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Returning To Your Roots With Michigan State’s Ashton Henderson

Guest Ashton Henderson, Michigan State
min watch


Michigan State Deputy AD for Championship Resources Ashton Henderson joins ADU’s Tai M. Brown – a fellow MSU alumnus – at the 2023 NACDA Convention for a conversation about returning to your roots, establishing core values and evolving as a leader. Henderson: “There’s not enough words in Merriam-Webster to say how grateful, how appreciative, how thankful I am to be home.” Henderson credits the NCAA Leadership Development staff and programs for helping him connect with his why, leading to the creation of his core values, value proposition and “3 C Model” of leadership – culture, communication and connectivity.

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

  • - Once you're a Spartan, you're always part of that Spartan line of people that come from Michigan State. You have the privilege of being back there at this point in your career. Talk to me about working at your alma mater.
  • - Success in college athletics is often about the wins and losses; talk to us about the personal side of leading a team in this industry.
  • - What was your method for developing those core values?
  • - How do you coach someone to know how to add value to their organization or team as opposed to adding value to themselves and their individual career trajectory?
  • - How do you separate your work identity from who you are?
  • - Do you think this work/life balance and identity separation is something people have to arrive to on their own or is it something you can emphasize and influence as a leader? 
  • - How has your thinking evolved when it comes to fitting into the larger plan for the university? How do you lead in a way that inspires others to leave the university better than you found it?
  • - What was the inflection point in your career when you decided to transition from academics to championship resources?