Ron Numon | Crain's Connecticut

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Ron Numon

Background:  

A.Neumann & Associates LLC, also known as ANA, is a business brokerage firm that helps facilitate mergers and acquisitions, with a specialty in business valuations and transfer processes. Ron Numon, who heads the company's Connecticut office, joined ANA in September 2016 as managing director. Previously, Numon worked as an analyst and team leader in the telecommunications industry and managed his own real estate firm.

The Mistake:

Not knowing the difference between being busy and being productive.

Just out of college and in my early days in corporate America, when I was an analyst at a major telecommunications firm and managing a group of employees, there were many times where I found myself feeling overwhelmed. [I was] asked to produce mountains of reports and presentations in extremely short timeframes while managing staff and leading high-visibility projects plus attending numerous meeting each day where almost nothing got done—and the major results were fatigue and a lack of satisfaction.

It wasn’t too long into my career that I gained enough experience and some important insights that it became clear to me that much of what we did didn’t produce positive results for the company. Rarely were important decisions ever made as a result of the information we were asked to deliver. I was working 60 to 70 hours a week including weekends, had a terrible work/life balance and little of what we produced actually mattered.

I needed to create something better.

A work intake process ... made the organization much more efficient and productive.

The Lesson:

This realization and a personal desire to be happier in my work and personal life took hold of me. I tailored a professional objective of focusing our group on generating quantifiable results that supported business goals and made a positive impact. What came next was to recommend to our leadership a work intake process. The process evaluates and prioritizes each proposed work activity or project to make certain that it aligned with our corporate goals, delivered results that contributed to those goals, and was supported by financial resources and executive leadership to insure the activity could be completed.

This simple, upfront screening process and learning how to delegate work to those more qualified eventually eliminated the so-called busy work my organization had dealt with for years. It made the organization much more efficient and productive. We started delivering impactful results for the company that were very gratifying.

I’ve since retired from that company and am now on my third career. I still use the work intake process to make certain we are centered on our top priorities and that we’re properly funded and staffed to be able to meet clear objectives. Seeing the connections is exceedingly important in continuing to be successful.

Photo courtesy of A. Neumann & Associates LLC.

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