Wairimu Njoki: VP of Operations - East Africa, Micro Insurance Company
Discovering your favorite type of work, understanding the why of your company, and adjusting your 1:1 check-in rhythm over time
About our Guest
This episode’s conversation is with Wairimu Njoki from Kenya. Wairimu serves as the VP of Operations in East Africa for the Micro Insurance Company. She is a fierce advocate for inclusion, especially among the marginalized, and has over 6 years of experience in the financial and insurance sectors. The Micro Insurance Company is an end-to-end digital micro insurance solution provider with the aim of driving insurance uptake for the mass market through need-based, digital insurance. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and is a certified Project Manager.
Everyday Leadership in Action
Here are a few highlights from the conversation with Wairimu:
Startups provide an opportunity to discover what types of work you’ll like: In her first role, she was originally hired as a Credit Analyst but naturally shifted over to a newly-created Operations Lead as the company grew. Working at a startup where organizational structures were still being built, this gave her the opportunity to see that she liked building things. She was proactive about taking on new responsibilities, the managing director realized she could add value being in operations full time.
Understand the “why” of the company to help guide operational decisions: To balance competing interests and priorities across teams, make sure everyone is aligned around the “why” of the company. When needed, you can refer back to this shared understanding to make adjustments to operations and structures only when it was clear why and how the change was linked to better pursuing the mission of the company.
Adjust your 1:1 check-in rhythm based on your team size and role: Wairimu’s approach to check-ins with her team has evolved over time as she moved from a Country Manager to VP of Operations role. She used to be more structured and regularly scheduled, but has now shifted to more infrequently scheduled, approximately once per month. To make sure she stays in the loop, she finds herself more effectively using weekly full team calls to get updates from across the team and assess challenges that may be arising.
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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