Plans Possible–Actions Needed–Results Desired

On this page:

  1. Mission
  2. Goals and Scope of Work
  3. Seven Areas of Calling and Impact Needed
  4. Events
  5. Vision, Results, Progress


To empower citizens, communities, and country
to PLAN and LEAD in LIFE.

Goals and Scope of Work

BSC students at Goals, Resolutions & Personal Leadership class held in conjunction with a Life Leaders seminar

I. Plan for School and the 7 Areas of Life

  1. Increase student development and citizenship teaching mandated character traits and helping schools with resources and teaching.
  2. Increase attitude and achievement in students with written Plans for School and College-Career-Character Readiness
  3. Increase Satisfaction of Alumni and Parents because they want students to receive preparation to PLAN and LEAD in LIFE–and they wish they got that inspired instruction as well.
  1. Google ads in Alabama and USA offering educational resources and individual tools to teachers and speakers: planbooks, video, web.
  2. Attitude & Ability Assessment & Plan to develop A-B Levels (C average is the norm)
  3. Life Leaders Ranch Day for students to develop goals for school plus character traits courage & compassion, patriotism & perseverance–caring for and working with rescued horses
  4. Plan for School and College-Career-Character Readiness planbook (to boost attitude and achievement with better focus and decisions).
  5. Plan for College and the 7 Areas of Life planbook (to help more students stay in school and perform at a higher level of commitment).
  6. Goals and Resolutions Planbook: written, published, and posted for students and professionals to use.
  7. Mission and Vision handout for college students preparing to teach provided to professors (once students become teachers, they update and provide this handout to parents & students to state intent…).
  8. Publications and assistance to Alabama Department of Education.
  9. Master Your Goliaths Planbook for those with extra challenging goals.
  10. Veterans Making Comebacks Planbook: Look in the Mirror Assessment
  11. Veterans Making Comebacks Planbook: Goals & Actions to Develop
  12. Best-Self Strategy Planbook: 7 Best Practices to Plan & Lead your Life
  13. Patriotism in Action book free online (tells how US Veterans Day started in Alabama)–free handouts and full book at Kindle 80% off
  14. Professionalism Under Stress book free online (for serious cadets, cadre, civilian students) free for review at Life Leaders web site and added to Amazon for Kindle readers at 80% discount.
  15. Free blogs: Plan for School and Life, Best-Self Leadership, Master Your Goliaths, Veterans Day Founding Education, Patriotism in Action, Character Traits, Advance Alabama.

II. Veterans Day Founding History, Character,
and Leadership Education

The Veterans Day Founded in Alabama poster is a resource to display at school events, classes on history and character, city halls, veteran organizations, and tourism venues.
The newest poster lists 10 character traits.
  1. Provide the #1 web page for teachers, government leaders, civic club speakers, historians, and media–handouts, videos, slides…
  2. Serve as Historian & Author for National Veterans Day (based in Bhm)
  3. Provide web content to National Veterans Day, link to them, and invite NVD to link to us so teachers can get history of how NVD started in AL
  4. Handout for classes and civic club programs highlighting the history and character traits for National Veterans Day starting in Alabama.
  5. Poster that summarizes the history lessons for Veterans Day Founded in Alabama and 10 character traits to teach in schools.
  6. Video: How National Veterans Day started in Alabama (<5 minutes, include Eisenhower, Reagan, White House…).
  7. Google ads to reach teachers, students, veterans, patriots nationally.
  8. Patriotism in Action book that provides a patriotic guide for holidays and traditions useful in schools and homes–free student/public access.
  9. Video channel playlist for Veterans Day Founding Education.
  10. Blogs: Veterans Day Founding Education, Patriotism in Action, Freedom to Flourish, Freedom City, Advance Alabama.
  11. Civic club presentation resources for presenters to use: video, handout, advice, speakers.
  12. Book for teachers telling: America’s National Veterans Day started in Alabama: History and Character Traits Examples

III. Advance Alabama

  1. Brand Alabama more as leader of national movements for Veterans Day and Civil Rights–web page, publications, Google Ads, social media.
  2. Brand Alabama for the emerging national initiative to help schools help students write Plans for School and College-Career-Character Readiness to improve attitude and achievement.
  3. Advance Alabama blog on Facebook.
  4. Freedom to Flourish blog on Facebook.
  5. Google ads taking media and interested people in key World Games countries to our information branding Alabama positively for national and international contributions to Veterans Day, Civil Rights, Student Achievement–supporting the team leading Birmingham’s efforts.

IV. Additional Supporting Initiatives

  1. Character Traits web page
  2. Life Leaders Ranch Day for students (plan for school & character traits development), plus support ethical treatment of animals & people.


Recommended/offered to schools:

  1. Plan for School and College, Career, Character Readiness
  2. Plan for College & the 7 Areas of Life
  3. Student Success seminars and consulting for colleges and schools
  4. Best-Self Leadership strategy seminar to PLAN and LEAD in LIFE
  5. Life Leadership and Ranch Experience building courage & compassion
  6. Earning and Delegating Empowerment
  7. The 7 Components of Attitude and Ability: assess, plan, improve

Key past events we can pull from to adapt for groups:

  1. 250+ public seminars on planning, personal leadership, and/or patriotism in action, 1992-
  2. Nov 10, 4-4:30 pm: Tribute to the Founder of Veterans Day, Weeks Monument, Linn Park, Birmingham, to kick off National Veterans Day
  3. Life Leaders Ranch Day for Camp Rockhurst (students improve plans. for life, learn of personal leadership, and compassion with animals…)
  4. Personal Leadership for Patriots at the Southern Museum of Flight.
  5. Life Planning & Leadership courses at Birmingham-Southern College.
  6. National Leadership seminars: Covey, Blanchard, Waitley, Smith.
  7. Flag Day/Memorial Day 2019 in honor of Col. Bob (USA Ret) & Nancy Barefield and memory of Col. Stretch Dunn (USA Ret).

Vision for 3 Priorities
To Develop Students & State

I. Plan for School and College-Career-Character

Vision: Students write plans for school and life while in school preparing for college, career, character readiness. College students continue, expand, and improve plans for the 7 Areas of Life. Professionals and family members continue to develop plans that inspire and guide them.

Writing a plan fulfills a best practice for student development that helps students increase sense of purpose, focus on priorities, and “grit” to do their best more often because of enhanced attitude leading to improved attendance and achievement, including graduation and especially, “college and career ready.” Students use their plans for assignment grades with teachers, plus with parents, counselors, and mentors. They can use plans to copy and paste into applications to college or career, saving time and improving results.

College students expand plans for college and the 7 Areas of Life, adding draft professional plans that inspire them to prepare and to use seeking opportunities. They improve preparation for character and competence to do their best and match with wants and needs of employers and partners.

The State adds a positive brand for positive, common sense applications that leads to improved student achievement, graduation rates, national rankings, and a workforce better prepared for productivity and true professionalism.

Because: A+ fulfillment of student and professional development requires a plan. Student development literature already calls for this–we just need to implement.

Alumni and parents want this addition of plans and purpose, especially for their children. Approximately one of four students do not even finish high school, or if they do are not college and career ready.

Improve the State Strategy

If the legislature has been funding what they can and teachers have been doing what they can, then it makes sense to try focusing on a third component–to help students develop more purpose and personal leadership and character traits like “courage” and “perseverance.” If we don’t, it seems we are choosing to accept what we have been getting.

Plans enhance sense of purpose, which increases attitude, attendance, and achievement leading to more “grit” and perseverance (a school character trait) toward graduation and “readiness.” If we are already doing most all you think you can with school leadership and teacher performance, adding self-reliance to students is a workable strategy that will have more long-term benefits related to developing citizenship.

At the college and university level, only a few schools report 70% of students finish. At many schools, the success rate for graduation is less than half, even less than one in four. At the college level, personal leadership including sense of purpose and time priorities often determine if the student finishes–more than academic ability. Many adults think the problem is money–a factor but not the root cause.

Many students think they are as busy as they can be though are investing less than 20 hours per week in college work. If we help them assess what they are doing, choose a vision to invest 40 hours, and teach them how, more students will graduate and learn valuable skill needed on the job and wanted by professionals. College students would likely work 40 hours in career if they did not go to school so investing that time makes sense. Many students get into academic trouble because they do not yet know how to manage themselves and their time use. Students going straight to work after high school know they are expected to perform for certain hours, similar to attending school. Many college students do not have the same supervision or support system keeping them engaged for the 40 hours or so.

If students learn to work productively for 40 hours, the graduation rates in colleges will increase dramatically. Plans can drive purpose and priorities, which can improve performance.

Strategy: research, development, publication, and posting free or low cost online resources to help teachers and students state-wide and nationally–web pages, books and planbooks, videos, presentations….

Advise and assist leaders with vision for student development to add requirements, rewards, and resources needed for implementation and sustainability. And, persist to advise and assist state leaders guiding requirements to put motivators in place to support desired behaviors. Key implementers include educational leaders and teachers, executives and HR professionals, human services organizations, coaches and mentors, civic club leaders, ministers of education, and other motivated citizens. Leaders of these groups must put processes in place to reward action for sustainability.

Life Leaders publishes online planbooks such as Plan for School and Life, Plan for College and Life, Plan for the 7 Areas of Life…all intended to help students and professionals to PLAN and LEAD in LIFE.

Life Leaders seeks to serve government, education, and human service organizations to reach the next level in the movement to add plans for life and best-self leadership in schools, colleges, universities, professional, and spiritual organizations as part of a brand for schools, other development organizations, and the state fulfilling Freedom to Flourish.

Progress: Life Leaders is the longest-running nonprofit in Alabama, perhaps the U.S., teaching, advocating, and serving leaders and personal development advocates to help people write plans for life and learn personal leadership princaiples. Dr. Dyson started efforts in 1973 to help students get this added preparation. Life Leaders adopted this goal by 1993.

We have made progress through efforts, though sustainability will come after schools require and reward students to do this recommended action.

Our first public seminar was hosted January 1992. Over 250 seminars have been sponsored to advance planning, personal leadership, and professional development. Pilot classes have been taught in Birmingham City Schools on Veterans Day History, Freedom of Rights, and plan for 10 Character Traits. Life Planning and Leadership was taught at Birmingham-Southern College and UAB School of Engineering. Radio shows, videos, and blogs on Planning, Best-Self Leadership, and Master Your Goliaths support people and this purpose. Google Ads invite the public to preview and print publications to use at no cost. And, we have added Life Leaders Ranch Day events for students to help inspire them to PLAN and LEAD in LIFE aided by experiences with horses and activities in nature.
For more Progress…

Partners: foundations and friends provide advocacy to leaders and key implementers, volunteerism, and/or money for the mission. They subscribe or follow as many as possible of our communications for their information, use, and sharing: journal, email, blogs on Facebook, and posts on Instagram.
Take Action.

II. Veterans Day Founding History & Character Education

Vision: Teachers of millions of students know the “who, when, where, why” national history of America’s Veterans Day starting in Alabama so they can teach this often-missing history. Alabama schools teach why America’s take a day off annually to commemorate veterans of all U.S. wars connected to the Civil Rights Movement and creation of Freedom to Flourish.

American educators know and teach that Veterans Day started in Alabama in 1947, endorsed by General Eisenhower (1946) and honored by President Reagan (1982). School character traits are taught supporting this history–these are five of the 25 adopted by Alabama in 1995 for instruction for 10 minutes per day: Patriotism, Courage, Perseverance, Loyalty, and Citizenship. These additional character traits and values should be taught, we believe, especially in Alabama: Freedom, Trust, Honor, Peace, and Leadership.

Dr. David Dyson speaks to elementary school students in Hoover, hosted by two students in the class, great-granddaughters of the Founder of National Veterans Day. The teacher made this happen to correct a mistake. Without having material on Veterans Day Founding Education, she taught what she found on the Internet, which stated Veterans Day started in another state. She learned soon of the unintentional confusion and embarrassment felt by two of her students because their great-grandfather started Veterans Day seven years.

After 70+ years of presenting good events with good media coverage, only 1% of Americans know this national history of “who, where, when” National Veterans Day started–and even in the founding State of Alabama, less than 50% know. We need to keep the good and add to succeed and sustain.

We could succeed if every student (future graduate and patriotic citizen) learned in at least one grade the history and character traits of Veterans Day. When more schools require missing lessons to be taught, Life Leaders can provide the material online for the teachers of millions of students.

Because: Less than 1% nationally know this positive history. Alabama is losing national brand, event and tourism revenue because some national veteran, educational, and patriotic organization event planners do not know they should consider Alabama for their annual meetings. More in Birmingham (the founding city) have additional awareness (perhaps 50%) thanks to annual news stories though successful education to all citizens for city, state, and nation fall short because this history and character education has not been required. Our educators can make a difference by implementing, and Life Leaders can advise, assist, and provide resources to succeed better and faster.

Prior to our escalated involvement rising in 2012, more online resources used by well-intentioned teachers cited erroneously that another state started Veterans Day (7 years after it actually happened in Birmingham). The state credited with this official recognition contributed to the national movement, though Alabama started the holiday seven years earlier (1947). Mr. Weeks, founder, invested 40 years starting and growing Veterans Day, though he had officially lost his legacy. In 2012, we (Patriotism in Action program of Life Leaders) led the campaign to the U.S. Senate for a resolution to correct the official history, approved November 2012. We can learn from this lesson: event and education are required for sustainability.

Strategy: provide the nation’s top web site for teachers, historians, and media professionals on the founding of National Veterans Day history. Provide free online resources supported by training and coaching for inspired educators, historians, and media–web pages, book, poster, videos, teaching materials, lessons on 10 character traits, events, social media, plus Google Ads providing free resources. Partner with National Veterans Day as historian, help them create web pages for teachers connected to our complete collection.

Progress: Education partner with National Veterans Day and serve as Historian and Author for National Veterans Day. After the “9-11” attacks on America, we wrote and published Patriotism in Action: The Founding of Veterans Day in Alabama. Since then, our Patriotism in Action program has presented Personal Leadership for Patriots and Tribute to the Founder of Veterans Day. We developed, host, and support the top U.S. web site with free resources for Veterans Day Founding Education. Google ads with links invite visitors to free online teaching resources. Programs and posters have been presented in schools such as Birmingham City Schools, Hoover, Vestavia…Teacher Conference at American Village, Freedom Institute for City of Birmingham, Boy Scouts…. And, we have presented at major veterans organizations. Our book on the history is presented to the National Veteran Award honoree and national officers of veteran organizations visiting for National Veterans Day annually.
More Progress…

III. Advance Alabama

Vision: Alabama is branded nationally for college football and civil rights, especially among millions who have not lived or visited here. And, we can add positive branding for the city and state that started America’s National Veterans Day and the connections to Freedom–Freedom of Liberty, Freedom of Rights, and Freedom to Flourish–before Birmingham hosts the World Games in 2021.

Because: Most students are missing important and inspiring history with applicable character traits. The State of Alabama is losing positive branding and revenue from events, tourism, and commerce. The opportunity is for Alabama to lead on events and education related to Veterans Day, Civil Rights, and Plan for School and Life. The message: We have Freedom to Flourish and we take action on common sense to become good citizens. The positive brand can include standing for patriotism, freedom, rights, and good citizenship.

Strategy: Provide online resources (web pages, blogs on social media, Google ads) supported by speaking, training, and coaching for inspired visionary government leaders who can advance policy, educators who can add lesson plans and requirements, civic club presenters, historians, and media who can help educate and inspire the public.

Progress: Our Patriotism in Action team led the campaign resulting in the U.S. Senate passing a new resolution restoring historical leadership for starting America’s Veterans Day for the State of Alabama (after Congress passed an earlier resolution giving credit to another state that started their Veterans Day commemorations seven years after Birmingham). With the help of government leaders, educators, and other patriots, the 40-year legacy of Raymond Weeks and of Alabama has been restored. Now, we can implement for greater results and sustainability.

The Governor of Alabama presented to Life Leaders a proclamation supporting our work and call to action. The Mayor of Birmingham presented a proclamation to us in a presentation at a public City Council meeting.

Dr. Dyson served on the Freedom Institute Faculty for “50 Years Forward” for the City of Birmingham (1963-2013). We host the Advance Alabama blog on Facebook as well as Central Alabama Positive News and Possibilities. Additional blogs including Veterans Day Founding Education, Freedom to Flourish, and Freedom City.
For more Progress

Beyond the Mission

In addition to serving as the lead resource in the nation for Veterans Day Founding History and Character Education and the lead resource in Alabama for Plan for School and Life, we also seek to serve as significant resources for our other areas of calling. Beyond that, we intend to cooperate with other nonprofits such as Raleigh’s Place (foster children), University of Montevallo (Environmental Studies students), and various animal shelters and service groups.

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