This work represents a publishing event in education research. Genuinely groundbreaking, it is the result of longitudinal research from five nations over five years. The authors set themselves an unprecedented task: to analyze how it is that successful school principals sustain positive outcomes over a significant period of time. To find out, they initiated the International Successful School Principal Project (ISSPP) assembling 30 multinational case histories and numerous comparative analyses. In doing so, they recorded fresh perspectives on the influence school principals can have on their schools, the quality of teaching in their classrooms, and student outcomes. Revisiting the subject schools in 2007, they found many principals still in place, having steered their organizations through various minefields of political, governance and educational reform.As the most penetrating longitudinal investigation of the subject, this research has unearthed fascinating new insights into school leadership that add real substance to the sum of our knowledge. It incorporates data from educational systems in Australia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, England and the USA. One key finding is that while all principals delegate a range of leadership tasks, successful ones distribute responsibility on a case-by-case basis founded on personal assessments of their staff as well as on organizational and policy contexts. The research also demonstrates that successful principals maintain close communication with their staff and the wider school environment, and that they are adaptive, maximizing the opportunities presented by new political contexts and expectations, yet without losing sight of their schools core moral and ethical principles. The volumes international thematic analysis has allowed comparative conclusions to be drawn on what the principals do to sustain and foster pedagogical and institutional success.