Colin Edwards, assistant casino manager of Table Games at The Venetian and The Palazzo, has been with the company for more than 10 years, gradually working his way up through his department. Edwards oversees daily gaming operations including ensuring everything is in place for guests and their needs and has recently taken on a data analyzation role. When he learned about Sands Academy’s “Elevate” series, he didn’t want to pick and choose just a few classes to take, so he took them all. Through the “Elevate” series, Las Vegas Sands provides Team Members with the right tools for leaders to manage their teams and build successful relationships within their departments.
“There’s room for all of us to grow as leaders,” Edwards said. “I’m not a complete leader, but I want to be.”
The “Elevate” courses are taught by various Team Members within Sands Academy, but Edwards said it’s how the course leaders have adopted engaging techniques into their teaching styles that really help with keeping Team Members interested and focused.
For Edwards, learning how to delegate tasks and take less control was an area he needed to work on, and the Elevate series really helped bring that to light. It was Ian Thompson, director of Talent and Organizational Development for Human Resources, who helped Edwards through it. He remembers Thompson taking him aside and reminding him that learning how to delegate will not only help his team develop and learn new things, but it will also serve as a learning opportunity for himself.
“It’s great to see leaders like Colin really embrace the concepts, and apply the learnings to the day-to-day job,” Thompson said. “Colin has been working hard on his leadership skills, and is proving that the resources provided through Sands Academy can really help our Team Members grow. He’s a real asset to the company.”
Edwards notes the Team Building and Trust workshop as his most memorable because of how interactive it was, as well as challenging. During the “Traffic Jam” exercise, where Team Members try to move to the other side of the room by only taking a step at a time and not landing in the same square as another, Edwards’ team had to really put their heads together to figure it out. At the end of the exercise, his team wasn’t able to complete the task, but they learned a great deal from it.
“I believe we should all take these courses to become better-rounded leaders and managers,” he said. “The key is to take what you learn and apply it. Don’t walk into the class expecting to be the same person because you’re going to walk out a completely different manager.”