Read to Lead

Inspiring and educating the community through reading and discussion.

The Laspa Center is committed to exploring the intersection of leadership and gender, focusing specifically on authors who identify as women and women of color. The Center selects one book each semester to uncover new perspectives on bridging the gender gap. All members of the Scripps College community are invited to participate in book club discussions.

Current and past selections and book club discussion guides are listed below. Limited copies and audio recordings are available for short-term check-out through the Laspa Center*, Denison Library, and Honnold Library as possible. View our complete list of recommendations.

*We strive to source our books from local independent booksellers whenever possible. This is part of our commitment to pursue equitable representation and practice inclusion, as well as support the ever-growing number of women entrepreneurs operating small businesses.

Have you read something compelling recently? Recommend a book.


The Purpose of Power
by Alicia Garza

Spring 2022 Read to Lead Selection

“With the speed and networking capacities of social media, #BlackLivesMatter became the hashtag heard ’round the world. But Garza knew even then that hashtags don’t start movements—people do. This is the story of one woman’s lessons through years of bringing people together to create change. Most of all, it is a new paradigm for change for a new generation of changemakers, from the mind and heart behind one of the most important movements of our time.”

View the discussion guide for The Purpose of Power.

Lead from the Outside
by Stacey Abrams

Fall 2021 Read to Lead Selection

“Leadership is hard. Convincing others—and often yourself—that you possess the answers and are capable of world-affecting change requires confidence, insight, and sheer bravado. Lead from the Outside is the handbook for outsiders, written with the awareness of the experiences and challenges that hinder anyone who exists beyond the structure of traditional white male power—women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and millennials ready to make a difference.”

View the discussion guide for Lead from the Outside.

Radical Candor
by Kim Scott

Spring 2021 Read to Lead Selection

“Radical Candor is a simple idea: to be a good boss, you have to Care Personally at the same time that you Challenge Directly. When you challenge without caring it’s obnoxious aggression; when you care without challenging it’s ruinous empathy. When you do neither it’s manipulative insincerity. This simple framework can help you build better relationships at work, and fulfill your three key responsibilities as a leader: creating a culture of feedback (praise and criticism), building a cohesive team, and achieving results you’re all proud of.”

More Than Enough
by Elaine Welteroth

Fall 2020 Read to Lead Selection

“In this part-memoir, part-manifesto, the revolutionary editor who infused social consciousness into the pages of Teen Vogue explores what it means to come into your own—on your own terms. Throughout her life, Elaine Welteroth has climbed the ranks of media and fashion, shattering ceilings along the way. In this riveting and timely memoir, the groundbreaking journalist unpacks lessons on race, identity, and success through her own journey to finding herself on the frontlines of a modern movement for the next generation of change makers.”  Penguin Random House

View the discussion guide for More Than Enough.

The Likability Trap
by Alicia Menendez

Spring 2020 Read to Lead Selection

“Relying on research, interviews, and personal experience, The Likeability Trap delivers an essential examination of the pressure put on women to be amiable at work, home, and in the public sphere, and explores the price women pay for internalizing those demands. Rather than advising readers to make themselves likeable, Menendez empowers them to examine how they perceive themselves and others and explores how the concept of likeability is riddled with cultural biases. Our demands for likeability, she argues, hinder everyone’s progress and power.”  Harper Collins Publishers

View the discussion guide for The Likability Trap.

Brave, Not Perfect
by Reshma Saujani

Fall 2019 Read to Lead Selection

“By choosing bravery over perfection, we can find the power to claim our voice, to leave behind what makes us unhappy, and to go for the things we genuinely, passionately want. Perfection may set us on a path that feels safe, but bravery leads us to the one we’re authentically meant to follow.”  Penguin Random House 

View the discussion guide for Brave, Not Perfect.

Reshma Saujani delivered the commencement address for Scripps College in 2017. Watch the highlights.

Dare to Lead
by Brené  Brown

Spring 2019 Read to Lead Selection

“Leadership is not about titles, status, and wielding power. A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas, and has the courage to develop that potential. When we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don’t see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it with others. We don’t avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into vulnerability when it’s necessary to do good work.”  Penguin Random House

View the discussion guide for Dare to Lead.