Some business books aim to teach you how to take your game to the next level. Others, how to delight your customers and increase profits. Still others coach you on interacting with your peers, boss and other key “stakeholders” who are key to your success. Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions by marketing maven and former Apple chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki seeks to offer enlightenment on all these areas, by suggesting that the overall goal for anything you’re trying to accomplish is to enchant others.
For marketers, this is a compelling notion—maybe even obvious, but Kawasaki does a great job of not only explaining why enchantment is such a powerful force, but how to do it, based largely on personal experiences drawn from a very interesting career.
Each chapter focuses on a specific ingredient that contributes to the overall recipe of making enchantment work. The early chapters focus on things you, as an individual, can do to make your personal presence more enchanting. Things like achieving likability and trustworthiness, with suggestions ranging from how to dress to whether (and how) to swear.
The next set of chapters is drawn from Kawasaki’s life as a venture capitalist, where he shows you how to prepare, how to launch, how to overcome resistance and how to make enchantment endure. All excellent advice for startup companies (or search marketers trying to grow their business), but equally applicable to anyone in a large organization who needs to work with a variety of teams and stakeholders to achieve common goals.
Two chapters on how to use push and pull technology will likely be less useful to those of us who live and breathe the web, Twitter, Facebook and the rest of the online universe on a daily basis—but they may be helpful for explaining to a boss, client (or mom) exactly what’s important about the technology we use, rather than how it works.
Two chapters focus on “corporate” enchantment—working the magic on employees who work for you, or the other way around (enchanting your boss).
The final chapter deserves special commendation: How to resist enchantment. After spending the entire book singing its praises, Kawasaki acknowledges that sometimes people try to use enchantment in immoral or unethical ways to gain at others’ expense, rather than creating mutually beneficial outcomes. He also notes that as humans, we’re fallible, and are particularly susceptible to enchanting techniques when we’re tired, sick or influenced by outside forces (such as a large crowd at a sale event). The tips for resisting enchantment in this chapter are direct and to the point—and well worth remembering whenever you find yourself falling for someone else’s spell that you suspect you may regret later.
If you’ve read a lot of business books, you won’t find lots new ideas here—you’ll hear echoes of Dale Carnegie, Jim Collins, Zig Ziglar and many others. But these gems of wisdom are interwoven with Kawasaki’s personal anecdotes and stories of enchantment from a wide range of others, making the book a worthwhile and relatively quick read.
Enchantment is available in bookstores starting today. Some other resources Kawasaki has created for the book:
- Embeddable videos of Enchantment slides and highlights of the Enchantment speech.
- Web quiz. Online test so that people can determine how enchanting they are–most people score in the low teens (Facebook version).
- Enchantment Facebook fan page. Enchantment infographic. One simple diagram that explains the basics of enchantment.
Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions
by Guy Kawasaki
Portfolio/Penguin, $US 26.95