Plans Possible–Actions Needed–Results Desired
On this page:
- Mission and Vision (desired results, why, how, progress, support…)
- Goals and Scope of Work (what we aim to do with partners)
- Seven Areas of Calling and Impact Needed
To empower citizens, communities, and country
to PLAN and LEAD in LIFE.
Vision for 3 Priorities
to develop Students & State
I. Plan for School and Life
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.
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.
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 strategy 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. If state curricula requires the 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.
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.
Goals and Scope of Work
Plan for School and the 7 Areas of Life
Increase College-Career-Character Readiness
Increase Satisfaction of Alumni, Parents, Students
who want students to develop plans to boost purpose/priorities
- Plan for School and College-Career-Character handouts, classes, templates and tools to use: online resources, presentations and advice, plus in school pilots that will help improve processes and publications.
- Goals and Resolutions Planbook: written, published, and posted for students and professionals to use.
- Google ads Alabama and nationally offering educational resources and individual tools to teachers and speakers: planbooks, video, web.
- Plan for School and College-Career-Character Readiness planbook (to boost attitude, achievement, and citizenship.
- 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).
- Publications and assistance free to Alabama Department of Education.
- Publications and advice free to College of Education deans.
- 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).
- Life Leadership Ranch Day for students to develop goals, plans, character traits such as courage.
- Master Your Goliaths Planbook for those with extra challenging goals.
- Veterans Making Comebacks Planbook: Look in the Mirror Assessment
- Veterans Making Comebacks Planbook: Goals & Actions to Develop
- Best-Self Strategy Planbook: 7 Best Practices to Plan & Lead your Life
- 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 low cost.
- Free blogs on Facebook for the 7 callings and more: Plan for School and Life, Best-Self Leadership, Master Your Goliaths, Veterans Day Education, Patriotism in Action, Advance Alabama.
- Attitude and Ability Planbook to Assess and Develop A-B Levels
- 7 Motivating Values Planbook
Veterans Day Founding History, Character,
and Leadership Education
- Provide the #1 web page for teachers, government leaders, civic club speakers, historians, and media–handouts, videos, slides…
- Serve as Historian and Author for National Veterans Day.
- Provide web content to National Veterans Day, link to them, and invite NVD to link to us so visitors can get history of how the NVD started.
- Patriotism in Action book that provides a patriotic guide for holidays and traditions useful in schools and homes–free student/public access.
- Book for teachers and more telling: America’s National Veterans Day started in Alabama: History and Character Traits Examples
- Poster that summarizes the history lessons for Veterans Day Founded in Alabama and 10 character traits to teach in schools.
- Handout for classes and civic club programs highlighting the history and character traits for National Veterans Day starting in Alabama.
- Video: How National Veterans Day started in Alabama (<5 minutes, include Eisenhower, Reagan, White House…).
- Google ads to reach teachers, students, veterans, patriots nationally.
- Video channel playlist for Veterans Day Founding Education.
- Blogs on Facebook: Veterans Day Founding Education, Patriotism in Action, Freedom to Flourish, Freedom City, Advance Alabama.
- Civic club presentation resources for presenters to use: video, handout, advice, speakers.
- Brand Alabama as the founding state of America’s Veterans Day–web page, publications, Google Ads in the state plus nationally.
- Brand Alabama for the emerging national initiative to help schools help students write Plans for School and Life to improve achievement.
- Google Ads targeted for state, nation, selected countries in the World Games 2021 hosted in Birmingham, video channel posts, publications.
- Advance Alabama blog on Facebook.
- Freedom to Flourish blog on Facebook.
- Freedom City blog on Facebook.
- 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.
- Offer help and materials to Birmingham and Alabama to assist on improved strategy and implementation to provide information to media and visitors from World Games countries before 2021.
Additional Supporting Initiatives
- Character Traits web page
- Life Leadership Ranch Day for students (plan for school and character traits development), plus support public policy and education for ethical treatment of animals and people.
- Plan for School and College, Career, Character Readiness
- Plan for College & the 7 Areas of Life
- Student Success seminars and consulting for colleges and schools
- Best-Self Leadership strategy seminar to PLAN and LEAD in LIFE
- Life Leadership and Ranch Experience
- Earning and Delegating Empowerment
- The 7 Components of Attitude and Ability
Past events we can pull from to adapt for groups:
- 250+ public seminars on planning, personal leadership, and/or patriotism in action.
- Nov 10, 4-4:30 pm: Tribute to the Founder of Veterans Day, Weeks Monument, Linn Park, Birmingham Life Leaders Ranch Day for Camp Rockhurst (students improve plans. for life, learn of personal leadership, and equine-assisted coaching…).
Personal Leadership for Patriots at the Southern Museum of Flight.
- Life Planning & Leadership courses at Birmingham-Southern College.
- Lectures at the University of Montevallo.
- Summer Camp seminar for GEAR UP.
- National Leadership seminars: Covey, Blanchard, Waitley, Smith. Flag Day/Memorial Day 2019 in honor of Col. Bob (USA Ret) & Nancy Barefield and memory of Col. Stretch Dunn (USA Ret).
7 Areas of Calling
I. Help people Plan and Lead in Life
1. Best-Self Leadership: so students and professionals learn common denominators of doing our best regardless of academic, professional, or other life choice with a written strategy for doing our best we can use and teach, proving ourselves better prepared to serve.
2. Plan for School and the 7 Areas of Life: so youth (and the adults teaching them) each write a plan in school to inspire and guide them with improved attitude, attendance, and achievement, help parents and counselors know intent better so they can advise better, plus help students communicate, attract, and match with college and career opportunities. Plan for School & 7 Areas of Life
3. Master Your Goliaths: so people facing extra challenges (homelessness, PTSD…) know better how to set goals and resolutions to give them hope plus help them develop and achieve, assess and change, and overcome threats and challenges to benefit them and society while learning a process they can use again.
Master Your Goliaths
II. Advance Freedom, Patriotism, Veterans Day Founding Education
4. Patriotism in Action: events to advance more people taking action in addition to feeling patriotic spirit. Events promote personal leadership, true professionalism, and appreciation for military and veterans, first-responders, and families who serve and sacrifice for freedoms.
Patriotism in Action
5. Veterans Day Founding History and Character Traits Education: so schools add missing education so students can learn the national history of America’s Veterans Day starting in Alabama connected to 10 character traits: patriotism, courage, perseverance, loyalty, and citizenship, as well as honor, freedom, peace, trust, leadership. Alabama informs and benefits better from national movements led here connected to freedoms.
Veterans Day History & Character Education
6. Freedom to Flourish: so more students know Freedom Lives, how, and they have Freedom to Flourish because of liberty and rights and learn best practices for how to flourish, plus implement with a plan to develop capacity and commitment for fulfilling callings and choices.
Freedom Lives/Freedom to Flourish
7. Advance Alabama: Alabama has opportunity to be branded positively in our nation and globally as a leader advancing freedoms of liberty and rights, as well as freedom to flourish, before the World Games in Birmingham, 2021.
III. Events for people to plan, develop, renew
1.Life Leadership Farm and Ranch Experiences: Life Leaders offers educational group and personal enrichment programs for those seeking to plan, improve, renew, or make comebacks in a unique program to think, plan, and implement to improve results and habits–in nature with animals also needing sanctuary.
Farm & Ranch for Animals and People
Plans, programs, and pages for these 7 callings will continue to improve.
Suggestions of ideas or introductions to people who may be looking for us: David@LifeLeadersInstitute.org or 205.422.6484