Having value is the essence of human happiness, and the essence of leadership.
In life, we have amusements, distractions and entertainment galore. In the United States, we have great wealth – loads of money. And yet none of these things are happiness, nor do they achieve it. But tour the Silicon Valley corporate landscape and one would think these things, provided in abundance, are the soul of man.
To have “value” is to have relative worth, merit, or importance. It is not an element of one’s self, but what you provide. We all provide some degree of value to others. A parent is immeasurably valuable to a child. A professor is very valuable to the college student. Cops are valuable to anyone craving safety. The plumber who unclogs your toilet on a Saturday night before your dinner guests arrive has significant value.
The Value of Leadership
Providing value is what leaders do. “Servant leadership” is a school of thought whereby leaders see themselves as existing to help others. Fred Smith, founder of Federal Express, once opinioned that organizational pyramids were drawn upside-down – that the CEO should be on the bottom, tip of the pyramid balanced on his or her head, and his job was to support everyone else.
Raymond D. “Ray” Zinn is an inventor, entrepreneur, and the longest serving CEO of a publicly traded company in Silicon Valley. Zinn is known best for conceptualizing and in effect inventing the Wafer Stepper, and for co-founding semiconductor company Micrel (acquired by Microchip in 2015), which provides essential components for smartphones, consumer electronics and enterprise networks. He served as Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of its Board of Directors and President since the Company’s inception in 1978 through to its acquisition in 2015.
In November, 2015, Ray Zinn published his first book with McGraw Hill: Tough Things First, Lessons On Management, Leadership and Entrepreneurialism from Silicon Valley’s Longest Serving CEO. He publishes regular columns about entrepreneurship and building enduring businesses on Entrepreneur, Forbes Tech Council, FORTUNE and CIO.