Dr. Frederick L. Fields received a Bachelors and Masters of Science in Education from the University of Central Arkansas, and a Doctorate from Fischler School of Education and Human Services at Nova Southeastern University. He began his educational career in 1989 as an elementary school teacher. Frederick is also a former 18-year veteran principal with both elementary and middle school experience. He accepted a central office position as Special Assistant to the Superintendent and Senior Director of Student Services where he supervises Counseling, Nurses, Student Hearing, Alternative Learning Environment, Student Registration, Homelessness, Student Attendance, Dropout Prevention/Truancy, Care, Mental Health, Juvenile Detention Coordinator and Special Programs. He has maintained the Senior Directors role for the past 10 years and works to perform his job duties with fidelity to be an advocate and a voice for all children.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
The idea surfaced because of the vast number of problems I have witnessed as a teacher, building level principal and Central Office Administrator. The majority of the problems are complex in nature, but based on my experience, if you put simple systems in place to mitigate them, they are avoidable. And it was my desire to share the proven strategies in an effort to prevent people from wasting valuable instructional time dealing with discipline etc. Thus, augmenting the success of students at every level.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical day for me begins at 5:00 a.m. with morning prayer and meditation. From there I work out daily with 5 miles of cardio, which is followed by weight lifting. Once that is over, I prepare to be in the office at 8:00 a.m. and from that point, my work is non stop. Being the Sr Director of Student Services is not easy. I supervise 12 departments and must ensure each operates with integrity, fidelity and in the best interest of the district goals, as well as teaching and learning. Making it productive involves ensuring I know the gifts and talents of my people and entrusting them to do their jobs independent of micromanaging. I ensure they are aware that the conversation is the relationship and there is no problem or question that does not warrant seeking help if needed. This type of leadership empowers the people to do their job their way with full knowledge that I will inspect what I expect. Even if it is not what I want, it is paramount that I have the ability to effectively communicate a corrective action independent of destroying their self esteem. Bottom line, in order to have a productive day, I must lead with empathy and be able to monitor and adjust as the situation changes.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life by first having authentic conversations with myself. Author Susan Scott says, “all conversations are with yourself, sometimes they involve others.” I am a firm believer of her philosophy. In any situation, I have authentic conversations with myself to determine the trajectory of any and all outcomes. So, before I can ever tackle ideas, I have to know as Steve Olsher states, “What is your what?” If I don’t know what I was born to do or what my natural God given gift is, I will not be able to bring ideas to fruition. And in order to know what that gift is, according to Olsher, I should enjoy doing it, lose track of time while doing it, can make money doing it, it inspires me and doing it is as natural as breathing. When all of these components are in place, that is when I know it is okay to birth an idea. When the 5 aforementioned are in place, the idea is easily birthed because I own it and it comes from within and from my heavenly Father.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Because I pride myself in being a positive person, I always seek to find a silver lining in every situation. Thus, answering the question about a trend that excites me is super easy. We are all clear that our present coronavirus situation will not last forever – but even with that knowledge, we should not fool ourselves like life will revert back to what we once knew as normal prior to the pandemic. Normal as we once knew it is gone. We are swiftly entering the preliminary phase of establishing a new normal. It will never be business as usual. Now we must look at life through an entirely different set of lenses, taking into account the fact that the pandemic caused many people to become homeless, lose jobs, close businesses, etc., which lends itself to reshaping how things will be done moving forward from business to healthcare. So, while the move to “online everything” isn’t a new trajectory, it was expedited due to lockdowns. The trend of working from home and/or virtually excites me. Tele medical visits, virtual interviews, virtual training, etc. levels the playing field to some degree provided each household has access to devices. While it is not fool proof and there are still equity issues to be resolved depending on the area, it is a game changer and a trend that will only become better.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am a systems thinker who is extremely competitive. I take my time to do research in an effort to be totally informed holistically prior to making business and life moves. Once a decision is made, I silence the opinions of others or I take negativity and people’s doubts about who I am as a man, as well as my potential as motivation or fuel. Using these skills have helped me to be very successful with entrepreneurial adventures and life in general.
What advice would you give your younger self?
NEVER be a slave to a paycheck, ELIMINATE FEAR, and trust your God given Gift and make it work for you.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That I am NOT a people’s person.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I am constantly evaluating my processes and tasks every day. Once I ask what I could have done better or differently to make the day more productive, take anecdotal notes and move on. Avoid, IF I, WOULD Have, COULD Have, SHOULD Have and embrace the fact that hindsight is 20/20 and you learn from it and move on
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The strategy that grew my business is ensuring quality customer service as well as customer satisfaction. Recognizing that word of mouth can make you or break you, and social media can do it even faster and stretch even greater distances, motivates me to keep my CORE values on the forefront. Bottom line, treat customers the way you would desire to be treated or as the golden rule says, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The one failure I had is not embracing the difference between having a gift and the anointing. AS an entrepreneur, I had the gift to think of many money making ideas to enhance my brand, and I tried to put many of them in action independent of the anointing. Just because you have the gift for a business, does not mean you have the anointing to bring it to fruition. Therefore, we must surround ourselves with anointed people who can get it done to the working vocabulary of your gift.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I purchased 43 acres of land in the city limits. The land has a beautiful lake on it and it is in an undeveloped area of the city. I am in the preliminary stages of working with millennials to present a complete plan to build a millennial community with modern homes around the lake and more affordable 3 and 4 bedroom homes on other phases of the property. This business venture is two fold, I want to show use all millennials to do every phase of this venture to bridge the generations, because baby boomers and Gen X seem to have such negative opinions of Gen Y (millennials) I want to highlight how we can marry the gifts, skills, and anointing to bring about a cummunial change.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Purchasing food for a family of 6 who was new to the city based on terrible circumstances. The reason I did it is because I was raised by a single mother who often times did not have all she needed to take care of her four children. So, seeing her struggle, reminded me of where I came from, and I wanted to do what I wished someone would have done for my struggling mother. So I made the purchase and asked her if I could personally prepare their holiday meal and deliver it to them. She tearfully agreed. I returned to the store and purchased the ingredients for an entire holiday feast. I cooked every dish and called the number I had gotten from her. When she answered, I asked her for her address and took the food to the family.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
“Shift”. I use it to stay on top of multiple email accounts and messages
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
TD Jakes, “Can You Stand To Be Blessed”…..The reason is because the book shares strategies necessary to maneuver the peaks and valley experiences of life. It gives them meaning. It also helps you to understand that if you are going to live a blessed life that you will be TALKED about and lied on etc. People will attempt to destroy your character but you cannot allow the sideline distractions to derail your calling.
What is your favorite quote?
Treat people the way you want to be treated.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.