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The Secret To Success In External Operations With Colorado’s Alexis Williams

Guest Alexis Williams, Colorado
25:56 min watch


Colorado Senior Associate AD for External Operations Alexis Williams joins ADU’s Steph Garcia Cichosz at the 2024 PACnet to share the secret to success in external operations. Williams, who was the recipient of Paciolan’s Star Award in Huntington Beach, reflects on the growth of Colorado’s external units due to the department’s embrace of emerging markets and the recent hire of Football Head Coach Deion Sanders as well as how her experience in live entertainment impacts her approach to leadership. Williams also discusses the importance of personalizing one’s management approach to accommodate different personalities and learning styles, and emphasizes the need for team bonding and team building in order to develop a unit that can row in the same direction.

The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).

  • - You and the department just won the Star Award here at PacNet. This is your second time winning it! What's the secret to success?
  • - If I want to be really effective in an external unit, what are some of those non-negotiable qualities I have to have?
  • - "External" covers a lot of different units; how do you keep yourself organized and how do you bounce between, say, a ticketing conversation and a conversation with facilities about the fan experience?
  • - At what point in your career journey did you realize you couldn't lead everyone the same way?
  • - What are some of your different strategies for pushing folks out of their comfort zone?
  • - You dedicate so much time and energy to get to know your team as individuals; how do you have space in your life, your schedule, your heart for that?
  • - What are some of the support systems you have in place under the surface?
  • - Do you get to all of the concerts at Folsom Field?
  • - How does your operational strategy change when hosting different types of events, like concerts in the football stadium? How do those events impact the student-athletes and coaches?
  • - Earlier in your career while working at Theatre Under The Stars in Houston, you experienced hurricane disaster recovery - how has that helped inform your big picture strategy and approach to events at Colorado? 
  • - How did that experience inform how you lead and how you communicate internally with your team today?
  • - What is your approach to Year 2 of the Prime Effect?
  • - In a past interview, you shared a quote from Dallas Mavericks CEO: "Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance." You then said, "I'd like to ensure everyone is given an opportunity to show off their dance moves." I want to know: what do your dance moves look like? What does that mean to you?