Hussein Kiarie: Special Projects Lead, Pula Advisors

Embracing being a generalist and knowing when to pivot from your default team engagement strategy

  
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The Everyday Leader podcast features inspiring individuals building and leading teams across Africa. Listen to episodes on your preferred podcast platform here.

About our Guest

This episode’s conversation is with Hussein Kiarie, from Nairobi, Kenya who has 10 years of experience in healthcare and insurtech. He has a generalist background with experience in business management, administration, project management, finance, and people management. Hussein is currently the Special Projects Lead at Pula Advisors, a company that is radically restructuring agricultural insurance and has operations in 16 countries and entities in 4 countries. Hussein holds an MBA from Strathmore University, a bachelor's degree in Business Management from the University of Sunderland, he also holds other professional certifications in Business Management, Project Management and as a Chief of Staff fellowship at OnDeck. Hussein is a passionate generalist with experience and knowledge in core departmental processes, and a focus on executive and leadership support, expansion, and process improvement.

Everyday Leadership in Action

Here are a few highlights from the conversation with Thatcher:

  • Understand your “default setting” as a manager and collaborator: Hussein shares how he quickly learned and embraced his collaborative style of building relationships with others that he was working on projects. He spent time understanding and own his style, which allowed him to become comfortable working with juniors, seniors and peers alike to coordinate projects. 

  • Know when to pivot your collaboration strategy if it’s not working: Hussein shared that “sometimes your default setting won’t work” and you have to adjust in order to achieve the desired outcome for your project.

  • Recognize whether you want to be a generalist or a specialist: This can make your career decisions and promotion path more clear and predictable. Hussein knew that he did not want to be a specialist, so this gave him the confidence and focus to identify specialists to fill key roles around him.

  • Embrace end-to-end workstream digitization to enable more robust performance conversations: Hussein shared how Pula leverages digitization, which they use to discover opportunities to further delight their customers and make their team’s day-to-day more rewarding.


The Everyday Leader is a podcast featuring conversations with leaders from across Africa’s companies, organizations, and governments about their experience managing teams and projects throughout their careers.

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