Sunday, December 08, 2013

Book Review: Enchantment (@GuyKawasaki)

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

Have you ever not done something just because everyone else was? I read Inc. and Fast Company and Seth Godin's blog and Andy Sernovitz's blog. I've read Redesigning Leadership and Presentation Zen. I went to a conference where Gary Vaynerchuk was a keynote speaker. And brothers Heath, Chip and Dan, they might as well be monks in a monastary because I'm a student of anything they publish. But for all the mentions of Guy Kawasaki, he was an unknown to me. I'm not sure why, I didn't have a good reason. Anyhow, Enchantment found its way onto my books page.

Let me tell you - this is a good read. I wholeheartedly recommend it. First, Kawasaki himself has a great story to tell which lends credibility to what he's proposing. Next, he has anecdotes, research and more stories to back up each section. Some of these aren't exclusive to this book, but that's not a bad thing. Next, the book is littered with great quotes. And lastly, each chapter ends with a great story from someone else which just brings the book even more alive.

The book is a quick read, 184 pages plus introduction, index, quiz and story about how the cover came to be. I read it over several lunchtime walks. I tweeted that I was reading it and Guy tweeted back that he hoped I was enjoying it. And now as I write this review and flip back through the book, I can remember where I was on my walk at different points because this stuff just resonated so well with me.

The book is broken into 10 sections and in the introduction there's a 2-3 sentence description of each section. It would be simplest at this point to just repurpose those here, but that doesn't tell you any more about why I liked it and it's probably a risky "fair use" claim.

So here's my quick take and thoughts.

Chapter 1: Why Enchantment?

The title sums it up pretty well - you want to change hearts, minds and actions. As I've said before "It's all marketing" - Kawasaki argues that if what you're selling (whether that's a product, service, cause -- or yourself) takes a little more work to understand, traditional means aren't going to cut it, and they shouldn't. Because if you simply convince someone to buy something, you've made a sale. But if you ask people to become invested, you've started a relationship. (And for the cynics, you've started a buying cycle and you've recruited unpaid salespeople.) I love this. We all have companies we love to tell others about, companies whose mistakes we are more forgiving of, companies we will go out of our way to spend our money with. In some way, shape or form, they've enchanted us. We identify with them and want them to succeed and we want to share in their success. And this holds true for people as well - there are people we want to see succeed and people who, when they do succeed, we cheer and feel like we've succeeded as well.

Chapter 2: How to Achieve Likability

Easier said than done, but obviously the foundation. They have to like you before they can love you. And this takes honest, intentional effort.

Chapter 3: How to Achieve Trustworthiness

This is the next step - the belief that this person selling you something (because that's what it is - every transaction, every interaction is an attempt to persuade in some fashion) really has your best interests at heart. The chapter talks about "baking a bigger pie" (creating win-win and win-win-win scenarios, not "I win/You lose" or "You win/I lose" scenarios) and being clear about your own motivations with examples like Zappos and the reminder to always assume the best about people. (They will want to prove you right.)

Chapter 4: How to Prepare

This is all about the actual groundwork. People like and trust you, but now you get down to what you want them to understand or engage. He suggests (and explains each of these) that a great product must be deep, intelligent, complete, empowering and elegant. He also mentions the "pre-mortem" and setting yourself up for success, and making it accessible, the importance of goals and checklists and removing obstacles to success -- all of which hearkens back to Don't Make Me Think and Start With Why.

Chapter 5: How to Launch

Time to get it out there. Lots of thoughts in here about ways to get the message out in front of people in ways they can experience it.

Chapter 6: How to Overcome Resistance

At the beginning of the book he talks about building a better mousetrap. That's all well and good until people wonder what was wrong with the old mousetrap or remember their negative impressions of the old mousetrap and don't want to think about mousetraps at all. Many different methods of how to get past that and get people engaged.

Chapter 7: How to Make Enchantment Endure

This is that all-important step. This is the big hairy complicated expensive step. This is where you realize you're in it for the long-haul. This was Apple realizing it needed to open its own stores. This is companies defining a social media brand and then turning people loose to personify their company. This is where you go beyond simply that next sale, that next donation and you build the relationship.

Chapter 8: How to Use Push Technology and
Chapter 9: How to Use Pull Technology

These two chapters make up a second section based mostly on technology with lots of great examples. One example I liked was how Kawasaki will arrive early to a speaking engagement so he can get a good photo of himself at a local tourist attraction or a good photo of other conference goers so that when he presents, he immediately pulls them in and helps them to relate to him.

Chapter 10: How to Enchant Your Employees

If you have people working for you, this is a must-read. If you were to look at the subject headings, you'd probably go "Yeah, yeah, yep, yep, uh-huh" but it's worth reading carefully.

Chapter 11: How to Enchant Your Boss

A great chapter because it's kind of funny. He starts with "Make them look good." and then goes into detail about how and why. I liked the example of the report they ask for that you know they won't look at. Maybe they won't. Or maybe their boss asked them for it.

Chapter 12: How to Resist Enchantment

The book wraps with an anti-chapter which is pretty cool. Not all enchanters can be trusted and not all enchanting things need draw us in. This chapter deals with the tactics you can use to avoid being enchanted and how to know when it might not be in your best interest to allow yourself to be enchanted.

I really recommend this book. It is probably one that should be read multiple times, studied, absorbed. I will probably purchase copies for my team as Christmas presents. (Sorry to spoil the surprise if you're reading this, guys.)

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions (*)

*Using this Amazon link gives me credit for your purchase which allows me to buy more books.

You can find more reviews on my Book Page. I am always looking for suggestions on what I should add to the list and I would certainly welcome any books anyone wants to send me. (Once about 6 years ago an author found his book on my "want to read" list and asked me for my mailing address and mailed me the book. That was really cool.)

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