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.
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Episode 15: Audience questions for Ray ZinnRead more
Ray Zinn answers questions encountered at his speaking events, and those from Tough Things First audience members.
Episode 14: Multi-generational EntrepreneurismRead more
Ray Zinn discusses Silicon Valley entrepreneurism with a special guest interviewer, now active in the red hot tech culture.
Episode 13: The unintended consequences of misguided policiesRead more
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.
Episode 12: The up and down side to stricter emigration enforcementRead more
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.
Episode 11: Leadership self-disciplineRead more
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.
Episode 10: The lose-lose propositionRead more
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.
Episode 9: Focus, filters and blindersRead more
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.
Episode 8: How do we get the U.S. economy growing againRead 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.
Episode 7: Holistic vision vs money motivesRead more
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.
Episode 6: Challenges, faith and focusRead more
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.
Episode5: Organizational discipline – training, repetition and policyRead more
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.
Episode 4: Details, the entrepreneurs friendRead more
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.
Episode 3: The Venture Capital trapRead more
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.
Episode 2: Discipline for entrepreneursRead more
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.
Episode 1: Doing the Tough Things FirstRead more
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.