From The Diary Of

Tony Amador


About Tony Amador

About Tony Amador

An engaging and accomplished leader recognized for building and growing relationships, developing successful strategies for innovation and improvement, and motivating and mentoring employees. Brings over twenty years of marketing leadership prowess and understanding to every engagement and challenge. Possesses track record of improving both employee and client satisfaction. Leads with consistency, communication and a focus on employee strengths.

Hi! Thank you for joining us. Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself? Some fun facts and anecdotes from your life.

I’ve been married to my amazing wife, Gwen, for over 19 years. Our awesome daughter is majoring in Global Studies Pre-Law and minoring in both French and Philosophy at Oklahoma State University.

I have many passions that border on obsessions. I love movies, music, sports, food and travel. I have seen more than a movie a week in theaters for the past several years. I am always up for a concert or sporting event. And my friends look forward to my food and travel posts on Instagram.

Where are you from originally? What are some of your favorite memories as a child?

I was born in northwest Oregon and lived there until I was 12. We spent time at the beach several times a year. The ocean has always been a calming force for me and something I’ve missed since moving to Texas.

Moving to Texas put us closer to my paternal grandparents. My grandfather loved baseball and passed that passion along to me. He took me to multiple Double A games every season. To this day, I still prefer to sit on the 3rd base side just like he did.

How do you maintain the balance between your professional and personal life?

I prioritize both equally. My family and my well-being are as important as my work and career. I work hard at giving my all to both. Letting either get out of balance can lead to poor performance of the other.

What do you do to relax? Any therapy you would like to share?

Movies and concerts help me escape and unwind. Going to a movie theater is my relaxing time. I go to lots of movies alone, which keeps me from having to worry about whether others are on time, wanting to see a different movie or if they enjoyed it. I do enjoy seeing movies with my family but the alone time in a theater is an escape from thinking about anything other than the story being told. Concerts are my recharging time. Live music infuses me with energy.

They say that first impressions last and are made in the first few seconds of meeting someone. What personal attributes convey a positive first impression to you?

I notice eye contact, a firm handshake and confidence. I like straightforward, honest, smart people and these are all characteristics you can pick up on quickly when you first meet someone.

Which people helped you to get where you are today and what did they do for you?

I’ve had several amazing mentors, leaders and entrepreneurs guiding and believing in me throughout my career. Each of them recognized my determination and desire to learn, grow and succeed and they nurtured these traits, and the rest of me. I’m a student of human behavior and I believe everyone we meet, and everything we experience, provides opportunities for growth. I’ve been lucky to work closely with several amazing people and I’ve learned from all of them. They know who they are because I’ve also been sure to thank them, repeatedly.

What challenges do you expect to face in the future and how will you tackle them?

I’ve recently launched a new business with two partners. We are extremely excited about it and the potential to impact other entrepreneurs. So right now, we are facing the usual challenges of a new business – everything takes longer and few things go exactly as planned. That being said, we believe in our concept and know we can help small and medium business leaders grow their companies by freeing up more of their time. Patience and perseverance will be the keys.

Can you briefly share your professional journey?

My first post-college job as a data analyst for a marketing research company turned into a fantastic, 18-year journey. I served in several roles including leading production, managing clients, running a region and heading sales & marketing. From there, I was hand-picked by two amazing founders/entrepreneurs to be the managing director for their agency. Specializing in B2B branding and advertising, we did a lot of great work for our clients and I got to work with another really special group of people and learn additional disciplines. My next role was with the mobile marketing practice within a phenomenal consumer marketing agency. Leading clients mobile, and later social media, marketing efforts was exciting. During this time, I also doubled as Chief of Staff to the CEO of our practice and focused much of my efforts on talent development. Employee growth and support is extremely rewarding. All of this has prepared me for the launch of Proxxy.

Did your career turn out just the way you wanted it to?

Yes, but it certainly hasn’t been a journey I could have predicted. While my parents and grandparents taught me the value of company loyalty (each staying with companies for 20 – 40 years), I didn’t expect I had found that kind of place right out of college. I loved (and still love) the company but at some point, realized I wanted to be closer to the action than market research often afforded. The move to a branding agency was perfect. We worked with the c-suite to craft their positioning & brand and to develop their advertising. My love of technology was a perfect fit for social and mobile marketing, so another great move. With the launch of Proxxy, I get to bring all my expertise together to help others and fulfill a lifelong dream of having my own business.

What impact has your educational background had on your professional activities?

I majored in Business Management and minored in Psychology. This combination helped me understand both business and people.

Can you share some of the interesting projects you are working these days?

Our new business – Proxxy – is a remote Chief of Staff company providing support to executives of small- and medium-sized businesses. Our core focus is Letting Leaders Lead. We handle initiatives and lend guidance and support to give them time to concentrate on growth and improvement.

You have had a varied career to date. Explain some of your proudest achievements:

I am most proud of the impact I’ve had on the people around me – employees and peers. I’ll never forget the annual award ceremony a few years into my first job in which one of the employees I had believed in, when others didn’t, won the company’s most prestigious individual award. The realization that I could be prouder of his accomplishment than if I had won it myself, has led me and my work with others ever since.

Often people find inspiration from great thinkers, writers and prolific people in history. What is your favorite quote and why is that quote noteworthy?

“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders” – Tom Peters

I have always believed that to be a great leader, one needs to also needs to be a great follower. Working together for the greater good is infinitely more rewarding than always being in charge.

Who or what inspires you?

Entrepreneurs. Their desire, drive and determination is like rocket fuel for me. I am moved by the consistent belief that a solution is imminent with just a bit more time, effort and/or belief.

What advice would you give newbie entrepreneurs about being successful?

Find a mentor or three. You’re not in it alone. Ask for help and take advice from experienced entrepreneurs and leaders.

In the Information Age, millennials tend to be interested in leadership roles. Do you have any advice for millennial professionals starting their careers?

Understand that you should focus on being a great follower first. Leadership opportunities come in all shapes and sizes. Proving you are accountable and dependable, respectful of your co-workers and determined to learn from everything and everyone around you, will naturally lead to bigger opportunities and roles.

What technologies or innovations do you suggest will improve the acquisition of knowledge?

As AI technology progresses, the combination of Voice and AI will continue to enhance our lives and make acquiring knowledge easier and easier. The ability to simply ask a device a question and have the answer read back to you will change how we live and learn.

What is your favourite book and can you explain what you like about it?

There have been so many great business books that have helped guide and teach me. Both Good to Great by Jim Collins and When Professional Have to Lead by Thomas DeLong, John Gabarro & Robert Lees were huge influences for me.

More recently, Tyler Parris’ book Chief of Staff provided both a guide for what a Chief of Staff can mean for an executive and further proof of concept for my first foray into entrepreneurship – Proxxy.

In your opinion, what is the essential personality trait to consider when hiring an executive-level employee?

I look for the traits of Servant Leadership. First and foremost – Empathy. Executive-level employees should have the ability to recognize and understand the feelings and emotions that are experienced by their team. This understanding leads their actions to be motivated by a genuine desire to help others.

What advice would you give to anyone seeking a career in your industry?

Think of every interaction as an opportunity to learn and grow. Remember that there is something to learn from every person you work with and for – be it positive and something you want to model or negative and something you want to do differently and avoid. Being around entrepreneurs is like drinking from a firehose. Embrace it, be patient and learn from everyone.

What do you think about Executives Diary?

Executives Diary is a great source of learning and inspiration. Learning about the paths taken and experiences gained by the breadth of leaders is a reminder of the heart and effort it takes to learn, grow and lead.