Powered by People | Kristie Waddell Leadership Q & A

December 15, 2021

Kristie Waddell

Sales Manager

Edit: As of 1/7/2022, Kristie has been promoted to Director of Account Management.

Kristie Waddell serves as the sales manager for Optus and leads the account management and customer care teams for our mid-market and channel divisions. Kristie is committed to Optus’ mission-critical processes including sales operations, project management, business analysis, and customer experience. As a growth-focused sales leader, she has deep experience leading organizations through digital transformation, managing and implementing standardized policies and procedures to ensure a seamless and nurturing customer experience. 

Kristie has significant expertise in leading successful account management teams as well as providing financial and strategic guidance related to overall performance. Prior to joining Optus, Kristie served as the Sales Manager for Atwill Media, a local digital-first web company. She holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Arkansas State University. 

Outside of work, Kristie enjoys spending time with her husband and their five daughters. 

Q & A

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

A great leader is an individual that says “we”—someone willing to roll up their sleeves and work side-by-side with their team. They generate enthusiasm, remove obstacles, give credit where credit is due—all while asking questions, listening, and bringing accountability and growth to each member of the team.

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

We all have a purpose in life. I don’t know the details God has for me, but I wake up every day motivated to serve Him in all that I do. 

Who is someone you admire as a mentor?

I admire my dad as a mentor. I have ever since I was a little girl. He has always worked in the family business or for himself. My dad meets no stranger, works until his hands and knees can’t take it anymore, has a heart of gold, would give the shirt off his back, and is constantly thinking outside the box. I value his wisdom and expect to continue to learn from him in the years to come. 

How can a leader fail?

Leaders fail when they do not fully understand the purpose for which they are leading; lack of knowledge can be a huge downfall.

Describe your perfect team. 

A perfect team doesn’t exist. An effective team is a successful team. 

What is your greatest strength? Your greatest weakness?

Strength: Dedication and organization

Weakness: My mouth (and if my mouth doesn’t say it, my face usually does.)

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

I like to spend as much time as possible with my family. We are always on the road with anything sports-related or spending as much time as possible outside near water when we are not with our church family. 

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

Many may not know that I was a wedding planner for about six years. 

What’s your favorite quote?

Either you run the day or the day runs you.

What makes Optus different?

Optus has a healthy culture that is different from other companies. Many who join the Optus team from another company quickly notice the difference in culture. Optus also does a great job empowering employees to grow and recognizing those for going above and beyond.


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