Tough Things First: Leadership Lessons From Silicon Valley'S Longest Serving Ceo

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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 Zinns 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. Its what pushed him to achieve the impossible, founding a Silicon Valley microchip companywithout venture capitaland turning it into a global empire with an enviable 37-year track record as CEO.

Tough Things First, the distillation of Ray Zinns astonishing career as CEO of Micrel, is a comprehensive head-to-toe training program for entrepreneurs and leadersbased on hard-won lessons in business and in life. Zinns tough-love approach gives you the guidance you need to:

Find your vision, set your goals, and make them happen
Build your business like youd 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 todayand 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 stepfor the entrepreneur and the organizationand 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 thats 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 worlds 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 Recessionwith only one unprofitable yearrelying on his discipline as a leader, passion as an inventor, and training as an athlete. In 2015, Zinn stepped down as Micrels CEO and is in the process of launching a Silicon Valley accelerator that will help business visionaries build profitable, enduring companies.

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