A True Leader

Joe Mandy is a Product Development Engineer/Program Manager at Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. He is currently pursuing his MBA in Business Management at St. Edward’s University. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Louisiana State University.Joe recently completed his first Ironman triathlon in Wisconsin, finishing in 14 hours 31 minutes.

True leaders lead, not only by words, but more importantly, by their actions and the example that they set for others. Since we were young, many of us dream and aspire to be leaders. We want others to hear what we have to say, respect our opinions and decisions, and follow in our footsteps. In the business world, people do not just give you this kind of respect. You have to earn it.

When I think of someone who fits my description of a leader and mentor, the name Chris Bonser comes to mind. I have worked with Chris for six of my thirteen years at AMD. He is a great co-worker, amazing manager, and even better friend. Chris has gone out of his way countless times to help me develop in my career as an engineer. He seems to know everything about work, so many people, including myself, often ask him technical questions that we could probably find the answer to with some researching. He still somehow seems to field all of our questions in a timely manner without missing a beat. He also assisted as my manager to ensure my transition into my new role as infrastructure program manager, even though that meant I was leaving his awesome team. This is just one of many examples of his selfless actions that seemingly come natural to him. I find this to be rare in today’s business world.

When Chris got his promotion to section manager, I was just as excited for him as I would have been had it been me. It was the most well deserved promotion I have ever witnessed at AMD. I am quite sure all of my other teammates would say the same thing as well. I remember sitting in the meeting when his promotion was announced, and by the end of the meeting, I thought to myself, “This is what it means to be a leader; to have every member of the team so on board with your promotion that each one of us would have made the same decision without thinking twice.” We were all excited to be working for and reporting to him.

Not only is Chris a solid leader in the office, but as a husband and a father to three beautiful children, he leads his family in the right direction at home as well. I recently wrote a professional recommendation for Chris that I would like to share. It accurately captures how his example has helped me grow and how it gives me something to strive for in my pursuit to be a true leader:

“Chris Bonser is an asset to any team. No matter the task, I would put my trust in Chris to see it through. If he does not know how to do a given task, which is rare, he will investigate and learn whatever necessary to get it done right. Chris is your ‘go to’ guy. He is a hard worker who is flexible and can wear many hats. The example that he sets is motivating to all who interact with him. I have worked with Chris for six years, and I have seen his valuable work efforts as an individual contributor, technical lead, and section manager. As an individual contributor, he steps up and volunteers to drive items to closure when others on the team may not be able to. As a technical lead, Chris has shown that he can manage projects efficiently by driving team meetings, prioritizing work, and balancing delegation with performing tasks himself. Of the thirteen managers I have reported to in my professional career, Chris Bonser ranks right at the top. He is an effective people manager because he focuses on understanding his employees and guiding them to reach their career goals. He knows that when they are successful, he is successful, and this is clear by his daily actions. Chris’s character is top notch. He has repeatedly displayed his sound ethical and moral values. All of this makes Chris someone who I fully recommend with no reservations.”

Today’s post is the Tenth of the SOS Leadership Men Who Lead Blog Series. The purpose of this blog series is to share the stories and insights of men who are answering the call to leadership in their lives. Come back each Friday to read more!

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