Tips From Amar Trivedi, the President and Founder Behind AmDee
Have you ever had a crappy boss? Truth is, we all have. According to Forbes, horrible bosses are a rampant epidemic; in fact, if given the choice, most Americans would choose firing their boss over getting a pay raise for themselves. If that doesn’t say something about work culture, we don’t know what does.
But the good news is the cycle of not-so-great bosses can end with you. You don’t have to be a not-so-great boss, even if you’ve had a boss like that in the past. There is still room (and time) to grow. If you are looking to improve your leadership skills, there is still have an opportunity to become an even better boss. An amazing boss. Want to know how? Just take a nugget of insight from AmDee’s founder and owner, Amar Trivedi.
“Everyone I know who has worked for Amar, on a freelance basis, doesn’t want to lose him as a client,” says Elyssa Respaut, Project Manager at AmDee.
And it’s no wonder why. Amar is a super-boss who has absolutely nailed the art of developing a successful remote work culture. Apart from always looking out for his employees, Amar genuinely cares and looks out for his clients. It’s what he calls, “doing the right thing.”
“That is what we built our business on,” Amar says. “Of course, everybody says that, but we put our money where our mouth is.”
With an entrepreneurial backbone and leader like Amar, our clients can rest assured that not only will they get quality service from AmDee, but that they will also be treated fairly, justly, and graciously. It’s a business creed Amar learned from his upbringing.
“I come from a family of educators. My father was a professor and my mother a teacher,” Amar explains. “Almost everyone in my family is in education in some degree, from elementary to university professors. I recognized how much people respected [my father]. This stuck with me. Yes, it is important to make money but at the same time when you give back it enriches you and enriches your company as well.”
So, are you ready to step your management skills up in notch? In honor of Bosses’ Day, let’s take a peek into Amar Trivedi’s managerial and entrepreneurial success. Keep reading for five actionable tips for becoming a better boss!
Focus on work culture
For Amar (and his employees), work culture is huge. Our work environment strives to be flexible, friendly, positive, and likeable. It stresses the importance of work-life balance and aims to make the employee (and client!) comfortable.
From the very start, AmDee has always been a work-from-home, remote company.
“When I moved to the D.C. area about 10 or 12 years ago, I used to commute an hour and a half each way to work. That was three hours of commuting everyday. I decided when I started my business, I would never have an office and I was never going to put anyone else through the drudgery of being stuck in traffic.”
Trust us—it’s a policy we’re grateful for! One of the first employees Amar ever took on was a stay-at-home mom who wanted to work from the comfort of home, without having to pay for surplus child care bills. Since then, Amar has always focused on developing a flexible work environment everyone can love.
“Working remotely allows my employees an advantage,” Amar says. “We can work around their schedules even if they have an emergency. It’s doing the right thing.”
And with such a strong emphasis on cultivating a flexible and positive culture and environment, Amar swears it helps his employees remain productive, happy, and fulfilled at work.
“It was decided from the very beginning, we would be work-from-home, a remote company.
My employees can pursue the things they want to do and work at the same time,” Amar adds. “This helps them to balance their work with whatever is important in their lives.”
Many of our employees have different values. For some, it’s staying home with the kids; for others, it’s traveling while being able to work remotely. Working at AmDee allows both scenarios.
“I have another employee who loves biking,” Amar says. “She once biked from Virginia to Oregon. It took her three months and I did not ask how she managed but she kept up her work and got it done on time. Now she is working from Spain. This has allowed her flexibility to do what she likes and from the perspective of the company and mine, I really don’t care what she does as long as she gets the work done.”
Listen to your clients and employees
Even if your years of experience and overall insight tells you they’re wrong, listen. Amar admits it’s the hardest part of entrepreneurship—disagreeing with a client, knowing there’s a better way to go about something, but still deferring to the company culture or policy. But still, it’s crucial to showing the client that working together is a collaborative experience.
“My least favorite part [of being an entrepreneur] is when I think I can help a client and know what will work best but the client thinks they know best,” Amar explains. “You want to make them happy and cannot push them, so you do it their way knowing it will probably fail.”
It may sound like a roundabout way of doing things, but for Amar, it’s one of his main keys to success. After all, demonstrating a desire and ability to really listen to your client is a game-changer in any industry. Maya Angelou once said people remember how you made them feel; if you genuinely listen to your client—even if it didn’t work the first go ’round—the client is going to remember that you tried it their way first.
For Amar, it’s all about listening and ultimately, making the client happy. In both the long- and short-term.
“Providing a service and having that balance where you know what you are doing is not the best for your client, but you have to do it anyway,” Amar says. “It is what they want.”
In the same breath, it’s just as important to listen to employees as it is clients. One of the many reasons people love working here at AmDee is because the heavy hand Amar plays in making sure employees are happy and fulfilled.
Recognize your strengths and weaknesses
You’re an entrepreneur, a manager, a leader. But you’re not a superhero. The ego has to be totally removed from leadership, or else you’ll never find your work fulfilling. The best way to do that is to recognize your strengths, then play to them, but also work on improving your weaknesses.
“My biggest challenge is knowing what my strengths are. I know it’s a cliché, but you really need to know your strengths and weaknesses [as a manager]. You need to know what you are really good at and focus on those. [But also], you should not be afraid to bring in help when you need it.”
Managerial or entrepreneurial weaknesses vary for everyone. For Amar, he recognizes his own weaknesses as accounting and routine—doing something on a day to day basis.
“I am not the disciplined person when it comes to, say accounting or doing something [daily]… I do not keep good records, so I was not able to claim a lot of my expenses because I did not have the records. I wish I had hired a bookkeeper before I started.”
It’s the kind of insight that can only come with experience, yes, but still, Amar urges others in leadership positions to ask for help in your weaker areas.
“Understanding your own personality and figuring out what you are good at, even if it means it will be expensive to hire someone, in the end will save you a lot of time and money.”
Care about what your clients do
The initial mission behind AmDee was to provide digital tools for companies who do good. Though AmDee has been around since 2009, this mission has not changed. In fact, it’s only gotten more strong-willed.
AmDee works with companies involved in education, non-profit, or companies that do other kinds of good for their community. By caring about the missions of our clients, it makes for a stronger, more personalized partnership, a partnership that transcends just a monetary transaction.
“The idea was to provide digital tools to other people who do good who might not have the resources necessary to have the latest and the best technology in order to accomplish their mission,” Amar explains. “About 70 to 75% of our work is still for nonprofit organizations, specifically in the area of education. On top of that, we have realized that certain areas of the community need help and we have focused more and more on that in the last few years.”
This is exactly why it’s so crucial to believe in your clients’ missions. Would Amar be running a “do-gooder” of a company if we didn’t believe in each of the clients we backed? No. We work with companies and people who do positive things for their communities, whether it’s in the education space, nonprofit, or accessibility.
Speaking of accessibility, creating tools that everyone can use has always been a large part of AmDee’s mission. It’s another reason why we so strongly believe in what our clients do.
“We decided to focus on getting accessible websites to people, let’s say who have a visual impairment or who can’t see clearly and don’t have access to these resources. We make sure the website we design and develop is accessible for all types of disabilities.”
To wrap it up
Like we said earlier, there is always room for improvement, whether you’re an employee or a boss. If you’re trying to figure out where you can improve in order to become a better boss, a super-boss like Amar, ask yourself the following questions:
- How much do you focus on work environment and culture?
- What actionable steps have you taken lately that prove you listen to both clients and employees?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses and how do you approach both?
- And, lastly, do you genuinely care about what your clients do?
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