Guy Kawasaki On Enchantment

March 12, 2011

I recently reviewed and recommended Guy Kawasaki’s new book “Enchantment: The art of changing hearts, minds, and actions.” I’m also impressed with how accessible and personal Guy has been while promoting his book. Most authors – not even big name authors like Guy –  work through an agency to request book reviews and never take even five minutes to make a personal connection. Not Guy. He followed-up personally to make sure I had my copy of his book, and responded to my request for this interview from 30, 000 feet. I am duly enchanted and glad to offer you Guy’s answers to four very direct questions I asked him.

1. They call you a business guru, Guy. How is “Enchantment” different than other business books?

First of all, I don’t claim that no one has ever wrote about what I cover. People have been doing research on this topic for a long time. Robert Cialdini and Dale Carnegie, for example, are the giants in this field. The first strength of Enchantment is that its focus is on the application of knowledge to change people’s hearts, minds, and actions. I’m not a scientist or researcher. The second strength is that I had the advantage of time on my side–that is, I wrote Enchantment in a post blog, Twitter, and Facebook world. I could incorporate social media into the subject matter.

2. I thought your chapter on enchanting employees was exceptional. Few people I know work for companies that make enchanting their employees a strategic priority. Why do you think enchanting employees is such a hard sell?

It might not be that it’s a hard sell. It could be that managers have simply not thought of their jobs as enchanting employees because management training focuses on “management by objectives,” feedback, and compensation. When have you ever heard of managers receiving training on enchanting their employees? Perhaps Enchantment can show people that there is a better way.

3. What is the purpose of trying to enchant a boss that does not bother to enchant you?

Assuming that you want to improve the situation, what are your alternatives? Bludgeon your boss into liking you? What have you got to lose? If nothing else, trying to enchant your boss will improve your game for future managers and for when you are a manager. Does anyone ever win in a pissing match? I guess you could ignore your boss, but that’s a downward spiral too. Some things need to be believed to be seen, and you’ll have to wait by the side of the river a long time before your boss’s body comes floating by.

4. What chapter was the hardest to write? Why?

By far the hardest chapter to write wasn’t a chapter at all–it was the introduction. I had to accomplish many things while threading a needle: first, to explain how Macintosh enchanted me but not give people who have never read me before the impression that this was a tech book. Second, to give enough mention to Macintosh for the people who have read me before to know that I’m still the same old guy but not so much coverage that they would think this book was a rehash of my previous nine books. Third, to explain what enchantment is in a manner that sets it apart from similar concepts such as influence and persuasion. Fourth, to suck people into buying and reading the book. It was a non-trivial task!

Thanks, Guy!

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Comments (8)

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  1. Bret,
    I really liked this interview. Guy is great. I have heard a lot of good things about his new book. I want to read it. It is very interesting that the hardest part for him to write was the introduction. The hardest aspect as a writer is getting your audience’s attention. Once you get their attention, you can then convey your message. Thanks, Brandon

    Bret L. Simmons Reply:

    It’s a good book, Brandon, you should check it out. Thanks! Bret

  2. Bret and Brandon: I’m working my way through Enchantment – and may I say – I’m definitely enchanted. Thanks for the interview Bret – it sheds some great behind-the-scenes thinking from the author. And, P.S. I especially appreciated Mr. Kawasaki’s answer to #3; pragmatic and delightful!

    Bret L. Simmons Reply:

    Glad you liked the book, MJ. His chapter on enchanting the boss is one you don’t see often. Parts of it really made me think. Thanks! Bret

  3. Bret,

    Guy impressed me too in this interview. He started answering “First of all, I don’t claim that no one has ever wrote about what I cover…” then he follows with the strengths and advantages he got to make this book different. Often we hear other way around or only hear the strengths.

    No wonder Guy touched many guys like you and me.

    Bret L. Simmons Reply:

    Welcome, Yathi! Guy has been a class act through this whole process. I really like his book. Thanks! Bret

  4. Haipin Cua says:

    Hi Bret,

    I’ve always been a big fan of Guy Kawasaki. I’ve “read” (listened) to a lot of his books. Can’t wait for this one to be on audible so I can read (listen to) it. It’s nice that he seems to be a down to earth enough of a guy.


    Bret L. Simmons Reply:

    He treated me with courtesy and respect. I appreciate that a lot. I’ve heard him do a webinar so I bet his books on tape are great. Thanks! Bret