Successful leaders consistently demonstrate and communicate the values and vision by which their organization thrives; this truth is authentic to Lindel Fields, Superintendent and CEO at Tri County Tech. As soon as he stepped into the Superintendent and CEO role, he challenged employees to stretch themselves and Tri County. His first action was to draft Vision 2020, a fearless and bold initiative intended to establish Tri County as a premier education institution and one of the only schools to decline federal funding in the United States.
As a result of his inclusive and transparent leadership, this small but mighty CareerTech school in Bartlesville, Oklahoma has earned several distinguished achievements both regionally and nationally. These include being named as one of Oklahoma’s Best Places to work four years in a row; the Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce’s Frank Phillips Award in 2013; in 2014 Tri County received the prestigious “Excellence” Award from the Oklahoma Quality Foundation. Nationally, Tri County Tech has made its fourth year on Fortune’s Great Places to Work list, the only public education institution on the list. This past November, Tri County crossed a finish line ten years in the making when they won the prestigious award for excellence, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The Baldrige Award is a Presidential-level honor, recognizing outstanding practices among American organizations and businesses including an unceasing drive for radical innovation, thoughtful leadership, and organizational improvement.
Lindel is devoted to paying it forward and serving his community. He leads his employees by example, acting as the President of the Bartlesville Regional United Way Board of Directors in 2016; he is a member of the Bartlesville Rotary Club as well as past President. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees for the Jane Phillips Medical Center and the Oklahoma State Chamber. Together with his staff, Tri County was named 46th in the country for Giving Back by Fortune’s top 100 places to work.
Tri County is on a mission to provide life-changing learning experiences to its diverse student population. To ensure the mission’s success, Lindel encourages staff to grow and learn continually. Lindel leads by example as a certified John Maxwell Speaker, Trainer, and Coach. Lindel is passionate about leadership and enjoys helping others reach their vision and leadership goals through Fields’ Philosophy, a monthly article published in the bMonthly Magazine and live leadership videos.
Leaders often ask him what’s his secret. How does he motivate a high-performing, grace-filled culture of excellence? His usual reply is, “our secret sauce isn’t about doing things, it’s about touching hearts. You have to touch their hearts before you can ask for their hands.”