Tough Things First

Posted in Business Leadership
at 2015.11.10

A chief executive officer who sits at the helm of his company for the real long-term – 37 years – gives a powerful, personal insight into getting difficult tasks done and done well: what is there not to like?

This is an engaging and quite humorous book from a man you might have not heard about unless you closely follow the microprocessor industry. It exudes positivity and directed thought without it feeling contrived or somewhat fake. Far too many books “pump up the hype” and tend to fail at being truly authentic. On the other hand, this book just feels different, a hard-hitting boot camp to help you recalibrate your way of business thinking and management, delivered in almost a homely fireside chat-type of way. This is not your typical business book for sure!

Self-discipline and respect for your co-workers and fellow man generally are the two key issues ascribed by the author as the key to a successful future. It is hard to disagree with this, especially when you follow his no-nonsense, direct thought processes. It may take a change in the mind of the reader to best benefit from this book’s advice, but it can be a very worthy transformation if successful. The author stepped down from the CEO chair this year and has over the years been witness to many industry and societal changes. Yet he is still not ready to sit on his laurels and is creating a Silicon Valley accelerator that will help other business visionaries build profitable, enduring companies. With the low price of this book, you are getting very valuable insights “on the cheap”. Seize the opportunity.

“Distractions are antithetic to entrepreneurs. They know in their hearts and minds what they want to create, and they find a way to create it. Stopping a focused entrepreneur is like trying to halt plate tectonics,” wrote the author and this is oh-so-true. Entrepreneurs tend to have a certain degree of impatientness and seem to be always rushing around with many metaphorical balls in the air at the same time.

The mix of humour and humility that is weaved through this very interesting subject means that this book is something that really deserves a much wider audience. A lot of the advice can be adopted in one’s private life to great effect too.

One day, the author’s eyesight began to deteriorate and nothing could be done to save it. He thought he would be replaced as CEO after 16 years since he “obviously” would not be able to do what the board expects, yet they kept him on and the author believes that he gained a further beneficial insight to things by being legally blind and being in charge of a challenging, fast-paced company. This reviewer can understand that, since he also cannot drive due to having poor vision. So this extract from the book really resonated as entrepreneurial activity has also been at the forefront of this reviewer’s life: “Impaired eyesight does not impair entrepreneurial vision. The entrepreneur cannot see everything all at once but develops the discipline to see what needs to be seen in a context that keeps the brain fully informed at all times. This requires acquiring the discipline to focus intently, filter the unnecessary, and maintain the correct perspective.”

Why not take a look at this book and see for yourself? You should enjoy the ride and be better informed and primed to take decisive action as a result of it. You have, in any case, nothing to lose and everything to gain. It has the humble potential of being a classic business book.

Tough Things First Book Cover Tough Things First
Ray Zinn
Business
McGraw-Hill Professional
2015
Hardcover

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Copyright 2015 Autamme

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