A Charismatic Leader, Versatile Entrepreneur, and Woman of Substance
At a time when professionals across the globe were struggling to stay afloat in the face of the pandemic, the dynamic Shawnte Mckinnon had a landmark year.
While the K.I.S.H. Magazine named her as the ‘Top 30 Most Influential Women of 2019-20’, 2021 saw her being recognised in Yahoo Finance, The New York Finance, and the Global News Daily, among many others. She was awarded and recognized amongst international royal dignitaries and global government diplomats as the ‘Best Entrepreneur of the Year’ by H.E. Denisa Gokovi and the Hoinser Magazine of Albania.
She graced K.I.S.H. Magazine’s Billboard feature as one of the ‘Top Ten Global Influencers on the rise in Philadelphia, PA in 2021’. And she was appointed ‘Goodwill Ambassador for Human Rights and Peace’ by the Hoinser Group during the year as well.
“I knew my business was well-positioned to help other businesses sustain themselves during and after the Pandemic,” says Shawnte, Founder cum CEO of the McKinnon Strategic Consulting Group. With more than 15 years of experience as a Finance professional in diverse roles, Shawnte has emerged as a thought leader in the field.
“I’ve always had an affinity for numbers and people. I worked for an organization that had been in a four-year deficit. I was able to pull the organization out of the deficit within a year of working with them. This helped me realize that I had a knack of helping businesses to develop strategies that would overcome economic challenges,” shares Shawnte.
This knack, coupled with her passion to help people achieve success, gave birth to the Mckinnon Strategic Consulting Group. The McKinnon Strategic Consulting Group is a business finance company headquartered in Washington, DC, USA, that specializes in the needs of a diverse portfolio of clients. Through their unparalleled insights, they are able to offer unique and customized business solutions that are designed to meet these specific needs.
“I’m passionate about helping others achieve success. This is innate for me. It brings me joy to know I was a part of helping someone achieve their goals. There’s an old saying that states, ‘It takes a village to raise a baby’. I believe it takes a village to raise a community, a business, and a nation. Whether we’re cognizant of it or not, we are all interconnected in some form, shape or fashion. We have the power to change the trajectory of our circumstance, why not use that power for the greater good. It’s the law of reciprocity and I stand behind givers gain,” opines Shawnte.
As an accomplished and focused Operations and Finance Executive with experience in consulting international million-dollar organizations, Shawnte has a proven track record to improve operations, generate business growth, and maximize profits through achievements in plan design, loss prevention, finance management, internal controls, and productivity and efficiency improvements.
But that’s not all, for this versatile Boss Lady is also a Minister, Author, Media personality, and a U.S. Air Force Veteran! In addition, she holds an MBA from the Jack Welch Management Institute with Welch Scholar Distinction, 2021.
Not one to ever give up, Shawnte tells us how pain propelled her towards her purpose in life. “Life has a way of throwing curveballs and I’ve had my fair share of them. Some were very difficult to recover from, but I don’t believe in giving up. I believe that if I open my eyes and I’m breathing, there’s an opportunity to get back up from what tried to knock me down. My paths are all results of a curveball that was thrown my way. I dare to believe that I can in life and so I do. It’s a hard but simple way of moving through life,” she says.
Once Shawnte did face her fears, it did not take her long to climb the ladder of success. As an ex-military, she was disciplined as well as formidable. Yet, “one can involuntarily be placed into a rat race. In the end, it’s all about balance. If you know you have what it takes to succeed, stand strong in your convictions,” she suggests.
Speaking about the foremost challenge she faced, Shawnte recalls, “The challenge I faced initially was garnering buy-in. Anytime one embarks on a new journey, it challenges the ‘status quo’. I’ve learned that I am a disruptor, which is necessary for growth; however, any time you introduce change, the culture will fight against you. It takes grit, steadfastness, and belief in what you stand for, to overcome this. Your work will precede you so it’s imperative to put forth effort into what you’re hoping to accomplish. Additionally, hard work builds integrity.
People do business with those they know, like, and trust so hard work helps to achieve the characteristics of a successful leader.”
As an inspiring women’s leader herself, we ask Shawnte what makes a good leader, to which she replies, “The definition of leadership for me is leading by example. A good leader rolls up their sleeves and gets into the thick of it with their team. A good leader births good leaders. Leaders will always have followers but a successful leader builds other leaders. This is necessary in our ever-evolving world. Teach today what others will lead with tomorrow. This is how a leader builds a solid foundation for growth and success. This is how legacy is built. You will not always be in the lead so be mindful of your successor and be mindful of the fact that you will have a successor.”
Sage advice from a smart woman. Life is not always fair and easy for a female in the corporate world, even for one as strong and savvy as Shawnte. When the going got tough, what inspired her to keep going? “God has been my inspiration. I’ve learned to allow God to show me my path. If I had it my way, things would probably look quite different from the path I’m on today. My journey in life, the good, bad, ugly, and indifferent, has molded and shaped how I move. My pains, setbacks, and triumphs have inspired me. I use it to inspire and teach others. My mistakes have been a guide as well as my sacrifices. My goal is to help impart my lessons to others to make their path a lot easier than the road I’ve had to travel if you will,” says Shawnte, the ‘altruistic’ entrepreneur.