100 books like Leadership Reckoning

By Thomas Kolditz, Libby Gill, Ryan P. Brown

Here are 100 books that Leadership Reckoning fans have personally recommended if you like Leadership Reckoning. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of The Long Game: How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term World

Jenny Foss Author Of Do This, Not That: Career

From my list on taking charge of your career.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid, I dreamed of becoming a California beach lifeguard. Considering I grew up in Michigan, this was a rather aspirational choice. To my parents’ relief, my career goals shifted over time, as I realized my gift for writing. I became a journalist then went into marketing. But after years of cranking out corporate content, I (sadly) burned out on it, dropped everything, and became a recruiter. Within months, I missed writing – so much so that I started a career-related blog, which became a thriving business dedicated to helping people move their careers forward. Gratefully, this work led to an amazing assignment, writing Do This, Not That: Career

Jenny's book list on taking charge of your career

Jenny Foss Why did Jenny love this book?

It’s hard to not want instant gratification, especially in our “get what you want, and now” culture. We see the shiny objects and opportunities for a quick win, and we chase them. Unfortunately, as Dorie Clark maps out in The Long Game, this frenetic behavior isn’t helpful if you want to achieve big goals. 

I discovered this book when life was starting to feel like a giant game of Whac-a-mole. Sure, I was achieving success, but I could never seem to find the time to get to a couple of long-range projects that really matter to me. 

The Long Game gave me several tangible tips for staying focused on my long-term goals in a world that pushes me, and all of us, to grab for those immediate, more shallow victories.

By Dorie Clark,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Long Game as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Wall Street Journal Bestseller

Your personal goals need a long-term strategy.

It's no secret that we're pushed to the limit. Today's professionals feel rushed, overwhelmed, and perennially behind. So we keep our heads down, focused on the next thing, and the next, without a moment to breathe.

How can we break out of this endless cycle and create the kind of interesting, meaningful lives we all seek?

Just as CEOs who optimize for quarterly profits often fail to make the strategic investments necessary for long-term growth, the same is true in our own personal and professional lives. We need…


Book cover of The First, the Few, the Only: How Women of Color Can Redefine Power in Corporate America

Gena Cox Author Of Leading Inclusion: Drive Change Your Employees Can See and Feel

From my list on the need for DEI and workplace inclusion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been an organizational psychologist and executive coach for more than two decades, advising high-level executives, including Fortune 500 leaders, to build workplace cultures in which all employees can flourish. Yet, for many employees of color, the workplace is so challenging that many feel professionally stifled. I realized many years ago that to accomplish my own goals; I needed to take control of my career and not depend upon the vagaries of individual leaders. I needed to set goals, take a long game view, be honest with myself and my leaders, and help leaders understand how changing some habits could help them and me succeed in a disrupted world. 

Gena's book list on the need for DEI and workplace inclusion

Gena Cox Why did Gena love this book?

The First, The Few, The Only is the first book I have read that accurately captures the angst of my day-to-day experience as a high-achieving woman of color in corporate America. I love that the book also proposes empowering systemic and individual actions to enhance those experiences.

By Deepa Purushothaman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The First, the Few, the Only as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A deeply personal call to action for women of color to find power from within and to join together in community, advocating for a new corporate environment where we all belong-and are accepted-on our own terms.

Women of color comprise one of the fastest-growing segments in the corporate workforce, yet often we are underrepresented-among the first, few, or only ones in a department or company. For too long, corporate structures, social zeitgeist, and cultural conditioning have left us feeling exhausted and downtrodden, believing that in order to "fit in" and be successful, we must hide or change who we are.…


Book cover of Think Big: Take Small Steps and Build the Future You Want

Gena Cox Author Of Leading Inclusion: Drive Change Your Employees Can See and Feel

From my list on the need for DEI and workplace inclusion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been an organizational psychologist and executive coach for more than two decades, advising high-level executives, including Fortune 500 leaders, to build workplace cultures in which all employees can flourish. Yet, for many employees of color, the workplace is so challenging that many feel professionally stifled. I realized many years ago that to accomplish my own goals; I needed to take control of my career and not depend upon the vagaries of individual leaders. I needed to set goals, take a long game view, be honest with myself and my leaders, and help leaders understand how changing some habits could help them and me succeed in a disrupted world. 

Gena's book list on the need for DEI and workplace inclusion

Gena Cox Why did Gena love this book?

Think Big is a science-based roadmap to help a reader achieve their wildest dreams, by taking small and big steps that move you incrementally toward the goal. Sometimes the steps require doing things you have not done before but sometimes they require stopping or reducing or changing your current patterns of dealing with the realities of life.

By Grace Lordan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Think Big as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What are you doing today to make your dream future come true?

'A rare self-help book that's actually informed by evidence. A host of perceptive, practical tips for getting out of your own way and making progress toward your career goals.' Adam Grant, bestselling author of Think Again and Originals

'A practical and accessible guide to using behavioural science in your career.' Caroline Criado Perez, author of Invisible Women
________________

We all have big ambitions for the future but those dreams only become reality if we do something towards them regularly. To achieve audacious goals, we need to take action…


Book cover of Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own Terms

Gena Cox Author Of Leading Inclusion: Drive Change Your Employees Can See and Feel

From my list on the need for DEI and workplace inclusion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been an organizational psychologist and executive coach for more than two decades, advising high-level executives, including Fortune 500 leaders, to build workplace cultures in which all employees can flourish. Yet, for many employees of color, the workplace is so challenging that many feel professionally stifled. I realized many years ago that to accomplish my own goals; I needed to take control of my career and not depend upon the vagaries of individual leaders. I needed to set goals, take a long game view, be honest with myself and my leaders, and help leaders understand how changing some habits could help them and me succeed in a disrupted world. 

Gena's book list on the need for DEI and workplace inclusion

Gena Cox Why did Gena love this book?

Shellye Archambeau is one of the most successful tech business leaders in America. And this book shows you how she did it and how you can, too. The secrets include clearly defining the goal as early in life as possible; don’t wait. This book will let you know when to say “yes,” and which enticing offers deserve a hard “no.”

By Shellye Archambeau,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Unapologetically Ambitious as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Full of empowering wisdom from one of high tech's first female African American CEOs, this inspiring leadership book for readers of Dare to Lead and Start with Why offers a blueprint for how to achieve your personal and professional goals, drawn from the author's own compelling story of how she weathered life's difficulties to build massive success.

Shellye Archambeau recounts how she overcame the challenges she faced as a young black woman, wife, and mother, managing her personal and professional responsibilities while climbing the ranks at IBM and subsequently in her roles as CEO. Through the busts and booms of…


Book cover of Bound By a Mighty Vow: Sisterhood and Women's Fraternities, 1870-1920

Jana Mathews Author Of The Benefits of Friends: Inside the Complicated World of Today's Sororities and Fraternities

From my list on making you wish you joined a sorority or fraternity.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 2011, I was a newly minted college professor who was trying to support my students’ interests (Greek life) in hopes that they would return the favor and support mine (medieval literature). Never in a million years would I have guessed that accepting an invitation to attend a Greek event on campus would snowball into receiving a bid to join a National Panhellenic Conference sorority and serve as its faculty advisor. Somewhere along the way, I realized that my perspective uniquely positioned me to shed new light on the longstanding controversies plaguing these organizations and provide a new lens through which to view their impact not only on campus culture but society at large. 

Jana's book list on making you wish you joined a sorority or fraternity

Jana Mathews Why did Jana love this book?

There aren’t a lot of scholarly studies of fraternities and sororities in part because, until recently, academia didn’t see the topic as worthy of serious study.

Turk’s groundbreaking study dives deep into the archives to tell the origin story of the oldest Panhellenic sorority, and in the process, reveals a dramatic shift in organizational culture between its early years and second and third generations.

You’ll have to read the book to find of what happened and why…

By Diana B. Turk,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bound By a Mighty Vow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A look at the intricate history of collegiate women's support networks-otherwise known as sororities
Sororities are often thought of as exclusive clubs for socially inclined college students, but Bound by a Mighty Vow, a history of the women's Greek system, demonstrates that these organizations have always served more serious purposes. Diana Turk explores the founding and development of the earliest sororities (then called women's fraternities) and explains how these groups served as support networks to help the first female collegians succeed in the hostile world of nineteenth century higher education.
Turk goes on to look at how and in what…


Book cover of Catholic Higher Education: A Culture in Crisis

Mark William Roche Author Of The Intellectual Appeal of Catholicism and the Idea of a Catholic University

From my list on Catholic higher education.

Why am I passionate about this?

I moved to the University of Notre Dame in 1997 because I fell in love with its distinctive vision, including its core mission as a Catholic university. A year later I became dean. When during interviews I asked prospective faculty members how they might contribute to the distinctive mission of Notre Dame, broadly understood, I realized that they did not really understand what a Catholic university was, so I gave them my own understanding of Notre Dame and of the idea of a Catholic university. Eventually, I turned my oral answer into a short book, which articulates that vision in ways that should inspire anyone, whether they are Catholic or not. 

Mark's book list on Catholic higher education

Mark William Roche Why did Mark love this book?

This book is the one furthest from my own interests. Instead of articulating a vision, it includes the results of interviews with senior administrators across more than 30 campuses. But it is important to know not only what should be, but also what is. 

The authors’ conclusions about the current landscape of Catholic higher education are sobering. The most prominent finding, is that many lay leaders have insufficient vision and knowledge of the Catholic intellectual tradition.

By Melanie M. Morey, John J. Piderit,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Catholic Higher Education as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Catholic higher education in the United States is undergoing dramatic changes, driven largely by the virtual disappearance of nuns, brothers, and priests from Catholic university campuses. Today Catholic colleges and universities are dealing with critical questions about what constitutes Catholic collegiate identity, what are appropriate ways to engage the Catholic tradition across all sectors of university life, what constitutes a critical mass of committed and knowledgeable Catholics necessary to maintain religious identity, what is an appropriate level of knowledge and religious commitment for those who lead, govern, and teach at Catholic institutions and how do they acquire it. Many people…


Book cover of Cracking the Wall 20 Years Later: Women in Higher Education Leadership

Marilyn K. Easter Author Of Resilience: Bravery in the Face of Racism, Corruption, and Privilege in the halls of Academia

From my list on empowerment and hope.

Why am I passionate about this?

As with many people, my life has been full of twists and turns. I know what it means to be an outsider and to be cast aside as though my voice and presence doesn’t matter. But, with grit and determination, I battled systemic racism head-on, and with my good L.U.C.K (labor under correct knowledge), encouragement, and faith, I am thriving in an environment that was designed to be non-inclusive for People of Color. Currently, I am the only Black female professor in the 94-year history in the college where I am employed.

Marilyn's book list on empowerment and hope

Marilyn K. Easter Why did Marilyn love this book?

Cracking the Wall 20 Years Later is a special title for me, not only because of the significance of its content. I used the original edition in 1993 as a student at the University of San Francisco and then later as a professor at the College of Notre Dame. This book showcases the history of 14 women in academia and highlights the importance of the array of significant changes that need to be made today. What I love most about this book is that the same authors have updated their original chapters and their personal perspective of their experiences and career paths as leaders.  They speak from the heart as they share their transformational stories. They do not sugarcoat anything.  Even though there have been considerable changes in two decades, a great deal has remained the same for women. This is another essential title of empowerment, which lets women know…

Book cover of Degrees of Equality: Abolitionist Colleges and the Politics of Race

Frank J. Cirillo Author Of The Abolitionist Civil War: Immediatists and the Struggle to Transform the Union

From my list on the long and difficult fight against slavery in America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent many a night growing up glued to the television, watching Ken Burns’ Civil War. But as I got older, I found my interests stretching beyond the battles and melancholic music on the screen. I decided to become a historian of abolitionism–the radical reform movement that fought to end the evils of slavery and racial prejudice. Through my research, I seek to explain the substantial influence of the abolitionist movement as well as its significant limitations. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2017, and have since held positions at such institutions as The New School, the University of Bonn, and the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Frank's book list on the long and difficult fight against slavery in America

Frank J. Cirillo Why did Frank love this book?

This book does a fantastic job of illustrating something that I explore in my own work: pro-slavery (and anti-Black) white Americans were not the only obstacles facing abolitionists in the fight for racial equality.

The abolitionist movement itself was often divided along racial lines. Black abolitionists pushed for radical, egalitarian change in all aspects of American life. When push came to shove, however, many of their white counterparts had a limit as to how far they would go.

Bell shows how this dynamic played out at progressive colleges like Oberlin before, during, and after the Civil War. The implications of this book, however, stretch far beyond those campuses–and far beyond that time.

By John Frederick Bell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Degrees of Equality as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The abolitionist movement not only helped bring an end to slavery in the United States but also inspired the large-scale admission of African Americans to the country's colleges and universities. Oberlin College changed the face of American higher education in 1835 when it began enrolling students irrespective of race and sex. Camaraderie among races flourished at the Ohio institution and at two other leading abolitionist colleges, Berea in Kentucky and New York Central, where Black and white students allied in the fight for emancipation and civil rights. After Reconstruction, however, color lines emerged on even the most progressive campuses. For…


Book cover of Contending with Modernity: Catholic Higher Education in the Twentieth Century

Mark William Roche Author Of The Intellectual Appeal of Catholicism and the Idea of a Catholic University

From my list on Catholic higher education.

Why am I passionate about this?

I moved to the University of Notre Dame in 1997 because I fell in love with its distinctive vision, including its core mission as a Catholic university. A year later I became dean. When during interviews I asked prospective faculty members how they might contribute to the distinctive mission of Notre Dame, broadly understood, I realized that they did not really understand what a Catholic university was, so I gave them my own understanding of Notre Dame and of the idea of a Catholic university. Eventually, I turned my oral answer into a short book, which articulates that vision in ways that should inspire anyone, whether they are Catholic or not. 

Mark's book list on Catholic higher education

Mark William Roche Why did Mark love this book?

I read this book the summer I became dean. 

I wanted to get a sense of the recent history of American Catholic higher education, and this book offered a comprehensive intellectual and institutional history of American Catholic higher education—just what I was looking for and felt I needed as an administrator at a Catholic university.

By Philip Gleason,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Contending with Modernity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How did Catholic colleges and universities deal with the modernization of education and the rise of research universities? In this book, Philip Gleason offers the first comprehensive study of Catholic higher education in the twentieth century, tracing the evolution of responses to an increasingly secular educational system. At the beginning of the century, Catholics accepted modernization in the organizational sphere while resisting it ideologically. Convinced
of the truth of their religious and intellectual position, the restructured Catholic colleges grew rapidly after World War I, committed to educating for a "Catholic Renaissance." This spirit of
militance carried over into the post-World…


Book cover of Daring to Educate: The Legacy of the Early Spelman College Presidents

Nancy Woloch Author Of The Insider: A Life of Virginia C. Gildersleeve

From my list on women’s colleges and their histories.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a teacher of US women’s history and educational history, I have long been interested in women’s colleges—in their faculties, administrators, students, alumnae, goals, and achievements. Most recently, as the biographer of a woman educator (a dean of Barnard College in the early 20th century), I became more deeply involved with the literature on single-sex schools. Major books focus on the older women’s colleges, the “Seven Sisters,” but devote attention to other colleges as well. I am impressed with the talents of historians, with their skill at asking questions of their subjects, with the intensity of mission at the women’s schools, and with changing styles of campus culture.

Nancy's book list on women’s colleges and their histories

Nancy Woloch Why did Nancy love this book?

Recent concern with intersectionality (instances where categories of race and gender overlap) makes research into Black women’s colleges vital. Founded in 1881 as a Baptist female seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, Spelman College became a leading women’s liberal arts college. The book tracks the impact of four college presidents from the outset to the 1950s. The authors show how the formal academic curriculum, extra-curriculum (college-sponsored activities), and hidden curriculum (informal and even inadvertent influences) instilled an imperative to excel.

By Yolanda L. Watson, Sheila T. Gregory,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Daring to Educate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Presents the history of Spelman's foundation through the tenure of its fourth president, Florence M. Read, in1953. The story is brought up to date by the contributions of Spelman's current president, Beverly Daniel Tatum, and by Johnnetta B. Cole.

The book chronicles how the vision each of these women presidents, and their response to changing social forces, both profoundly shaped Spelman's curriculum and influenced the lives and minds of thousands of young Black women.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in higher education, organizational culture, and education?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about higher education, organizational culture, and education.

Higher Education Explore 35 books about higher education
Organizational Culture Explore 42 books about organizational culture
Education Explore 97 books about education