Book Review: Guy Kawasaki’s “Enchantment”

March 8, 2011

I really enjoyed Guy Kawasaki’s new book “Enchantment: The art of changing hearts, minds, and actions.” I received my copy of the book free from Guy. For me, the last seven chapters were better than the first six, but I think the entire book is worth your time and effort.

Guy defines enchantment as “the process of delighting people with a product, service, organization, or idea. The outcome of enchantment is voluntary and long-lasting support that is mutually beneficial.” (p. xix). I like that a lot. People that are delighted behave entirely differently than those that are simply satisfied.

If you want to earn the enchantment of others, you are going to have to change your own behavior. Anyone can create enchantment, but not by wishful thinking.

“Enchantment” is very well researched, which I really appreciated. At the end of the book, Guy lists the 20 books about influence and persuasion he consulted to write “Enchantment.” He cites Robert Cialdini’s classic book so much that he even includes a note right above the index that says “I hope Robert Cialdini checks this index.”

Chapter 10 is about how to enchant your employees, and it is my favorite. Guy really nailed this one. Here are some of my favorite quotes from that chapter:

  • Bakatare means “stupid” or “foolish,” and it’s the perfect description of people who think disenchanted employees can enchant customers. (p. 151)
  • If you don’t enable your employees to please your customers, you create disenchantment. It means they cannot feel good about themselves, and you are putting them in the position of getting hammered by irate customers (p. 153).
  • Judge yourself by what you’ve accomplished and others by what they intended (p. 153).
  • Maybe your shortcomings caused the shortcomings of those who work for you. There’s a saying that if a manager has to fire someone, maybe the company should fire him, too, because the situation should not have reached this point. (p. 154).
  • An enchanting boss makes sure that her employees know they are valuable and they are appreciated. Remember the words “We want you.” (p. 160).

The next chapter on how to enchant your boss contained some interesting advice. When Guy advocates underpromising and overdelivering, he comes right out and admits he is advising you to sandbag your boss. Some of his best advice in this chapter is to deliver bad news early:

“Good bosses want bad news early so that there are more opportunities to fix the problem. Bad bosses only want good news, however, because they prefer to live in a bubble. The problem is, when the bubble pops, you’ll go down with the bad boss.” (p. 171).

I liked this book more than I expected to. I think you will too. Take Guy’s Realistic Enchantment Aptitude Test (GREAT); if you pass, then skip the book. If you don’t do so well, then you will be delighted with “Enchantment.”

BTW: Guy practices what he preaches in this book. He is a very busy dude with a lot of demands on his time, but both the request to review the book and the follow-up to make sure I got it came personally from him. Most business “gurus” don’t operate that way. When I asked for an interview to post at my blog, he responded personally and promptly while in flight, which after reading the book I’ll assume was either Virgin Air or United.

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