Tough Things First - Lessons on management, leadership and entrepreneurialism from Ray Zinn
Tough Things First ties together the real-world experiences of Ray Zinn, founder and CEO of Micrel Corporation for 37 years.
A business legend and contrarian, Zinn - the longest serving CEO in Silicon Valley - founded Micrel without venture capital, but with the relentless will and mindful discipline that defines all great entrepreneurs.
This has resulted in a nearly unbroken string of profitable years for Micrel
, a feat unheard of in the semiconductor trade.
success to disciplined work habits, servant leadership, fulfilling the human needs of his
employees, and the will to do the Tough Things First
Excerpt from Tough Things First, Ray Zinn
Tough Things First
is the management opus of Ray Zinn
, the longest serving CEO and most consistently profitable businessman in Silicon Valley.
In Tough Things First
, Zinn maps corporations as an organism and explains the interaction of the mind, heart, eyes and the entire body.
This metaphor drives Zinn's
analysis of his
nearly 40 years at the helm of Micrel
, a Silicon Valley institution.
In the second half of the book, Zinn
exposes the critical factors that entrepreneurs and seasoned executives alike need to know, including the intricacies of nurturing corporate culture, how to make every employee (and every human) feel important, the impact and limitations of policies and procedures, and how to manage growth.
Every executive needs to understand how to be as perpetually successful as Ray Zinn
Over nearly four decades, Zinn's company
has been profitable every year except one (during the dot-com implosion).
achieved this through an intimate understanding of people, their value, their needs and how to lead them.
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Zinn started Micrel without venture capital, which is unheard of in the semiconductor business.
lessons on why venture capital can be undesirable, how to lead during tough times, inspiring creativity, institutionalized frugality, and crafting a culture that reduces employee turn-over are critical for founders.
is a disciplined man. In his
was a superb athlete - a track star and gymnast.
The discipline to excel at these sports remains with Zinn
, who in his
70s still walks on his
hands at his
company's headquarters to the amusement of Micrel employees and visiting executives.
©2015 Ray Zinn