Education is important, regardless of whether we want to or not, we are constantly learning in our lifetimes. There are two forms of learning, learn by doing and learn through reading. As many of you know, I am currently a graduate student who is getting my Master's Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in marketing and international business AND I am on the Board of Director's for the organization behind Anime Expo, where I am the chairman of the Finance Committee and the R&D Committee, so when it comes to management I am getting both forms of education. To improve my knowledge and apply this practical knowledge to improve my personal skills, I am reading eight books this Winter season:
- Board Members: Governing Roles and Responsibilities by W. Astor Kirk
- Managing the non-profit organization by Peter F. Drucker
- Why Nonprofits Fail: Overcoming Founder's Syndrome, Fundophobia, and Other Obstacles to Success by Stephen R. Block
- Nonprofit Governance: The Why, What, and How of Nonprofit Boardship by John Tropman and Thomas J. Harvey
- Board Overboard: Laughs and Lessons for All by the Perfect Nonprofit by Brian O'Connell
- Kaizen Teian 2: Guiding Continuous Improvement Through Employee Suggestions by Japan Human Relations Association
- Classic Drucker by Peter F. Drucker
- The Essential Drucker by Peter F Drucker
There is another major theme in the books I am reading for winter break, and it is about being a Board Director and properly managing non-profit organizations. I believe it is important to gain more book knowledge about my responsibilities as a Board Director so that I can apply this book knowledge to improve the experience of everyone going to Anime Expo. Which means the fruits of the reading will help me become a better Board Director, which means that I will have better personal knowledge to make better decisions, which ultimately means that the organization is better overall.
Reading something doesn't really mean anything if it doesn't stick and can be used in practical ways to better yourself. When I first became a manager in Anime Expo, I read well over 40 books on management theory, staff motivation, department budgeting, and organizational behavior. The difference is that I was able to apply many lessons to achieve practical results as manager. Over my four year tenure as manager, I won many kudos awards and even got the prestigious manager MVP award from my division. They say it takes around three years for a manager to really hit their stride. This means that there are three years of potential mistakes and lessons for a manager to really hit their potential. When I have an entire organization whose fate is based on my decisions, the consequences of my decisions have far more impact than when I was a department manager. Which is why gaining written knowledge from my fore-bearers is a good way to keep ahead so that I will not make the same mistakes they have done. Education, knowledge, and a willingness to learn are excellent traits that we have to continue to develop, even when we are not in school.
Kris Zoleta started working in Anime Expo as a staffer in Manga Library. He worked in Staff Service in Anime Expo 2006 and became the manager of Manga Lounge from Anime Expo 2007-2010. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, the 501(c)(6) non-profit behind Anime Expo and is one of the most recognized cosplay photographers in the west coast.