About Rick Upchurch

Married in 1976, with three grown children. Have served as Pastor in the Church of the Nazarene for 18 years and still hold ordination credentials in the Church of the Nazarene. Led and taught in Adult Degree Completion programs in Christian Higher Education since 1998. Published four books available on Amazon: Discipleship with James, Guidebook for Curriculum Development and Assessment, Spiritual Warfare, and The Principles of Life.

Excel Tip – Chart from Filter

I always love learning new tips in Excel that can help me communicate data in a way that contributes to better decision making. Just having a lot of data is relatively useless unless you can present in such a way that it makes sense.

In this tutorial, I have used the filter and sort procedures I shared in other tips as a foundation for charting my data.  Hope you enjoy.

Add Value to Everything You Do

The uppermost thought in your mind as you approach any task, position, or responsibility should be “How can I add value.”  This applies to every part of your life. You should always be asking yourself, “How can you take my skills, experience, education, resources and add value to the lines of others.”  Check out the short video below for more on this:

Personal Reflection

Benjamin Franklin said, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” Proverbs 22:1 states, “Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.” Be aware of your personal reputation with the various areas of your life. Check out this short video for more on this:

 

 

Leaders Take the Initiative

If you had to reduce leadership to one word, what would it be?  I’ve heard a lot of different answers to that question; influence, innovation, domination, manipulation, persuasion, problem-solver, etc.  For me, I would have to say that leadership, in one word, is initiative. A leader is one whose nature compels them to take action . . . .  Check out the short video below for more on this.

ENGAGE!

Captain Piccard on the Starship Enterprise gives the order “Engage!” and once again they are all moving into another adventure.

In the classroom Engage is also the beginning of an adventure. Sure, it doesn’t involve the Borg, nor does it come down to life and death, BUT, it is the starting point for change that could very well spell the difference between success and failure.

Engaging in the classroom is an action that students choose. When the choice is to engage you can see it in their willingness to ask questions, to respond to questions when called upon and to actively volunteer to demonstrate their grasp of the material. These are the students who actually read the assignments and ask questions about what they don’t understand . . . and keep asking until the Instructor can make it clear. Those who engage always demonstrate a better grasp of the course material and are better able to make the leap to higher orders of creative thinking.

Contrast this with those who just show up for class, sit quietly, and wait to be “filled-up” by the Instructor. Sadly, they are usually disappointed in the class and the Instructor, leaving the class having checked off a box, but gained very little in actual knowledge or the ability to use the information to better themselves or their situation.

You get to choose – sit in the back or the front, sit quietly or speak up, doodle or take notes, skim the material or actually read the assignments, fluff your writing or actually strive to answer the questions at depth.

So, I’m going to encourage you to engage!  To apply yourself in the classroom and see what a difference it makes.

Leaders make decisions

In fact, that is one of the defining characteristics of a Leader: they make decisions. Leaders pull together information from a variety of sources and, based on their experience and education, they make a decision.  Sometimes the decisions made are good ones and other times not-so-good.  Typically if your good decisions outweigh your not-so-good decisions you are going the right direction.

For more on this check out this short video:

6 Tools to Clip, Annotate, and Save Online Content

The ability to clip and save online content is a necessity for our day. The article below appeared originally in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. I personally use Evernote as my preferred web clipper and hardly a day goes by that I don’t clip an article or several from different web sites to add to my files, all easily searchable. Check it out, and then try it out.

Below is a collection of some good Chrome extensions that can help you maximize your productivity and make the best of your online browsing experience. These are web clippers you can use to save important materials you come across online such as webpages, PDFs, images, videos, etc and have them handy when you have time or when needs be. More importantly, using these extensions will enable you to annotate your clipped content and read it in a clutter-free space. Also, you will be able to access all of your saved content across various devices ( laptop. tablet, and phone).   READ MORE

Everything rises and falls on Leadership

EVERYTHING!!  It is easy to see this wherever you go.  If something in your life is not going well, assume you have the ability to improve the situation. Ask yourself, “what can I do to lead myself, and or others to a different and better solution or practice.”  If good things are happening, it is because someone is exercising leadership (it might be you!).  If mediocrity prevails, it is because someone isn’t leading very effectively (it might be you!).

For more on this check out this short video:

How to Help Inexperience Employees be Successful

I ran across the article below from a twitter feed that I follow.  Excellent article with good advice for mentors or others working with new employees. What I like about the information is that if you ARE a new hire, or relatively inexperienced in a leadership role, you can learn a lot about how to make yourself more successful.  Here is the first part of the article:

Seasoned workers often complain about the unrealistic expectations and mistaken judgments of young, inexperienced employees. Yet organizations need junior people, beginners who aren’t aware of, or even interested in, everything their predecessors have done for the last 10 years.

But you can ease junior employees’ entry, help them be more productive, and encourage their receptivity to senior colleagues’ intentions and concerns. Here are some ways to start young staffers off on the right foot and keep them on track.

READ MORE

Defensive

When challenged, if your first thoughts and words are to defend your actions, to offer reasons or excuses, or find someone to blame…you are being defensive. When you respond defensively you effectively say that you are not qualified for leadership. If it happens often you might as well be saying “I’m not qualified for my position.” Phrases like “I was just…”or “But you don’t understand…” or “It’s not my fault” are defensive phrases.

For more on this, check out this short video: