Summarized by Rosemary Pollock
An LDS Entrepreneur's Work Ethic
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- Raymond Zinn, President and Chief Executive
of Micrel Inc. of San Jose, California, spells success "WORK." Zinn
learned a valuable lesson from his father, Milton in 1958. Midway
through his junior year at Brigham Young University, he returned home
to tell his father that he was quitting school and going to work.
Zinn's father, a devout Mormon, father of 11 and a cattle rancher,
was about to give his son a lesson in tough love.
"First, my father took my car keys and told me to take off my shirt and
socks. Then he marched me into the (ranch) office restroom and told me to
hand my pants through the door," said Zinn. After sitting for six hours,
Zinn was waiting for his father to give him his clothes back. Zinn learned
what his father meant about taking a short cut in his education.
"He was saying, 'Well, if you're going to quit school, you're going out in
the world the way you came in.' He wanted me to think about living with
decisions," Zinn said. Zinn shortly changed his mind and returned to
school, determined not to take shortcuts and with a renewed focus on
Today, Micrel, Inc., established by Zinn in 1978, is one of the industry's
most profitable makers of analog chips for cell phones and personal
computers. Zinn's quick action style allows him to spot a need and act on
it. "What's hugely helpful is Ray's ability to jump on a problem
immediately," said Warren Muller, a Micrel board member who co-founded the
company with Zinn 22 years ago.
Zinn's hard-boiled individualism enabled him to launch Micrel without the
help of venture capitalists. All he needed was a partner and $600,000 in
personal cash and loans. "I wanted control of my destiny and to do it my
way," Zinn said.
Zinn is known to watch three televisions at the same time and uses that
ability to evaluate what his next move will be. "Ray's always many moves
ahead, like a chess game," Whelton said. In managing his company, Zinn said,
"I'm a believer in unlimited bandwidth." "The company will remove all
barriers to what you want to do, so that the only limitations are the ones
you place on yourself."
In order to make Micrel a better work place, Zinn relies on his Mormon
faith to set the standards he expects at work. He does not condone swearing
or the use of any kind of condescending language. He urges he workers to be
honest, show integrity and respect for others.
Each year Zinn coins a new motto for the company. This year's motto is
"Whatever It Takes." Zinn's goal for Micrel is to make a $1 billion company
by 2003. His motto has personal meaning for himself. About five years ago
Zinn developed a serious eye problem and can't see well enough to write
anymore. But that's no problem for Ray, "I memorize everything now," he
Leaders &Success: Entrepreneur Raymond Zinn
Investor's Business Daily 9Aug00 B2
By Doug Tsuruoka: Investor's Business Daily
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