Powered by People | Shanna Kennedy Leadership Q & A

November 22, 2021

Shanna Kennedy

Vice President, Human Resources & Accounting

Shanna Kennedy is Optus’ Vice President of HR & Accounting. She is responsible for managing all financial and employee-focused functions, including corporate policy development, recruiting, accounting operations, tax compliance, and much more. Shanna is an experienced CPA with a demonstrated history of success spanning 23+ years—including consultancy in sales operations, customer experience, and client engagement. 

With a knack for people and numbers, Shanna is a powerhouse when it comes to financial and broad-based business performance. Prior to joining Optus, Shanna served as Vice President, Business Services Division for Ritter Communications where she was responsible for managing profitability and providing strategic direction for sales, customer service, construction, and inventory management. Shanna holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Arkansas State University.

An Arkansas native, Shanna enjoys spending time at Norfork River with her husband. She’s also an extraordinary nature photographer, avid reader, and general fount of joy and useful information.

Q & A

In your own words, describe what makes a great leader.

A great leader is a great teacher, someone that prioritizes the team over themself and inspires others to reach a new goal. 

What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? 

I’ve always set internal goals—for my spiritual life, my career, and my family. I’m very motivated by meeting a goal. Even if the goal is a micro-goal of eating less chocolate today, I’m here for it!

Who is someone you admire as a mentor?

I had a boss who was my mentor. He was human and sometimes a mess, but he would share the successes and the failures. I still use many of the lessons he taught me today.

How can a leader fail?

A leader can fail by not being self-aware and not making it safe for the team to say no. We need to surround ourselves with super talented people and listen when someone has a better way.

Describe your perfect team.

My perfect team is well-rounded with different skill sets, has a diverse background, and brings different perspectives to the table. They love to solve mysteries and want to crush the end goal. We’re always 100% staffed. We all like the same thermostat temperature, and we’re working on world peace in offices with windows.

What is your greatest strength? Your greatest weakness?

I’m a leader that wants to make a long-term plan with people first. I think my service mentality is my greatest strength. I have a few weaknesses that are battling for the greatest weakness—my attention span is the same as a kindergartner’s. My organizational skills are like a caveman’s, and my attention to detail is not good. I think the biggest weakness is that I assume people are as honest with me as I am with them. If I ask someone if they are okay with a new direction and they say yes, I forge ahead. I would be a better human if I took the time to remember that not everyone thinks on their feet, not everyone likes the conflict of saying no, and sometimes people just want to agree.

What do you like to do when you aren’t leading the Optus team?

I enjoy the beautiful outdoors especially if water is involved. I love to fish and take pictures floating down the river. Days spent with my husband on a drive to nowhere—those are the best days.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

There is nothing really unknown or mysterious about me. I am extraordinary, but not in the gold star way. I am really extra ordinary—what you see is what you get.

What’s your favorite quote?

It’s on my wall—well done is better than well said. Results speak louder than words to me.

What makes Optus different?

Optus is a telecom provider that is large enough to provide complex technology solutions, but we’re small enough to be flexible and our customers get to know us. Our customers don’t ask for the billing department, they ask for Shannon. We know one another by name—that makes Optus better.


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