Silicon Valley pioneer Ray Zinn, CEO of top microchip company Micrel for 37 years, shows entrepreneurs and executives how to lead and succeed by tackling the Tough Things First
In high school, Ray Zinn’s track coach told him he was too short to run the hurdles. Ray took this as a challenge and, after months of hard training, became the fastest hurdler on the team. That drive and self-discipline is, to Zinn, the essence of the entrepreneurial spirit. It’s what pushed him to achieve the impossible, founding a Silicon Valley microchip company—without venture capital—and turning it into a global empire with an enviable 37-year track record as CEO.
Tough Things First, the distillation of Ray Zinn’s astonishing career as CEO of Micrel, is a comprehensive head-to-toe training program for entrepreneurs and leaders—based on hard-won lessons in business and in life. Zinn’s tough-love approach gives you the guidance you need to:
• Find your vision, set your goals, and make them happen
• Build your business like you’d train your body: with heart, soul, mind, and passion
• Master the psychological disciplines that will sharpen your focus and drive
• Create a corporate culture that engages employees and inspires confidence
• Put people first and push them to achieve their personal best
• Tackle the tough jobs today—and ensure your success tomorrow
Zinn tells you what it takes to succeed in a world where markets are constantly changing, new technologies are emerging, and small startups are going head to head with industry giants. He shows you how to be a good leader and what you can do to make yourself even better. He reveals why discipline is the first and most important step—for the entrepreneur and the organization—and why people are your single most valuable resource. He offers practical, no-nonsense advice on processes and procedures, finances and growth creation, changing markets and new technology. But that’s not all.
The key to your success, Zinn explains, lies in your mind, your body, your vision, and your heart. This book shows you how to develop these interconnected skills, how to integrate them into your life and work, and how to handle the tough things first.
As the trailblazing founder and CEO of Micrel, Inc., one of the world’s leading microchip companies, Ray Zinn bootstrapped his company, achieved consistent profitability, and delivered a total equity value of more than $800 million at its acquisition. In 37 years of leading this publicly traded microchip empire, he saw it through the dot-com bust and Great Recession—with only one unprofitable year—relying on his discipline as a leader, passion as an inventor, and training as an athlete. In 2015, Zinn stepped down as Micrel’s CEO and is in the process of launching a Silicon Valley accelerator that will help business visionaries build profitable, enduring companies.