Focus on what counts

In Focus: Steve Ronan

Principal and Practice Leader, Strategy and Business Transformation

January 31, 2018

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Each month, Citrin Cooperman will feature one-on-one interviews with members of our team, which we will share on our In Focus blog and newsletter.  We hope you enjoy getting to know us!

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How long have you been with Citrin Cooperman?

[Steve Ronan] Seven months with Citrin Cooperman, which was preceded by a career at Deloitte Consulting and as an owner of a boutique consulting firm.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given regarding your career?

[Steve Ronan] Great ideas are considered great not just because of the idea itself, but because of how well it was executed.

How do you help your clients focus on what counts?

[Steve Ronan] Owners and executives of mid-sized businesses spend a lot of time fighting fires. Our work creates an environment where they can focus on the things that are strategically important and we regularly bring them out of the weeds to focus on achieving them. They still make the decisions about their business, but we help define their focus and have disciplined execution.

Additionally, we have the luxury of working at many companies in many industries and participating in discussions with the researchers, advisors, and progressive companies who are thinking about what is coming next. This helps us bring an independent, forward-looking perspective that our clients can use to create faster-growing, resilient, and innovative businesses.

What issues do you find typically keep your clients up at night?

[Steve Ronan] All of our clients have different concerns, but right now there seems to be broad recognition that we are in a major economic upswing that will at some point end. Clients are thinking about how to best capitalize on this and how to balance investment vs. protecting themselves when the markets ultimately slow down.

This is a great time to both grow quickly and to take risk out of the business by investing in infrastructure, operating efficiencies, and institutionalizing revenue generating functions like sales, customer service, digital marketing, product development, etc. Building a business that can invest through a slowdown is a huge strategic advantage. Companies that can do this consistently emerge with a great competitive advantage when the cycle turns around again, and having a plan in place can help these clients sleep better at night.

What are your favorite books? 

[Steve Ronan] The two business books I reference most are “The Trusted Advisor” by David Maister which is the gold standard of references for how to add value as a business advisor, and “Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done” by Larry Bossidy. Recent non-business books I recommend include “Endurance” about Shackleton’s “failed” arctic expedition which offers a singular vision of leadership, and “Supreme City” about the people who transformed New York City in the 1920s and gave rise to the modern American economy, cultural, and political ecosystem.

What do you like to do outside of work?

[Steve Ronan] My wife, Darcy, and I have two boys – Eddie (5) and Charlie (2). Needless to say, we stay active. We ski, hike, swim, listen to a lot of jazz and plenty of Sesame Street. On the volunteer side, I am a member of the Strategic Planning Committee for the Diocese of Bridgeport and my wife and I serve on our parish council.