Recommended Reading


The Center for the Advancement of Leadership staff and student executive council offer their favorite books that inspire and teach leadership.

We'll highlight one per month!


(The CAL office also houses a large leadership library of uplifting books, most of which are found below:)

The Power of Now

by Eckhart Tolle (1997)

A cue, a routine, and a reward. Understanding these components can help in understanding

how to change bad habits or form good ones and thus become a better leader.

As A Man Thinketh

by James Allen (1903) - 

A self-help book that deals with the power of thought: Man is the creator and shaper of his destiny by the thoughts which he thinks. The title is loosely based on Proverbs 23:7.

How To Win Friends And Influence People 

by Dale Carnegie (1936) - Selling over 30 million copies worldwide since being published, this book shows how to establish relationships, make friends, and more.

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

by Dr. Seuss (1990) - Inthis classic graduation gift, an unnamed protaganist navigates the "waiting" parts of his journey and focuses on the future. 

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

by J.K. Rowling (2000) - The fourth Harry Potter book details his adventures competing in the Triwizard Tournament, all the while demonstrating courage, leadership, selflessness, empathy and more.

A Lesson Before Dying

by Ernest J. Gaines (1993) - A novel that, while fictional, is based on the true story of Willie Francis: a man sentenced to die via electric chair twice  - in 1945 and 1947. 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

by Stephen Chbosky (1999) - This fictional story follows the main character Charlie as he navigates youth and adulthood and deals with questions and situtions he experiences along the way.

The Iliad

by Homer (8th Century BC) - One of the oldest known works in Western literature, The Iliad tells the story of ancient Greek heroes like Achilles and Hector, leaders like Agamemnon and everyday people affected by the massive Trojan War. 

The Leadership Challenge

by James M. Kouzes & Barry Z. Posner (1987) - With deep insight into the complex interpersonal dynamics of the workplace, this book positions leadership both as a skill to be learned, and as a relationship that must be nurtured to reach its full potential. 




Ender's Game

by Orson Scott Card (1985) - This military science fiction novel demonstrates lessons in leadership, training methodology, ethics, comradeship, maintaining focus, empowering others, alternative methods to problem solving, adapting to adversity and much more!

Believe It: My Journey of Success, Failure, and Overcoming the Odds

by Nick Foles (2018) - You’re never more dangerous than when everyone’s counting you out. You just have to believe. That’s when sixth-year veteran Nick Foles came off the bench and led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl victory in franchise history―defeating the heavily favored New England Patriots 41–33, winning MVP honors, silencing the critics, and shocking the world. In Believe It, Nick shares the story behind his unlikely path to Super Bowl glory―the challenges that threatened to hold him back, the struggles that brought him to the verge of retirement, the transformation that made him come back, and the faith that both grounded and guided him every step of the way.

Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway

by Susan Jeffers (2017) - Whatever your fear, here is your chance to push through it once and for all.  Dr. Susan Jeffers inspires with dynamic techniques and profound concepts that have helped countless people grab hold of their fears and move forward with their lives.

The Power of Now

by Eckhart Tolle (1997) - This book takes readers on an inspiring spiritual journey to find their true and deepest self and reach the ultimate in personal growth and spirituality: the discovery of truth and light.


Start With Why

by Simon Sinek (2009) - What is your motivation? What gets you started on things? Start With Why inspires people to do the things that inspire them.

The Power of Habit

by Charles Duhigg (2012) - A cue, a routine, and a reward. Understanding these components can help in understanding how to change bad habits or form good ones and thus become a better leader.



by Malcolm Gladwell (2007) - Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant-in the blink of an eye-that actually aren't as simple as they seem.

Touching Spirit Bear

by Ben Mikaelsen (2001) - In this coming-of-age novel, the story of troublemaker Cole Matthews is told as he examines his actions and seeks redemption on a remote Alaskan island after being mauled by a mysterious white bear.