with over 6 years experience working in technology startups and the development sector across Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa and Uganda. She is currently the Country Growth Manager at Tala, a fintech company that has disbursed over $2.3 billion in credit to more than 6 million customers across East Africa, the Philippines, Mexico and India. She also serves as an advisor and angel investor to early stage startups in Africa.
Here are a few highlights from the conversation with Mumbi:
Even with the same title, no two jobs are exactly the same: Mumbi has held a number of Growth roles, including at Tala and Moringa School. She has learned that elements such as sector, product type, customer type and company growth stage will dramatically change the type of day-to-day work. In her current role at Tala, she focuses on trying to understand the types of products that Tala should bring to market in order to expand beyond their existing customer base there.
Create collective ownership by setting strategy through OKRs: In order to achieve growth, organizations must not only develop strong strategies, but also implement them to their best ability. Mumbi has found that aligning around goals through the Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) framework may seem time-consuming and tedious at times, but ultimately saves time and resources in the long-run. The OKR approach also ensures that there is a clear owner for each initiative, who is charged with keeping all of the relevant stakeholder accountable for coming together to cross the finish line. This is particularly important for a cross-departmental function such as Growth.
At larger organizations, leadership can mean knowing how to leverage internal expertise: At Tala, where there are over 500 employees, it’s critically important to seek out support from individuals and teams who have either had relevant experience or understand the institutional knowledge needed to craft a strategy or make an informed decision. To do this, Mumbi is able to take advantage of guilds, which are cross-departmental groups consisting of staff working on a similar function. In this way, Mumbi is able to regularly touch base with other growth-focused team members working in other markets or products.
Managers need to play both the role of supervisor and mentor: In her current role, Mumbi directly oversees 5 staff. She has intentionally sought to understand each of her team members’ career goals so she can serve as a champion for them. This requires co-creating a customized learning path for them and looking out for relevant opportunities, even outside of the immediate team.
LinkedIn for Introverts
Here are 3 key insights shared during the conversation, which forms a preview of the full guide presented as bonus content for Akua’s upcoming “Uplevel Your LinkedIn” program:
Pick authentic themes to focus on: Select between 2-5 hashtags that help encompass the topics you represent what you wish to share and follow thought leadership on. For example, Chris focuses on #coaching, #futureofwork and #entrepreneurship and ensures that everything he posts, re-shares and engages with touch on one or more of these topics to keep his use of LinkedIn intentional and aligned with his interests.
Transition conversations to 1:1 calls: After you’ve reached out to individuals and there seems to be shared interests, offer to schedule a 1:1 call to allow for a more meaningful conversation using a scheduling tool such as Calendly.
Find ways to build consistency: Identify a forcing mechanism that will keep you accountable towards creating or curating relevant content on a weekly or monthly basis.
Interested in signing up for Akua’s full “Uplevel Your LinkedIn” program? Find out more here.