“People are our Most Valuable Resource” — A Conversation with Washington Associate AD Carter Henderson

In Episode 15 of the Sports Leadership Podcast, Kevin DeShazo and I debut our first interview in a series of conversations we will have with college sports leaders over the role of the Athletics Director now and in the future.

Carter Henderson has been at the University of Washington since 2010 in a variety of ascending positions and is currently Associate AD for Marketing & Communication.

Carter Henderson, University of Washington

In the conversation, we talk about the role of the modern Athletics Director, what it takes to strive in sports business long-term and the challenges (and opportunities) of leading in today’s media climate.

But when it gets down to it, Carter clearly is focused on people, which he calls the “most valuable resource”. We talk about recruitment and retention and how to create a positive culture.

“If you have the right people, you can make it work” — Carter Henderson

Carter talks about the ADs in the space he has had the opportunity to learn from including Washington’s Jennifer Cohen, Texas A&M’s Scott Woodward and former Florida boss Jeremy Foley.

While not an AD, Carter has clearly put a lot of thought into being an AD and talks about conversations he’s had with first-time ADs. He says that while problem solving is always important, for an AD it is often about identifying what the first problems to focus on and how much effort to put into it. This is a subtle but crucial difference.

We also dive a little in Carter’s “positive rituals” and how he works. He cites “time and priority management” as one of the big areas of focus. He cites two books that help him focus.

We know that you will enjoy this conversation and look forward to the series. Our next interview is with Arkansas Senior Associate AD Chris Freet. If you have professionals you’d like to hear us talk to, shoot me an email.

Books Mentioned:
Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr
Essentialism, Greg McKeown

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