Book Review

Motion Leadership

The Skinny on Becoming Change Savvy

by Michael Fullan, Corwin, Thousand Oaks, Calif., 2010, 95 pp. with index, $19.95 softcover


Michael Fullan focuses on the skills needed to effectively lead complex change in Motion Leadership: The Skinny on Becoming Change Savvy.



A professor emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, Fullan takes a unique look at the change process. Instead of just outlining the steps needed to implement change, Fullan reminds the reader throughout the book of the importance of building relationships and the collective capacity of a group.

The word “skinny” in the title appropriately describes the physical appearance of the book, which is a quick read. While relatively short, it contains considerable information about the change process.

Early on, Fullan sets the stage, saying, “Getting at the skinny is to make change less complex and more powerful in its impact.” He points out that a few great insights can prove to be much more beneficial than the most sophisticated strategic plan.

Throughout his nine chapters, Fullan repeats two simple messages about successful change: (1) it’s built on relationships and (2) you must strip away the clutter.

Reviewed by Justin B. Henry, superintendent, Goddard Unified School District , Goddard, Kan.