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Leadership and Sustainability


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Table of Contents

Preface Dedication About the Author 1. The Starting Point 2. The Intriguing Nature of Sustainability 3. Leadership to the Fore 4. The New Work of Leaders 5. Leadership at the School Level 6. Leadership at the District Level 7. Leadership at the System Level Epilogue References Index

About the Author

Consulting Description Consulting Description: Leadership Michael Fullan, Order of Canada, is professor emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. He served as special adviser in education to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty from 2003 to 2013, and now serves as one of four advisers to Premier Kathleen Wynne. Michael has been awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Edinburgh, University of Leicester, Nipissing University, Duquesne University, and The Hong Kong Institute of Education. He consults with governments and school systems in several countries. Fullan has won numerous awards for his more than 30 books, including the 2015 Grawemeyer prize with Andy Hargreaves for Professional Capital. His books include the best sellers Leading in a Culture of Change, The Six Secrets of Change, Change Leader, All Systems Go, Motion Leadership, and The Principal: Three Keys to Maximizing Impact. His latest books are Evaluating and Assessing Tools in the Digital Swamp (with Katelyn Donnelly), Leadership: Key Competencies (with Lyle Kirtman), and Freedom to Change. To learn more, visit his website at Now, Michael Fullan is offering his experience to you in an eStudy opportunity! Visit for more information. Photo: Social Imagery


"Leadership & Sustainability extends and amplifies Fullan's thinking in very powerful and practical ways, by developing a topic that hasn't seen this kind of elegant, integrative, and comprehensive treatment before. It uses real-world examples and research literature to tackle, head on, the question of sustainability--how organizations move into the future and endure over time, as well as the equally challenging question: what about an organization is worth sustaining long term? Folks who have followed Michael Fullan's work over many years will like this book very much." -- Richard Ackerman, Associate Professor, Educational Leadership
"An ambitious and provocative journey into the complexities and possibilities that arise when leadership and sustainability join." -- Roland S. Barth
"Leadership & Sustainability is a critical breakthrough. Michael Fullan has utilized findings from some of the best research and observations in education over the past fifteen years to brilliantly illuminate the challenges of creating schools capable of continuous organic change and improvement." -- James P. Comer, Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry
"Michael Fullan has gone beyond his past research that described the change process so insightfully to a new and exciting exploration of how systems thinking and the 'long lever of leadership' can bring about deep and lasting reforms in schools and schooling. This brand of leadership for sustainability, as described by Fullan, results in the 'deep learning' that enables schools to respond successfully to the revolution in expectations they now face. This new work will both inform and inspire educators to become the 'new theoreticians' whose impact will be felt in their schools every day." -- David T. Conley, Director, Center for Educational Policy Research
"With knowledgeable savvy from both individual leadership and system transformation, and a knack for writing in 'plain-speak,' Fullan helps us understand that it will be 'leadership' (not leaders) that pave the way for great sustainability. His attempt to link abstract concepts to concrete examples of what it looks like in practice was successful." -- Theodore B. Creighton, Director, Center for Research and Doctoral Studies
"Efforts at education reform have taken us down a variety of paths, and Michael Fullan has consistently noted the importance of leadership to large-scale reform. In his latest book, Leadership & Sustainability, Fullan makes a solid case that such reform is a complex process involving many variables. Key among these variables is the relationship between leadership and sustainability." -- Vincent L. Ferrandino, Executive Director
"Michael Fullan has been among the most salient international observers of educational change over the past decade. In this book he draws upon a diverse knowledge base in a critical examination of the limitations of current education reform strategies in use around the world. He then answers his own challenge by seeking to identify what it will take to create sustainable educational reform. His approach will be of interest to a broad range of educational leaders, policymakers, and scholars." -- Philip Hallinger, Executive Director, College of Management
"While everyone is debating quick-fix reform in education, Michael Fullan sets out a compelling strategy for widespread and lasting improvement. Drawing on experience from around the world and examples at every level, Fullan brilliantly personifies the transformative theorist-in-action that he urges others to be. This book is essential. Don't leave school without it!" -- Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education
"In Leadership & Sustainability Michael Fullan continues to push the edge of what we understand about improving schools on a large scale. His ideas, both provocative and practical, are well worth the attention of educational reformers, policy makers, and practitioners alike." -- Kenneth A. Leithwood, Professor and Associate Dean
"No one has contributed more to our understanding of leadership and change than Michael Fullan. Leadership & Sustainability continues that tradition--a brilliant analysis of a timely topic." -- Thomas J. Sergiovanni, Lillian Radford Professor of Education
"Michael Fullan does it again--providing yet another significant resolve to educational leadership. In an era marked by changing demographics, increased accountability, and a wave of anticipated retirements, Fullan offers a vision and a roadmap for designing and implementing strategies that can result in systemic reform in our nation's schools." -- Gerald N. Tirozzi, Executive Director
"Fullan displays his usual and unique capacity to explain the complexity for improving schools and school systems. He provides vivid examples which illuminate the pathways for headteachers, policy makers and academics wishing to combine immediate results with long term and greater benefits. Fullan's books--and this is no exception--are for educational policy makers, practitioners and researchers what J K Rowling's Harry Potter books are for children and parents. This is one of the best and most useful." -- Tim Brighouse

"Offers practical advice to school administrators, districts, and systems to prevent the sort of backsliding that jeopardizes long-term results."

-- Principal, March/April 2006
"A discourse on and an inquiry into how sustainability comes to be. This book sensibly and unapologetically champions humane values that were once more commonly espoused in an era before metrics gone mad and big government in education." -- Teachers College Record, Vol. 108, No. 1

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