Meet Mondrake Bomber. SFEB Associate class of 2015/2016.
As one of our many outstanding associates that has advanced their career with skills gained in our program we interviewed Mr. Bomber as one of our “Alumni Spotlights”.
- What first drew you to the Seattle Federal Executive Board Associates Program?
What stood out most was that it was a Leadership program that was outside of the VA. I did my research and was attracted to what the program was about, what it offered and the results the program had with those present in leadership at the VA. Participating in SFEB could also provide different perspectives and fresh ideas that work for other agencies that I could model from.
- What was your SFEB project? What impacted your career from the SFEB Associates Program the most?
Revamp the LFCC (Local Federal Coordinating Committee) structure of the CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) of Washington from eight regions to one zone.
Created job shadow placements in 2016 in yearlong project on youth education of federal service opportunities and arranged two job shadow sessions with seven federal agencies for 65 youth.
Every aspect of the program impacted me as a leader. There was not one part that as taken for granted down to importance of a napkin at meetings. Project Management was something that I have carried with me along with mock interviews. I thought that due to my involvement with SFEB and the increase in my skill set, that I would be recognized as leader and be hired for Management.
- Describe a peak experience or “high point” you have had as a leader in the Federal Government a time when you felt engaged, excited and energized about your involvement.
- What was happening? What were you doing? What were others doing?
- What made it a great experience?
- What made it possible?
- How did it affect you going forward?
As an informal leader I can think of a few ‘high points”. As a direct leader your ability to see those moments can be overshadowed by brain fatigue and competing deadlines. Our agency recently had a review to promote upward management. In that review I received a top score. It was a high point for me because it is so easy to question your ability or even the opposite and become overconfident. Employees were able to give true feedback without fear of reprisal. I enjoyed all the comments and statements of appreciation. It reassured me that even when I have to pass unliked information that I am still received well.
- Without being modest, what is it that you most value about yourself as a leader or supervisor?
I am the people’s person, the calm in the storm, the relatable leader that leads from the front and the back. My leadership style puts me in a unique position to really see my people and it creates a rapport where people want to do more. My style focuses on being employee centric that balances both the human and business need of each person.
- What is the nature of your involvement empowering leaders in your workplace and community?
I work with many different individuals within the VA and my community to promote leadership and help cultivate leadership qualities. I often connect the goal with resources such as SFEB. I am definitely an advocate of the program and all that is has to offer as well as other programs within the VA. I was once the Vice president of the local Union and that experience gave me unique insight
- What keeps you committed to Federal Service?
Being an Army Veteran, it was a natural transition into the VA and its mission. I find value everyday in the work that I do and the people that I work with. Working at the VA satisfies my need to do wake up and clock in knowing that I am going to positively impact someone’s life with my work. Now that I am in management, I can provide a safe and encouraging environment for others to feel wholly supported. We are in the business of assisting Veterans and their quality of life is our bottom line as opposed to private sector focus can be change based on the integrity of each company.
- What are three wishes you have to enhance the health and vitality of our federal leadership community?
One of my wishes would be to have additional programs that prepare people for leadership. A program that addresses and mentors out undesired behaviors that negatively impact he moral of the employees we work for. The program would also identify and build on strengths as well as areas of opportunity.
I don’t have three wishes that I can think of at this time, but my goal is to always identify ways to bridge a better labor/management relationship.
- What’s next for you as a leader?
For now, I would like to focus on the technical aspect of my current position while growing myself overall and positioning myself for the next level. Learning my current position will help me mentor those that I will have charge of as I promote. The position I am currently in has multiple moving parts and responsibilities which make it difficult to juggle additional opportunities. However, I remain available for other details and opportunities that may sharpen a skill set or expose me to different roles and responsibilities of the VA. For example, I recently set up and Interviewed 29 people in 3 days. Participating in the SFEB has really prepared me for project management, seeing the big picture and navigating through it.