Purpose / Mission
To empower citizens, communities, and country
to PLAN & LEAD in LIFE.
Programs / 7 Areas of Calling
I. People Planning, Developing, Making Comebacks, Best-Self Leaders and Organizations
II. Patriotism, Veterans Day, Freedom of Liberty-Rights, Citizenship, Character Education
III. Place for People to Plan and Renew with Animals, Plants
Best-Self Leadership and Plan for Life:
- Organized the first lecture in Alabama of Dr. Stephen Covey, author of the best-selling book on personal leadership, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, 1993.
- Provided 250+ public events on planning, leadership, patriotism…including 3 national programs (Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard, Hyrum Smith and Denis Waitley).
- Developed and teach 7 best practices each for Personal Leadership, Professionalism, and Best-Self Leadership.
- Developed teaching models on the 7 Areas of Life, Empowerment, Motivating Values, 7 Levels of Leadership, Callings & Choices, plus assessments of TIME, Attitude & Ability, Financial Fitness….
- Launched the Plan for School & Life initiative to promote people planning and improving plus help educators help students write and internalize plans needed for college, career, citizenship.
- Provide Veterans Making Comebacks (homeless and/or challenged by PTSD or injury) workbooks & workshops to assess & develop plans to Master Goliaths; provide resources for the Veterans Leadership Ministry and other veteran service organizations.
- Longest-running organization in Alabama focused on advancing Best-Self Leadership and Planning for Life.
After “911” attacks on America–added Patriotism in Action, National Veterans Day History and Character Education, Freedom Lives/Freedom City, Branding Birmingham, Advance Alabama:
- Wrote and published Patriotism in Action, a patriotic guide featuring the history of starting National Veterans Day in Alabama and 10 character traits to teach.
- Wrote and published Professionalism Under Stress to organize lessons from college, corporate, and combat for use in military and civilian life for serious professionals, emerging leaders, mentors, and family members.
- Organized the first event added to National Veterans Day traditions since 1947: Tribute to the Founder (“Driving Force”) of Veterans Day, November 10, Birmingham, 2006-
- Led the campaign of education and legislation that restored officially Alabama’s legacy for starting National Veterans Day in 1947 by gaining U.S. Senate Resolution approval 2012 providing research and proposal to Senator Jeff Sessions.
- Leader of Advance Alabama initiative for unique contributions as the only state to have led on both national movements for Veterans Day and Civil Rights (Freedom of Liberty and Rights) as well as Birmingham’s opportunity to brand for “Freedom City” before the World Games 2021.
Organizational Development Historical Summary
Seeds of the Calling planted and growing
- David inspired by the writings of Napoleon Hill and prolific people advocating teaching common denominators of doing our best at home, school, work, and places of worship connected to spiritual teachings on using our “talents” 1973
- Personal study, use, and advocacy of best practices at Auburn through fraternity and student government
- National fraternity consultant working with students and alumni adding planning, and personal leadership to chapter management work in 20 states
- Organized and published The Career Planner organizer and taught seminars for students, bookstore managers, and other professionals, learning needs for college seniors in planning, professional development common across USA
- Higher education administration, part-time teaching in planning/management, and advocacy of Life Planning and Leadership in work at Birmingham-Southern College
- Doctoral studies at Vanderbilt in higher education administration with courses in teaching, student development, curriculum, and dissertation on Time Priorities of College Presidents at the U.S. New & World Report “best institutions” in the South, learning correlation in the success and longevity in office of presidents based on my David now calls Time-Priority Leadership.
- TV interviews and articles published in the Association of Governing Boards showed interest by policy makers and public.
Institute and Association
- Institute launched after Dr. David Dyson completed doctoral studies in educational leadership at Vanderbilt University (research, publication, service) to advance Best-Self Leadership and Plans for Life–focusing on coaching, training, consulting, 1988
- Launched learning and improvement interest group with Johnny Johnson, BSC VP Business, 1991
- Launched and founded Personal Leadership Association and expanded to monthly seminars and volunteerism for public, 1992
- Incorporated with board of trustees, 1992
- Launched Patriotism in Action, Veterans Day Education, and Freedom Lives after “Sept 911” attacks on America, 2001
- Applied and approved as 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization serving America based in Alabama, 2012.
Core Capabilities and Services
- Equipping of Leaders, Teachers, Students, Parents, Boards, Supporters, Community Servant Leaders with advice and assistance plus resources
- Best-Self Leadership Education & Development Lectures, Seminars, Courses, Books, Assessments, Tools, and online public service resources
- Planning, Leadership, and Community development training, consulting, and service projects for Boards & Professionals
- Publications on Planning, Best-Self Leadership, Professionalism Under Stress, Steps to Set Achievable Resolutions, Master Goliaths, Veterans Making Comebacks, Earning Empowerment, Motivation, TIME….
- America’s Veterans Day Founding in Alabama History, Character Education, and National Branding, with books, posters and more resources for teachers
- Patriotism in Action events for Veterans Day education, veterans and families
- Alabama’s national contributions for Freedom—Veterans Day, Civil Rights, Plan for School & Life.
Core Programs and Initiatives
- Institute Research-Publication-Teaching-Service for Personal Leadership & Plan for Life, 1988-
- Association Public Seminars (10+ annually) 25+ years, 1991/1992-
- Personal Leadership for Patriots Public Event, November 2001-
- Professionalism Under Stress, inspired 2001, launched 2002, published book 2003-
- Patriotism in Action program, events, and support of others (inspired 2001; launched 2002, published book 2003-
- Tribute to the “Driving Force” of Veterans Day to launch National Veterans Day, 2006-
- Veterans Day Founding in Alabama History, Character Education, and National Branding Project, U.S. Senate Resolution November 2012
- Freedom Lives web site for birthplace of Veterans Day and cradle of Civil Rights Movement, 2013-
- Freedom to Flourish classes, public presentations, and online resources, 2014-
- Freedom City initiative, 2014-
- Veterans Making Comebacks and support of Veterans Leadership Ministry, 2014-
- Ranch & Farm programs added to support students, veterans, others to plan, improve, renew, recover with animals needing homes, growing fruits and vegetables, 2017-
7 Areas of Calling
I. Preparation for School, Profession, Life, Citizenship, Leadership
- 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, better prepared to serve.
- Plan for School and the 7 Areas of Life: so students write a plan in school to inspire and guide them with improved attitude, attendance, and achievement, help parents and counselors know intent and advise better, plus help students communicate, attract, and match with college and career opportunities.
- Master Your Goliaths: so people learn a process they can use and teach to set resolutions to help them develop and achieve, assess and change, and overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges to benefit them and society.
II. Patriotism, Character Traits, Freedom of Liberty-Rights-Flourish
- Patriotism in Action: so more people take action as well as feel patriotic spirit as we provide events promoting personal leadership, true professionalism, and appreciation for veterans who serve and sacrifice for freedoms.
- Veterans Day History and Character Education: so students learn the national history of America’s Veterans Day starting in Alabama connected to character traits.
- Freedom to Flourish: so more students know they are free to flourish because of liberty and rights and learn how using best-self leadership with a plan for life.
III. Nature nurtures people to plan, grow, renew with animals
- Farm and Ranch: so more people seeking to improve or make comebacks can renew and plan better with animals, plants, and nature.
People Serving and Supporting
- Col. Bob Barefield (USA Ret): (205)305-9561
- Dr. David Dyson, director: (205)422-6484 or David@LifeLeadersInstitute.org
- Mr. Melvin Carrington Smith, Sr.: (205)276-3333
Trustees in memoriam:
- Col. C.H. “Stretch” Dunn (USA Retired), West Point Graduate, career Army, BE&K…
- Mr. Johnny Johnson, VP, Business and Finance, Birmingham-Southern College
- Mr. Hack Sain, Founder & CEO, Sain Associates
Advisors and Advocates
(some of our friends who have advised, advocated, or assisted our mission…)
Name (city): a key area of interest and service
- Mrs. Nancy Barefield (Clay): Patriotism in Action
- Maj. Jeff Brown (Tuscaloosa): Patriotism in Action, Character Education
- Mr. Steve Bryant (Vestavia): Farm and Ranch
- Dr. Mike Burkett (Vestavia): Education, Veterans Day, Veterans Making Comebacks
- Mr. Kyle Crider (Helena): Webmaster, Tech, Publications, 7 callings
- Ms. Joan Dunn (Hoover); Patriotism in Action, events, Social Life Plans
- Dr. Jack Hawkins (Troy): Education, Patriotism, Veterans Day Education
- Mr. Steele Holman (Mobile): Education, Master Your Goliaths for Prisoners
- Mr. John Hornsby (Mtn. Brook): Freedom, Veterans Day
- Mr. Tim King (Clanton): Education, Youth, Programs
- Mrs. Barbara Weeks Minor and Kyle Minor, Veterans Day History Education
- Bishop Dr. Bernard Omukubah (Birmingham and Kenya), Leadership in Ministry
- Ms. Patty Thompson (Daphne): Youth, Events
- Mr. Lou Vickery (Atmore): Radio, Education, Plan for Life, Veterans
- Daniel Foundation of Alabama
- Caring Foundation of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama
- Vision Golf and Association Management
- Welch Hornsby
- Tribal Council and Education Endowment of Poarch Creek Indians
- Trustees, Donors
During Circa 2012-2015
- Alabama Power Company
- Alabama Power Foundation
- City of Birmingham
- Mike and Gillian Goodrich Foundation
- Protective Life
- Trustees, Donors
Sponsors of Leadership and Professional Development Programs in the Past Presenting National Authors and Speakers Dr. Stephen Covey, Dr. Ken Blanchard, Mr. Hyrum Smith, Dr. Denis Waitley, hosted at Birmingham-Southern College (1993, 1994, 1995):
- Alabama Power Company
- Birmingham-Southern College
- Protective Life
- Southern Company Services