Tons of Stone above my Head: Coal Mining Stories with Leadership Lessons

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9780978569136: Tons of Stone above my Head: Coal Mining Stories with Leadership Lessons
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This book is the second of four volumes of stories with leadership lessons. I began writing this book in 1989 at the urging of my younger brother Jack who is an archaeologist. For years, he had heard my stories of the nine years I worked in the coal mines and thought they should be preserved for posterity. During these nine years I worked in the UMWA for four years as a ventilation man, rockduster, scoop car man, and roof bolter and five years as a production foreman and a construction foreman. I am a certified mine foreman of gaseous mines in Ohio. In 1993, I published an article consisting of some of my coal mining stories and part of a diary I kept while underground in Appalachian Journal. Two years later in 1995 using more of my coal mining material, I co-authored an article with Jack, which was published in Tennessee Anthropologist. About 90 of the stories in this book were also published in The Marietta Times in my weekly leadership column that I have written for ten years, Everyday Leadership. Tons of Stone above my Head: Coal Mining Stories with Leadership Lessons was written for a variety of people. It is a story book for people who are interested in the culture of coal mining or anyone who loves stories. In addition, the book offers helpful ideas for leaders and followers at all levels in organizations. Also, speakers and storytellers might find value in the variety of stories, which might trigger their own stories. Finally, this book could prove useful for those studying American coal mining culture in its heyday. Many of my newspaper readers and leadership training clients have told me they enjoy most my leadership columns that relate to coal mining. Some of these people have or had brothers, fathers, or grandfathers who worked as coal miners. Other readers are just interested in such a strange, scary culture. I cannot count the number of people who have told me, I could never work in an underground coal mine! A number of my readers find the most value in the leadership lessons with which each story ends and some just enjoy the stories. Therefore, I decided upon the structure of telling the stories in the body of the text and offering the leadership lesson at the end of the book. Please note, I use the terms coal miners use. Most of the time, I include a definition of each term when it is first used. However, a complete glossary is included for your convenience at the end of the book.

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About the Author:

R. Glenn Ray was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky and moved about Kentucky living in Smith Grove, West Point, Glasglow, Orangeburg, and Flemingsburg. He and his family moved to Beallsville, Ohio, in 1961 and then to a farm at Malaga, Ohio the next year. So, most of his youth was spent and memories created on that sixty-acre farm. He matriculated at Western Kentucky University in the fall of 1971 and then moved to Morehead State University the next semester. Instead of continuing his education for his sophomore year, he took a job as an underground coal miner in Southeastern Ohio. After a year in the mine, he returned to college at Campbellsville College in Campbellsville, Kentucky. He worked part-time as a construction laborer for R. E. Belvins Construction Company while attending Campbellsville College. He finished his sophomore year and returned to the coal mines completing eight more years there. Simultaneously with his work in the mines, he finished his Bachelor of Arts in psychology in 1980 and Master of Arts in guidance and counseling and student personnel services in 1982 at Ohio University. He left the coal mine in 1982 and spent several months working with his brother, Jack, as an archaeological research assistant. He started his doctorate in interpersonal communication in 1983 and completed it at Ohio University in 1988. In 1985, Glenn spent four years as the training manager at BorgWarner Chemicals and later with GE Plastics after they purchased the BorgWarner Chemicals division. He moved to North Ridgeville, Ohio to serve for one year as the training director for the Scott Fetzer Company in Westlake, Ohio. His next ten years were spent as the director of the Institute of Education and Training for Business in the Bernard P. McDonough Center for Leadership and Business at Marietta College. He designed and facilitated training programs for various businesses in the eastern United States. Since 2000, Glenn has served as president of RayCom Learning where he works with leaders to create an environment where people communicate clearly and choose to commit to organizational goals. He has published ten books including, The Facilitative Leader: Behaviors that Enable Success, and You Can t Push a Pig into a Truck: Everyday Leadership Lessons. He has also published nine national journal articles and numerous national conference proceedings. He has made over 1450 keynote and workshop presentations. Glenn is a member of the National Speakers Association and is the immediate past president of the National Speakers Association of Ohio, president of The United Way of Washington County, and board member of Leadership Ohio and The O Neill Senior Center. He is also a member of the Storytellers of Central Ohio. Glenn can be reached at 1-888-574-5370 or rayray@RayComLearning.com. He looks forward to your thoughts and comments on this work.

Review:

Storytelling is the newest craze among corporate trainers. We clearly believe that people learn from stories and shared experiences. Glenn Ray tells a most compelling story in these pages about an old industry that clearly has lessons that can be used in this fast paced, highly technical and increasingly global world. It seems to me that coal miners may not be totally dissimilar from investment bankers in their reactions/actions. Clearly the lessons learned are worth considering if you find yourself in a leadership role. A quick, but interesting read that will make you stop and think. --Jeffrey C. Barnes Chief Learning Officer Abu Dhabi Leadership Development Center - A partnership between Mubadala and GE Global Learning.

This book will have you thinking about how fleeting life can be and for those quiet champions who battle deep underground so that luxu- ries can be ours. That Dr. Ray then masterfully combines experi- ence and story with the wisdom of leadership is, in a word...awesome! READ THIS BOOK! --Kordell norton President, Synergy Solutions Inc. President, National Speakers Association of Ohio

Glenn Ray tells the story of coal mining in America as only a former miner can boldly, honestly, and with critical insight. More impor- tant, one does not have to be connected to the industry to appreciate the leadership lessons he passes on to readers in this highly entertain- ing account of life and labor in Southeast Ohio s coal mines. --Geoffrey l. Buckley, Ph.D. Author of Extracting Appalachia Associate Professor of Geography, Ohio University

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