Together We Can recounts effective strategies for institutional change and focuses on collective leadership within the land-grant university system, with reflections on Hiler’s long and successful career in academic leadership, both at Texas A&M University and within the larger Texas A&M System.
Although many books discuss leadership and organizational change in the private sector, there are relatively few dealing with public-sector entities—especially public land-grant universities and academic agencies—and none on collective leadership, the standard for highly collaborative and interdependent groups and individuals.
Hiler draws on more than four decades of academic leadership experiences and personal anecdotes to recount the history of the land-grant system and Texas’ place in it. He also distills collective leadership “principles-in-action” that he believes should sustain such institutions, including Texas A&M, in the future, articulating an unwavering argument that the land-grant mission, through teaching, research, and outreach through extension, remains the single most powerful educational force within our society to equip citizens with the means to adapt to create meaningful opportunities, improve quality of life, and keep the world on a sustainable course amid uncertain times.
Bosserman then places Hiler’s reflections in the context of institutional change strategies and situational leadership styles to establish a “do-it-yourself tool kit” that includes effective leadership, collaboration, and mentorship approaches and techniques for those who strive to make a positive impact in their organizations, regardless of their starting point.
What Readers Are Saying:
"This is an impressive narrative of a devoted husband, father, scholar, teacher and dynamic leader. His many accomplishments at Texas A&M University and The Texas A&M University System is a testament of his hard work, commitment and of his belief in the power of "collective leadership." Ed Hiler's teaching, research and overall leadership have imspired many others to grow and develop at different stages of his career. He writes with honesty and family feelings that makes this a rewarding human story. He has included principles of leadership which have the authority of someone who has drived them from experience and exemplified in his professional and personal life. The book is direct, concised and easy to read."--Leo Sayavedra, Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Emeritus of The Texas A&M University System
"Ed Hiler’s contribution to the field of agriculture throughout the academic world and particularly at Texas A&M is significant. His common sense and thoughtful approach to leadership provides valuable lessons that enable progressive organizational change. With the assistance of Steve Bosserman, Ed offers insights that will be beneficial to anyone seeking effective, sustainable, enlightened management."-- Erle Nye, Former Chairman of the Board of Regents The Texas A&M University System
"I highly recommend Together We Can as an excellent case study of leadership development and organizational change in the Texas A&M University System. The story of Ed Hiler's remarkable life and career, in tandem with Steve Bosserman's expert discussion of leadership principles, offers valuable insights into how administrators can create more open and effective organizational cultures. While the book may have special appeal for readers interested in agriculture and the Land Grant University System, its lessons also have broad application across academic disciplines and higher education."--Ellen M. Ritter, Ph.D., Professor and head emerita, Agricultural Communications, Texas Cooperative Extension Service, Texas A&M University System
“This brief, highly readable, and provocative book illustrates the philosophical and operational essences of collective leadership. The import of Hiler’s work applies to strengthening organizational development and leadership in land-grant universities and higher education nationality. Hiler and Bosserman artfully weave together several essential themes in organizational development and collective leadership that emphasize the critical importance of collaboration and collective engagement, rather than competition, as the vehicle for individual and institutional growth, development, and effectiveness. Hiler’s personal narrative interspersed with Bosserman’s metaframes detailing organizational development and collective leadership philosophy and principles. This structure contributes immeasurably to conveying the powerful messages stemming from Hiler’s experience. Together We Can provides valuable insight for current and aspiring leaders and professionals in land-grant universities, higher education in general, and the nonprofit sector more broadly.”—Theodore R. Alter, Great Plains Research