An Interview with James Glass

Co-Founder of Clear Creek Drilling


James Glass is a General Manager and Project Manager of one of the largest Natural Gas companies in Eastern Kentucky with over 30 years of management experience (Now Co-Founder of Clear Creek Drilling).

In this interview, he shares his advice for staying focused and learning how to be the best you can be.


What is your background and how did you get started doing what you do now? From graduating high school to where you are today.

In High School, I worked part time at Wendy’s Hamburgers. Upon graduation, I was asked to join the management team. This is where I discovered my love for management.

I worked my way up in the Store Management racks over the course of the next 2 ½ years. However, I soon realized that while I was gaining valuable “practical” experience, I was lacking in the more technical and theoretical aspects of general management skills, models and styles.

Upon completing my degree from the University of Arkansas in Marketing / Management, I accepted a position with JC Penney in their Management Trainee program. At the time, JCPenney had one of the best training programs in the industry.

During the course of my 15 years with the company, I had an opportunity to work in a variety of different stores and markets throughout the Southern United States.

This provided valuable and varied experiences. Structural changes and realignments of Regions, Districts and Stores, provide me with an opportunity to enter into Store Management program of one of the fastest growing Home Improvement companies in the country.

This experience provided me with a whole new set of experiences and challenges for growth as related to my management development.

After almost 20 years of retail management, I took the opportunity to leave the multibillion dollar corporate environment for a small private business. Joining the team of 2 entrepreneurs, I had an opportunity to head up the operations of an oil and gas production and drilling company.

In the beginning, we started with 35 employees and quickly grew to nearly 300. We expanded from 200 gas wells and 2 drilling rigs to 400 wells and 6 rigs. The company’s partners grew apart and 2 separate companies were formed. We are currently operating 4 drilling rigs and are focusing on the development of oil production and drilling.


What are you currently doing and what do you think makes you good at it?

Currently, I am the Vice President & General Manager of a small land based drilling company in Eastern Kentucky.

My responsibilities are to insure that the company is maintaining smooth and efficient operations according to the company policies and procedures, by working with and through the supervisors of the various departments.

Having associates who are engaged and focused on what their tasks and responsibilities are, is vital to our success.


What does a typical work day look like for you as a General Manager?

It is hard to say what a typical work day is like. With the advent of the smart phones, my work days are 24/7. Twice a day, I review the rig reports and I evaluate and monitor possible changes or adjustments.

Additional, I am in constant contact with the team. As our drilling operations run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I am constantly communing with the supervisors and the rigs.

Once I get to the office, I respond to emails, address issues with supervisors, and communicate with clients or partners.

Each Thursday, I meet with our entire management staff to discuss past performance and planned work schedules. Saturdays are used to catch up on the weeks projects and for long term planning with the President.


What are some mistakes that you made early on that our readers could learn from?

I guess my most vivid mistake was when I was a young merchandise manager for JC Penney. My Manager asked me to make a merchandising change.

This was not the normal protocol, as instructions generally came from a middle level manager. My mistake was that I did not immediately follow through with his request. I made the unforgivable mistake of procrastinating!


When the going gets tough, what would you say motivates you to keep moving?

I think it is our associates and their families that keep me motivated and inspired to keep things going in the work place. Having a supportive wife and family as well as a strong spiritual foundation help keep me focused on what is truly important.


What would you consider one trait that has made you the businessman you are today?

Willing to change. Being able to adapt to the ever changing environments of business, whether it be regulatory or economic climate. Not being afraid to change or try something different is critical in today’s climate.


What are YOUR top 3 Tips for success?

1) Success and failure are created in the mind. Attitude and predominant thoughts determine whether I attract success or failure into my life. Having a positive and “can do” attitude at all times (especially during the difficult times). How I act and react will be closely monitored by all whom I influence, thus setting the tone for their attitude.

2) I don’t dwell over past bad experiences as whatever happened then will try to be avoided in the future. The past is gone; it is the future that I have to look forward to and forget any bad memories and experiences of the past.

3) Maintaining a balance between God, family, and work have always been very important to me. This can be a major challenge at times, but keeping this all in perspective and in balance is vital to my success.


Are you using any Apps on a day to day basis that help you most from day to day?

The app that i find most useful for me in my industry is the BlackGold app which keeps me abreast of the current market prices of natural gas and crude oil prices.


What are YOUR goals for the next 5 years?

My 5 year goal is to build a production company which complements our drilling operations. When we are not drilling for our clients, we are drilling for our own production.


What advice would you give to our readers?

Look for inspiration.

Learn to feel good about yourself. Everyone tends to harness their full body potential when in the ‘feel good’ mood as it is when you are comfortable and feeling good about yourself that you are motivated to succeed and experience comfort in life.

Look for inspiration and motivation from others around you. Absorb all the good they do and you can forget about the bad others have. Life is too short to waste on differentiating between the good and bad; so it’s better to decide when you take a look at a person whether you like their presence or not.

Avoid any form of negativity.

Avoid any negativity around you. There are some people who always adopt a negative attitude in everything they see. In the process, they also generate an aura of negativity around them which is rather contagious.

Instead of letting their influence rub into you, it’s better to avoid their company. If this is not possible, ignore their negativity and just absorb any positivity around you. Negativity only leads to discouragement and slows down any productivity towards success.

Be ready to learn from others.

Whether you know it or not, all the answers to succeed and progress in life are inside you. You have to spend some time looking inside you, finding out where you had made mistakes and make a plan for rectifying them.

Last, but not least, to succeed in life, you should always be ready to learn from others. You should acknowledge the fact that sometimes you are not the best and someone else around you will know and can do things better for you. Use their experience to your benefit, and you will find these thoughts and actions rather motivational to you.


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