Book Review

The Six Secrets of Change: What the Best Leaders Do to Help Their Organizations Survive and Thrive

by Michael Fullan, Jossey-Boss, San Francisco, Calif., 2008, 176 pp., $24.95 hardcover

In The Six Secrets of Change: What the Best Leaders Do to Help Their Organizations Survive and Thrive, Michael Fullan presents the factors that enable leaders in an organization to bring about deep, lasting and meaningful change.

Fullan has identified these concepts through an in-depth knowledge of business research and years of personal experience throughout the world in successful, large-scale education reform initiatives. The book is well-organized and reader friendly, incorporating excellent references and examples of leadership theory put into successful practice in both business and education sectors.

Each chapter presents an overview of a theory on which Fullan’s secret is based and then discusses how to put the concept into action. Case studies and powerful real-world examples show the reader how to implement the idea in various organizational settings to bring about sustainable results.

As you read The Six Secrets of Change, you realize the six key factors are deeply interrelated and reinforce each other. People are the key. Collaboration must be constantly developed.

Fullan presents a convincing case that a leader who attends to the six secrets and allows others to implement these key concepts will have an organization that is constantly learning, continuously improving and results driven. The author also discusses how leaders need to think well beyond their own organizations to the global society in relevant terms.

Reviewed by Diane E. Reed, associate professor and co-director of graduate educational leadership program, St. John Fisher College, Rochester, N.Y.