Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki

Review – Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions by Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki may be the Dale Carnegie of the technology age. While Enchantment is peppered with references to PowerPoint, Facebook, and other 21st century topics, much of the wisdom is as timeless as what you’ll still find in How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Kawasaki has a lot to say about business, and life in general. His last book, Reality Check, was a massive collection of business wisdom. Enchantment is a shorter book but still covers a lot of territory. It focuses in particular on how to influence others in a positive, constructive way. The pervasive themes would be no surprise to Dale Carnegie: honesty, trustworthiness, and helping others without anticipating payback. These apply both to social media and in-person interactions. Lest you think Enchantment is a set of bland prescriptions for playing nice with others, though, Kawasaki enlivens the book with straightforward and often funny advice like this bullet point from his guide to using social media:

Don’t take any crap. If you give people the benefit of the doubt and they violate you, don’t tolerate it. My theory is that if you think someone is an asshole, most people who are silently observing the situation think so, too.

This is called Guy’s Theory of Perfect Knowledge of Assholes (or orifices if you prefer). If you don’t take any crap, you will enchant the silent observers who like that you have the courage to push back. Just don’t make the reaction personal…

Not exactly Dale Carnegie… and Enchantment is full of straight-talking nuggets like this. Kawasaki provides a lot of specific advice, ranging from how much self-promotion you can insert in your social media interactions (he says 5%) to how long you have in your YouTube video to engage the viewer (10 seconds; longer, and they will click away).

Neuromarketing readers will find plenty to like in Enchantment. To back up his points about influence, Kawasaki often cites behavioral research by Robert Cialdini and others. A chapter titled, “How to Overcome Resistance,” is particularly dense with the kind of clever psychological experiments that can shed light on real business strategies.

Apple co-founder Woz’s blurb for Enchantment is short and sweet: “Read this book to create a company as enchanting as Apple.” That may be a bit of a stretch, but if you read Enchantment and follow just a fraction of Kawasaki’s advice, you’ll no doubt be more enchanting and a lot more successful.

Amazon Link: Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions
Kindle Version: Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions

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