Tough Things First Podcast
The Tough Things First podcast is where you receive short bursts of Ray Zinn’s leadership, executive and entrepreneur’s wisdom. Tough Things First podcasts are typically five minutes long, giving you one important concept to ponder for the rest of the day.
Some call it a top priority for businesses in 2017; Be focused more on Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things, but is it always possible? In this Tough Tings First podcast, Ray Zinn talks about the basics of AI and IOT, and how to make them part of your business plan.
Is it possible to build a successful business that uses American manufacturing? In this Tough Things Fist Podcast, Ray Zinn considers what it takes to be Made in America in 2017.
Politics and religion, often taboo at the social dinner table, but has it gotten so far that it has stifled free speech? In this Tough Things First Podcast, Ray Zinn talks about the importance of religious tolerance.
Donald Trump’s first months in office are proving to be unpredictable, but not in all cases. Tough Things First guest host Rob Artigo, talks with Ray Zinn and Paul Moore, to get discuss the changing business climate and where it might be headed.
Are there different levels of tolerance? In an increasingly diverse world is it even possible to be completely tolerant? In this Tough Tings First podcast, Ray Zinn explores important questions about what tolerance really means.
Life in startups can be crazy, but working 80 hours weeks is crazy too. Learn how not being an office slave actually makes you successful.
Product start-ups inevitably face questions about costs, and wonder if it could be cheaper to move manufacturing offshore. There are upsides and downsides. Do you know the risks? Ray Zinn has experience and answers no entrepreneurs should go without. Guest host Rob Artigo returns for another addition of Tough Things First.
As an entrepreneur you want to get going … but sometimes it is hard to get started. You may not start like you think you would have started. Make up your mind about your starting path.
The battle of the generations, is it necessary? Rob Artigo seeks Ray’s advice and thoughts about what makes Gen-Xers and Millennials different and asks, does it matter?
You want to get things done, you have no time for sweet talk, you are a go-getter. Are you leaving splinters in your path? You may want to reconsider a different approach.
The truth can be so blunt it hurts, or is it your delivery? Consider the delivery and the amount kindness in your message.
Are you willing to take the hit? You are the leader and the leader takes ownership and responsibility along with the consequences. If you are not willing to take the heat, don’t think about leading.
Ray Zinn’s motto is “Do the Tough Things First.” For Ray, that has always meant getting up early and exercising. Rob Artigo talk with Ray Zinn about why exercise and good health are linked to business success.
“Not Invented Here” is usually uttered with contempt and sarcasm. What does the NIH bug do to an organization? It isn’t pretty and you need to watch for it.
Planning for what happens next is as important to success as the business idea itself. Rob Artigo talks with Ray about setting early business goals. Should a long-term goal be set in place from day one?
The pool of workers is a constantly changing mix of people with differing values and perspectives. The millennial generation is here and ready to work. How do you attract talent? You have to adapt to their world view.
Startups are focused on getting venture capital. But should they?
Here are the tough questions they should ask, and will be asked. Understand why you want venture money, and why VCs should care.
“We need new blood to liven up this place.” Have you heard that expression? New blood can invigorate but it can also disrupt to an organization. Finding the line between vigor and negative disruption is key.
Communication is the heart of an organization and the heart of relationships. However, there are time we try not to listen to one another. Learn the signs of when listening leads to bad results.
What is a good lifestyle? We carry the lifestyle choices we make like baggage. Choose your lifestyle well and live it, today, tomorrow and into your golden years.
Can you create your own truth? Are your observations truth? What is the truth? Do we actually know the truth? Your truth and your customer’s truth may be different, so learn how to take care in creating your story.
What are the criteria for a hero? Simple habits make a person a hero in the eyes of those who surround them. Learn how to turn your team members into heroes.
Looking for employee inspiration, education and motivation? In this week’s podcast, Ray Zinn talks about the “Friday Talk” technique used at Micrel. These talks were successful in generating and sharing multiple points of view and subjects and helping to condition and reinforce values within every part of a company.
Is the American Dream still alive? In this episode, Ray Zinn discuss the role of optimism in the entrepreneurial mindset, the importance of passion and the conviction required to build and lead an enduring business.
This presidential election has demonstrated the lowest levels of common decency and the most disgusting form of vulgar communications, disrespect. Many of us are so confused and upset at the latest attacks that we’re left wondering if we should even take the time to vote. In this podcast, Ray Zinn openly discuss our challenging feelings and ultimately the importance of voting our voice and believing that no matter what the outcome, we have a tremendous country.
David Greer — an entrepreneur, angel investor and business coach — discusses with Ray Zinn why corporate culture is so important, and the steps Ray took to create a culture that drove the most consistently profitable semiconductor company in Silicon Valley.
David Greer — an entrepreneur, angel investor and business coach — discusses strategic corporate planning with Ray Zinn, who ran the most consistently profitable semiconductor company in Silicon Valley.
Hiring really good employees predisposes your company toward success. But how do you do this? Ray Zinn knows how, having run the Silicon Valley semiconductor company with the lowest employee turnover rate.
Life and work are marathons, not sprints – regardless of what too many startups believe. But few employees are marathon runners. One of your jobs is to keep the momentum going throughout your organization so that employees don’t fade out or leave the company.
Ray Zinn, the longest serving CEO in Silicon Valley, with 37 years heading the most consistantly profitable semiconductor company, knows a few things about keeping employees engaged, happy and productive over the long haul.
What makes happy people, and thus happy employees. Silicon Valley’s longest serving CEO tells you the secret and how to measure it.
Ray Zinn knows adversity. He went blind during his company’s IPO, yet stayed at the helm for another 20 years. Learn whey when the going gets tough, entrepreneurs get tough too. Start treating adversity as a growth opportunity to gamifiy success.
Ray Zinn discusses how offshoring in his semiconductor industry has impeded American social and economic progress, and what Congress should be paying attention to.
Greg McKeown, the New York Times bestselling author of Essentialism interviews Ray Zinn to discuss discipline and how is makes leaders more effective.
Greg McKeown has dedicated his career to discovering why some people break through to the next level—and others don’t. The definitive treatment of this issue is addressed in McKeown’s latest project: the instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. Ray Zinn is quoted in Essentualism and now the two discuss their mutual interest about doing more by doing less.
Ray Zinn answers questions encountered at his speaking events, and those from Tough Things First audience members.
Ray Zinn discusses Silicon Valley entrepreneurism with a special guest interviewer, now active in the red hot tech culture.
Policies. Nobody likes to write them. Some employees refuse to live by them. But Silicon Valley’s longest serving CEO knows how they work, and how they occasionally don’t. In this episode of the Tough Things First podcast, Ray Zinn discusses how policies can actually cause problem within an organization.
Ray Zinn has some specific thoughts about the topic of immigration, enforcement and the U.S. economy. With 37 years running a very successful semiconductor company, Ray has seen the impact of bring in talent from abroad as well as the rampant offshoring within his industry, so his thoughts on immigration will be multifaceted.
What are some daily practices for developing self-discipline, or for organizational discipline, and how does a leader transfer his own self-discipline to other people, and in turn have them carry the mantle? Ray Zinn answers a listener question from Episode 2 concerning discipline and the organization.
We all lose when an atmosphere of anger, hostility or contention prevails. Ray Zinn’s company, Micrel, was built in part on a culture of respecting the dignity of every individual, which led to Micrel having an employee turn-over rate half that of his industry. Micrel was somewhat legendary as a civil place to work. In this episode, Ray discusses anger, hostility and contention between people, where does it come from, how it hurts an organization, and a what leader can do to mitigate it to create a win-win situation.
Ray goes into great detail about entrepreneurial focus, how to construct filters to prevent being overwhelmed, the necessity of managerial and financial stall horns, and more.
The American economy is moribund. This has a direct effect on businesses and an indirect effect on employees. Until the economy escapes the doldrums it has been in over the last eight years, everyone prospects look bleak. Today we talk economics and elections with Ray Zinn.
Money is not the motive we have for lifting weights and jogging on treadmills at the gymnasiums. But it is a piece of something bigger. In this episode, Ray Zinn discusses what are the true and largely non-monetary motives great entrepreneurs have, and how to make those visions part of every employee’s outlook.
Entrepreneurs must stay focused, keeping their eyes on the horizon. Doing so makes seemingly insurmountable obstacles look like fun challenges. Ray Zinn, Silicon Valley’s longest serving CEO, discusses how to keep focus when the life of a business leader seems to be one distraction after another.
It doesn’t matter how disciplined a CEO is if that same discipline doesn’t find its ways through the organization. Ray Zinn, founder and CEO of the most consistently profitable semiconductor company in Silicon Valley, discusses how a leader drives the discipline to execute well to every employee.
Entrepreneurs cannot be just “big picture” people. They have to dig into the details of every part of their business. Ray Zinn, the longest serving CEO in Silicon Valley, and founder of Micrel Semiconductor, discusses why digging into the minutia of business is actually exciting for entrepreneurs, and how to get excited if you are not.
Why wouldn’t a Silicon Valley entrepreneur take venture capital? Because doing so could kill their business. Listen to Ray Zinn, who founded his semiconductor company without VC money, discuss how venture capital can knock a founder off track, cripple the development of an enduring corporate culture, and drain enthusiasm from the entire organization.
Ray Zinn discusses how discipline for entrepreneurs is an essential element to their own growth, but also to the cultural conditioning of everyone within an organization.
Doing the tough things first. Learning to love doing what you don’t like to do. These are aspects of true entrepreneurs and all successful people. Ray Zinn discusses the core philosophy and the dramatic effects it can have on productivity, time management, leadership and more.