Praise for Leadership Reckoning



“Take it from me, as someone who has worked in both government and business: leadership matters! In the face of global challenges like the climate crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for good leaders in every part of society has never been greater. In Leadership Reckoning, the Doerr Institute for New Leaders pioneers a data-driven approach to make the development of moral leadership a core function of college education. This book is a must-read for the leaders of today and tomorrow.”

Al Gore, Former Vice President of the United States of America


“This book and the ongoing work at the Doerr Leadership Institute, along with its consortium of higher educational institutions, seeks to elevate the leadership development practice in higher education to be authentic. What I mean here is having all of us validate our aspirational statements about developing the next generation of leaders by demonstrating we have contributed our part in doing so. To be clear, this reckoning is by no means a simple task, but by presenting this challenge, the authors place the onus upon all of us to address it—a good place to start toward being authentic.”

Bruce J. Avolio, Mark Pigott Chair in Business Strategic Leadership at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington


Leadership Reckoning is providing the contextual framework and the directional compass for mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with its complex and fast-paced change.”

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum


“In Leadership Reckoning: Can Higher Education Develop the Leaders We Need?, Thomas Kolditz, Libby Gill, and Ryan Brown unveil all of the ways that colleges and universities are underserving our student leaders. The book is a call to action for anyone who has ever taught a leadership class or run a higher ed leader program. Most importantly, the book offers a step-by-step guide for educators to improve their leader development efforts by defining what they mean by leadership, using evidence-based practice rather than leader-tainment, and measuring actual leader outcomes”

Stefanie K. Johnson, Academic Director of Center for Leadership and Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder


“This book is a gem of a resource for institutions of higher education considering their role and approach in preparing the rising generation to exert the leadership our world needs. It is hard to imagine a more important question for revitalizing our colleges and universities and, most importantly, for getting on the path to realizing our collective aspirations for a just, sustainable, and peaceful world.”

Wendy Kopp, CEO and Co-founder of Teach for All


Leadership Reckoning challenges the status quo by putting forth a call to action and suggests bold strategies for institutions of higher education that are reconsidering traditional approaches to advancing leadership development.”

Justin Greenleaf, Immediate Past President of the Association of Leadership Educators


“Young people truly are the future of any country, and the degree to which they understand and embrace the keys to successful leadership has a profound effect not only on their future but also on that of their community and country. If ever there was a time for increased focus on what works in leadership training for young people in the U.S., now is it! Tom Kolditz, along with his Doerr Institute colleagues, brings a lifetime of experience in building leaders to this important book for young leaders.”

Carolyn Miles, Former CEO of Save the Children


“At long last, the whistle has been blown: the gap between commercial claims of producing leaders and the actuality of effective leader development in higher education is large and problematic. This is a promising, instructive book every educator needs to read if higher education is to take its rightful place in producing needed leaders for the future.”

Susan MacKenty Brady, CEO of Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership


“Strong leadership is the foundation of any healthy organization or society. This book illustrates the important role that universities can play in leadership development. I could not think of a more important and timely book.”

Reginald DesRoches, Provost and Professor of Engineering at Rice University


“Our students will impact the world in a greater proportion than their numbers. Higher education needs to fulfill its promise to students and society to prepare them to lead in a complex and hyper-connected world. This book makes a compelling case for leadership being central to the university mission and, more importantly, delivering on that mission.”

Cynthia Cherrey, President and CEO of the International Leadership Association


“Young people step into leadership positions much earlier than their colleagues from previous generations. But are they prepared? Leadership preparedness is what is desperately needed. What Rice University and the Doerr Institute, in particular, are doing with the help of professional coaching is a ‘must-have’ and should be embraced by all institutions of higher education. The future belongs to these young leaders, and they need to be leaders in the first place.”

Magdalena Nowicka Mook, CEO and Executive Director of the International Coaching Federation (ICF)


“Universities must constantly critique their methods and find more effective ways to achieve their goals. The Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University was envisioned boldly as leadership education available to ALL students, not just a select few. That required new ways of thinking about universities and leadership education. Tom Kolditz created an enterprise and ambition far different from other universities. In this important book, Tom and his coauthors set forth a new and empirically tested model, making the case for a transformation of university leadership education.”

David Leebron, President of Rice University


“Leadership is needed more than ever during these challenging times. The authors make the case that academia can play a critical role in leader development and, ultimately, have a positive impact across the entire spectrum of our society.”

Franklin Hagenbeck, Lieutenant General in the United States Army and Director of the Engineering Leadership Institute at the University of Florida


“Imagine every student at your institution having the opportunity to participate in developing their leadership skills formally. Imagine that those who participate come to see themselves as better leaders, perform more effectively as leaders, and do better in school than those who don’t. Imagine no more. This is happening right now, and authors Tom Kolditz, Libby Gill, and Ryan Brown show you where and how in Leadership Reckoning. This book is at once a manifesto and a guide to fulfilling one of higher education’s core missions—to develop the capacity of future leaders to serve their communities better.”

Jim Kouzes, Coauthor of the bestselling and award-winning book The Leadership Challenge and former Dean’s Executive Fellow of Leadership at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University


“This groundbreaking book highlights how colleges and universities can properly leverage social science in order to forge leader identity in their students.”

Bernard B. Banks, Associate Dean for Leadership Development and Inclusion at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University


“Higher education institutions have an urgent obligation to develop real-world leadership skills in students, and the authors provide innovative, practical ways to accomplish that mission. This groundbreaking book is a must-read for every university administrator and board member.”

John R. Ryan, President and CEO of the Center for Creative Leadership and former Chancellor of the State University of New York


“Historically, the noble calling of educating an informed citizenry gave American higher education a position of great respect across the nation. As we have consistently failed to meet emerging challenges like access, equity, costs, and, most importantly, mission clarity, the grinding degradation of our reputation cries out for a bold solution. This book lays out beautifully how focusing on providing the nation’s supply of leaders meets that call.”

Helen Drinan, President of Simmons University


“The team at the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice has reimagined student leadership development in ways that are firmly grounded in evidence-based theory and practices. The book provides a clear and compelling blueprint for effectively developing young adults to be leaders for their times. It is an essential read.”

David V. Day, Academic Director and Professor of Psychology at the Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College


Leadership Reckoning sets the gold standard for how to develop students as leaders. Tom Kolditz, Libby Gill, and Ryan Brown describe a strategic, systematic, and structured process of self-discovery and purposeful practice, supported by professional coaching and leadership training. Befitting the context of higher education, this unique approach is distinguished by its rigorous measurement of outcomes and evidence-based design. Given the current shortfall of student leader development in higher education, feeding the workplace leadership pipeline with confident and competent graduates is essential to our collective future, and there is no better place to start than to apply the lessons from Leadership Reckoning.”

Tae Moon Kouzes, Managing Director and Executive Coach at Kouzes and Associates and Fellow at the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University


“Leadership is a multiplier—good and bad; we’ve seen both. Growing more leaders, better leaders, ethical leaders is a sacred public purpose of our colleges and universities. They owe us that. And they desperately need a ‘leadership reckoning’—an accounting of success, an honest measurement of inevitable failures, and a clear charted path to improvement. Tom Kolditz, Libby Gill, and Ryan Brown have done precisely that in Leadership Reckoning. It is a must-read field guide to an optimistic future for our country and the world.”

Ann and John Doer