Leading with Passion: The Story of Meg Patchett

Meg Patchett, PhD. has been the Provost at Cabarrus College of Health Sciences for the past nine years.  She serves as the chief academic officer, leading a team of program chairs and departmental academic deans.  Her leadership is unlike any others in the sense that she leads with a great deal of emotional intelligence.  Dr. Patchett balances her emotional intelligence with a wide-variety of problem-solving skills and other cognitive abilities.  So as you can see, she has the perfect balance to create a highly effective style of leadership.

Dr. Patchett is intelligent and insightful, confident and assertive, yet kind and empathetic.  Her passion for both higher education and for leadership is unmatched.  While she possesses traits that many individuals do (intelligence, confidence, etc.), it is how she uses these personal attributes that set her aside from other individuals or leaders.  Dr. Patchett possesses multiple forms of intelligence which drives her success in various aspects of her job.  She is high performing because she meets her team exactly where they are at.  Patchett considers the needs of others while clearly defining the roles and expectations of each team member.  This ensures high satisfaction from her direct reports because everyone is always aware of where they are and what they are expected to accomplish.

Communication is one of her strongest skill sets.  Dr. Patchett can work with just about anyone in any environment and is highly adaptable.  She can communicate in most situations with ease and confidence.  Patchett is a highly visionary leader but takes the time to effectively communicate her vision with her team so that all individuals on the team feel connected, informed, and valued.

When you sit and meet with Dr. Patchett, you can expect a nurturing soul who mentors you to reach your highest potential.  She will be the first to tell you that leaders are both born and mentored.  Patchett, herself, believes she was born with innate traits that set her up for success as a leader while still having to develop other traits and behaviors to truly become an effective and successful leader.  She paves the way for her followers by truly being part of the team.  She does not lead with an iron fist from high atop some pedestal.  Rather, she is in the trenches with her team, navigating any organizational hurdle with us.

“Skills are what leaders can accomplish, whereas traits are who leaders are” (Northouse, 2016. p. 44).  Dr. Patchett possess both great skills and exceptional traits and uses her abilities to help other leaders develop their own skills and enhance their own traits.  When it comes to technical skill, her education and management skills are unmatched.  Dr. Patchett has an innate ability to understand students and faculty alike.  She has the ability to provide tools and techniques to faculty members struggling to engage with a new cohort of students.   Patchett consistently plays a key role in both the success of the students and of her faculty.   Conceptually speaking, Dr. Patchett possesses a great level of skill in this area as well.  She can put the mission and vision of the College into words that everyone from students to faculty can understand and appreciate.  Most recently, the College underwent the process of refining the vision of the institution while revising and recreating a new streamlined strategic plan for the next five years of organization operation and expansion.  Dr. Patchett was at the forefront of this entire process leading the charge for the new strategic plan.  She was able to conceptualize her own thoughts as well as the thoughts of others to create a vision and plan that everyone could understand and engage with.  While her technical and conceptual skills are undeniable, more impressive is her human skill.  Human skill is the “ability to work with people” (Northouse, 2016, p. 44).  Dare I say it, there is no one more of a people-person than Meg Patchett.  There is not a person on campus that does not work well with Dr. Patchett which speaks immeasurable volumes to her personality, her skill, and her ability to lead with passion, emotion, and dedication.

She is truly the leader everyone wishes to be and the leader we all hope to work for.



Northouse, P.G. (2016). Leadership: theory and practice (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications

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