Students taking action on lessons in leadership

Students taking action on lessons in leadership

July 23rd, 2012 by Yolanda Putman in News

Dr. David Banks is founder and president of the Institute for Leadership Deployment.

Photo by Tim Barber /Times Free Press.


* What: Institute for Leadership Deployment class

* When: Orientation at 6 p.m. July 27. Class starts 9 a.m. July 28 and is eight hours one Saturday a month for six months

* Where: Eastgate Town Center, 5600 Brainerd Road Suite E-2

* Application fee: $25

* More information: Interested students may contact Frenise Mann at 504-5530 or email their name and telephone number to

For two years, Frenise Mann had a plan to help people get out of debt and save money.

She shared her idea with some friends and church members, but did nothing on a large scale until she attended Dr. David Banks' Institute for Leadership Deployment.

His class motivated her to present her program - Mann's Steps to Financial Freedom - to Virginia College, where she works as a financial consultant in the financial aid office. College officials liked it so much, they incorporated her idea into the college curriculum.

"A lot of times we sit dormant," said Mann. "But the final project [for the institute] was to take something that you could create, take that idea and actually impact your field."

Mann is among a dozen graduates of the Institute for Leadership Deployment, a school founded this year by Banks to help people realize their purpose in life and do it.

"Universities teach students to get a job so they can make money," said Banks. "I really would like to train up leaders to focus on 'How I can make an impact?'"

Banks, who holds a doctorate in psychology and is pastor of the Empowerment Center, will host an orientation for his next class on Friday. The class, which meets at Eastgate Town Center for eight hours every Saturday for six months, starts at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Students graduate from the program by doing a final project intended to make a positive difference in the Southeast Tennessee region.

Mann's project isn't the only one that has taken root. Greg Spilker, a minister in Manchester, Tenn., wrote and published a children's book and distributed it to children at a local children's home.

Trina Adamson took the class and started a mentoring group for women. She said she also plans to start volunteering at a women's shelter.

"I always wanted to volunteer," said Adamson, a trainer at Panera Bread. "But I never did anything about it. This class inspired me to do something."

She said she appreciated the class because it required students to read three books in six months.

"There were times I couldn't get through one book," Adamson said. "I read three. For me that was an accomplishment."

The Institute for Leadership Deployment is designed to activate leaders in eight fields including education, medical, arts, business, family, government, ministry and regions. The institute offers biblical principles to enhance personal development and business endeavors.

"We teach students about perception," Banks said. "If you have an obstacle, you see it as an opportunity, and you look at how you're going to get through it."

People with sight only see what is, said Banks. Leaders with vision see what can be. For example, said Banks, to a person with only sight, an apple seed is just a seed. But to a person with vision it can be an orchard, furniture and food, he said.

"I just don't want to develop leaders," said Banks. "I want to make sure that they are aggressively doing something. I want to make sure they not only know how to lead, but they are actually leading."