The Rawls Business Leadership Program (RBLP) welcomed its first guest speaker of the semester on Sept. 15. T.M. "Roe" Patterson, president and CEO of Basic Energy Services, met a small group of students in the program for lunch, took a tour of the Rawls College and then met with the entire RBLP class.
Patterson graduated from Texas Tech with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry in 1995. He was appointed as president and CEO of Basic in Sept. of 2013. From 2006 up until that point, he worked for Basic in a variety of positions, including senior vice president and chief operations officer (April 2011 to Sept. 2013), senior vice president (Sept. 2008 to April 2011) and vice president (Feb. 2006 to Sept. 2008). Prior to Basic, Patterson worked as president of TMP Companies, contracts/sales manager at Patterson Drilling Company and engine sales manager at West Texas Caterpillar.
During lunch with the RBLP students, Patterson talked about his background. He shared how he originally wanted to go to medical school, but instead, the path he took eventually led him to be successful in the oil and gas industry. Students were able to ask questions about the industry and what Patterson did to be a CEO by the age of 39. Patterson stressed the importance of learning from his mistakes and shared valuable learning lessons with the students.
After lunch, Patterson met with the RBLP class where he gave a presentation about entrepreneurial leadership. He discussed his successes and what he learned through the hard times of the recent crash of the oil and gas industry. The crash happened on Thanksgiving 2014, and he said Basic experienced its lowest point at the beginning of 2016. He talked about his difficulties in restructuring the company and the conversations that occurred while the company faced bankruptcy. He reflected on what he would have done differently as a young CEO and how he has learned from those mistakes. He also stressed the importance of staying transparent with employees and stakeholders during a difficult time.
Patterson gave his six steps to managing any leadership scenario: find the proposition value, build the machine, turn it on, start driving, own it and review. He advised RBLP students to always be authentic in their leadership and to be innovators.
He gave pieces of advice he called "Roe's Freebies," which included the importance of relying on effectuation; listening; learning from mistakes and not giving up on humility, integrity, honesty and personal values. Patterson encouraged students to teach themselves how to become an entrepreneurial leader and to become one of the best teachers they have ever had.
Students had the opportunity to ask Patterson questions, including how he handled the crash and what made him stay with the company during the difficult time. He acknowledged that the oil and gas industry is cyclical, and it will always have its ups and downs. Patterson admitted that he thought about quitting a few times, but stayed through the hard times for the employees.
RBLP, established in Fall 2013, creates a dynamic learning experience designed to provide students with real-world knowledge and experiences to excel in leadership roles. The program focuses on developing "complete students" who possess both a strong academic foundation and real-world experience necessary to be innovative and ethical leaders. The four elements of the program include experiential living and learning opportunities, real-world application, international experience and interactive personal development with a designated professional mentor. While this program is not an independent major, it is designed to enhance one's learning experience at the Rawls College by providing students the opportunity to participate in action-based leadership activities applicable to all business majors.
For more information about the program, visit the RBLP website or contact Mayukh Dass at firstname.lastname@example.org.