Published: Nov. 16, 2020

Looking for a book on leadership to read over break? Here's a list from CU Boulder's Center for Leadership.

person reading a bookFrom Charles Gilford III

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents 

Author Isabel Wilkerson explores how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.

The Alchemist

Author Paulo Coelho tells the story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. This is an incredible read for leaders to remind them about the value of the journey.

From Ceal Barry

The Smart Take from the Strong: The Basketball Philosophy of Pete Carril

Coach Pete Carril inspired his teams with his own strength of character and drive to win, and he demonstrated time and again how a smart and dedicated team could compete successfully against bigger programs and faster, stronger, more athletic players.  

From Gordon Riggle

Thinking, Fast and Slow       

A highly readable book about how our minds work. Based on his Nobel prize-winning research, author Daniel Kahneman’s tests, puzzles and examples will convince you we’re not as smart as we think or as rationale as we’d like. Read “Thinking, Fast and Slow” and you will never again think about thinking in the same way.

Own It: The Power of Women at Work

In this bestseller, author Sallie Krawcheck, a former executive at both Citigroup and Bank of America, gives advice, strategy and real-life examples of how to succeed in the business world today as a modern woman

About the Center for Leadership

The Center for Leadership was established in August 2020 in order to elevate a culture of leadership at CU Boulder. The center is guided by a board of advisors including a former senator, regent emeritus and university president—all are accomplished leaders from diverse backgrounds and experiences. They represent CU Boulder’s investment in shaping tomorrow’s leaders, being an innovative research university and positively impacting humanity.

The Push

Two years ago, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson made the first free ascent on El Capitan's Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park, a climbing feat marveled at around the world. Caldwell shares the hardships he's faced and what he learned in the process in his book The Push.

From Christy Orris

Unapologetically Ambitious

Whether you are in college or striving to be the next CEO at your company, Shellye Archambeau’s story of how she became CEO of a successful Silicon Valley tech company will give you the tools to accomplish your dreams.

From Mark Emery 

Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes

Authors Richard Clarke and R.P. Eddy, both accomplished CEOs and White House National Security Council veterans, tell the story of the future of national security, threatening technologies, the U.S. economy and possibly the fate of civilization.

From Alexander Bracken

A Passion for Leadership

Having led change successfully at three monumental organizations—the CIA, Texas A&M University, and the Department of Defense—author Robert Gates offers the ultimate insider’s look at how major bureaus, organizations, and companies can be transformed, which is by turns heartening and inspiring and always instructive. 

From Major General (R)  Bill Mullen, USMC

A Higher Loyalty

In his book, former FBI director James Comey shares his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest-stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like, and how it drives sound decisions.