Dan Zarraonandia and I are lifelong friends. We were roommates at UCLA, worked in President Reagan’s post-presidential office together (where we both learned to Lead Like Reagan), and I am proud to watch my friend build and leave a lasting leadership legacy.

Dan Zarraonandia was born and raised in Thousand Oaks, CA, graduated from UCLA in 1990 with a BA
in Political Science, and has an MBA from Pepperdine University. He now runs PRECON Products (from 1993–Present). PRECON Products is a second-generation, family-owned and operated company in Simi Valley, CA, and was founded in 1963.

This discussion with Dan Z. is for the family businesses owners out there. I know there are unique challenges for family businesses and Dan Z. can empathize and provide insight into how to best maneuver through those challenges.

Listen as Dan Z. talks about the challenges of leading a family buisness, including:

  • How to juggle the personal and professional dynamic of a family business

  • Thinking about a succession plan

  • How to help team members understand the culture of your family business



Dan Z. is a legacy leader. As he leads the family business, PRECON Products continues to grow, the family remains cohesive, and the company culture adds value to every member of the PRECON family. I hope you enjoy this insightful interview with Dan Zarraonandia.

Lead well,

p.s. – Thanks for listening! Please rate, review, and subscribe to my leadership podcast on iTunesSpotify, and/or SoundCloud.



Show Timestamps:

  • Dan Quiggle introduces his lifelong friend Dan Zarraonandia [1:00]

  • Dan Z’s journey to take Precon from garage to goliath [2:51]

  • Dan Z. talks about how his father passed on the torch of his business while his dad was sick, planning for succession, and making a company work without you [4:49]

  • Dan Z. talks about his big why, what motivates him even in tough times [8:15]

  • Dan Z. talks about the critical values that guide his life [9:17]

  • Dan Z’s answer to a leadership adage That which you gaze upon you become, he explains what he spends his time thinking about [11:43]

  • Dan Z. reveals his dream job and it may surprise you [12:50]

  • Dan Z. talks about why he learned to speak Spanish and the servant leadership driven reason he wanted to be bi-lingual [15:18]

  • Dan Z. talks about what keeps him up at night and how he deals with worry [16:37]

  • Dan Z. shares how to balance the personal and professional dynamic of a family business [18:25]

  • Dan Z’s advice to other family run businesses [20:12]

  • Dan Z. explains his personal leadership philosophy [22:42]

  • Dan Z. talks about a time he didn’t lead well and how he changed for the future [25:36]

  • Dan Z. talks about the most important trait he looks for when he hires [27:49]

  • The one trait Dan Z. looks for in his top people and why that trait is important [28:33]

  • Dan Z’s strategy to effectively create the vision for his team [30:08]

  • Dan Z. talks about how to build a successful kitchen cabinet [32:25]

  • Dan Z. reveals leadership advice he would give to his 20-year-old self and why [36:47]

  • How Dan Z. chooses who to hire between two equally qualified candidates [38:33]

  • Dan Z. talks about how he helps a new employee understand the company culture [40:46]

  • Dan Z’s most important leadership decision [43:48]

  • Dan Z. talks about his leadership legacy [46:03]

  • The life and leadership advice Dan Z. gives to his kids [48:55]

  • Dan Z. talks about what he still wants to accomplish in life [50:25]

  • Dan Z. talks about what would make him happier today [51:09]

  • Dan Z. talks about how his business creates value and a leadership legacy [52:11]

  • Dan Z. talks about how he maintains work-life balance [54:26]

  • Dan Z. talks about how he and his wife raise level-headed kids [55:56]

  • Dan Z. talks about a mentor who has been with PRECON since 1966 [58:37]

  • Dan Z. tells how he wants his kids to describe him to his grandkids [1:01:36]