Guy Kawasaki is a most successful guy and wants to share the secrets of his success with you. However, this reader has seen most of it before, having read Dale Carnegie's 'How to Win Friends and Influence People' many moons ago.
For me the only chapters which had relatively new material were the ones on how to use social media such as Facebook, Twitter and of course Linked-In. The rest was rather yawn making and by the end I was totally sick of the word Enchantment as it's sprinkled ad nauseum throughout the text.
To me, most of the content of this book (and to be fair this also applies to most books on how to get ahead in business) is just plain common sense. Believe whole heartedly in the product or service you're involved with; be nice to people - especially your customers, your staff and your boss; be likeable; be honest and trustworthy in all you do. Achieve all these things and employ the right tools to do the job and the world is your oyster.
I'm probably the wrong person to review this book as most of the content isn't new to me, hence my lowly two stars. Someone starting out in business or wanting to harness social media more effectively will probably avidly devour everything Kawasaki has to say and give it a high five.
Update: I was one of the 2,000 or so AllTop bloggers who took Guy up on his offer of a review copy of this book. In the weeks leading up to the book's launch I had many emails purportedly from Guy telling me how wonderfully the launch was going and urging me to write up my review.
Just after the launch Guy was interviewed by Social Media Examiner and the AllTop reviewer campaign was cited as a marvellous example of marketing via social media. Not surprising perhaps and it shows the cynical way in which Guy was using the members of the Alltop site for his own gain. Not very enchanting at all. Note I'd written my review before I found this out and it reinforces my my original view of the book.
on 22 April 2011
What I know of Guy Kawasaki is that usually he writes interesting and inspiring stuff in his books and on his blogs. This is, however, not true for 'Enchantment'.
The book is chock-full of common sense advices, nicely categorized in twelve chapters. In the first chapter Guy describes what enchantment is, according to him, and in the chapters that follow he tries to tell the reader how he or she can become an enchanting person as well. In doing so he gives some tips on personal branding as well. There is nothing wrong with that: it would be awesome when there were more enchanting people in this world. The problem is that the methods Guy proposes are methods that change about everything of a person, except his or her heart. His advice is quite superficial, most of it is common sense (in Dutch we have a saying that goes like 'psychologie van de koude grond', which can be roughly translated as 'lay-man psychology') and the other parts of his advices are copied from the books of other authors (which he generously lists at the end of his book).
To implement Guy's advice, the reader only needs to change his outside appearance. I believe that what a truly enchanting person needs is a loving heart. That is - although the subtitle of the book has the word 'heart' in it - not part of the book, though. That is truly a pity: the book would have been much better if that part of the subtitle would have been made true as well.
You might ask why I bought the book. The cover has a quote from Steve Wozniak saying that by reading this book, one can create a company as enchanting as Apple. I'm highly interested in organizational science and change management, and I hoped this book would show me some new insights. That, however, was not true.
on 6 April 2011
Kawasaki is a great speaker who I like to watch on the stage. His writing is nice and easy to swallow, but its like watching mtv - fast and quick through to the end, but there is nothing substantial in it nor not much stays with you once you are done.
This book feels like I really don't need to read it to know these things and could be summarized in a 10 pages article but it was bloated to an entire book by adding pictures, personal stories etc.
I enjoyed this book, and came to regard the author as authoritative and likeable. He seemed generous being willing to credit ideas to others, and to use many different people's stories to illustrate his points.
He makes big claims for his book, and the title "Enchantment" is a challenge. So for readers the question will be, "Does the enchantment last as you read this book?"
I think it mostly does. I had not read Kawasaki before so I do not know to what extent this book overlaps with his previous work. In this book Kawasaki is providing a brief primer about certain key bits of behaviour that we need to show if we want to achieve personal and corporate success. The answer is that we achieve to the extent that we help others. There is little in here that is entirely new. What is useful here is that it pulls a lot of material about business life together into one place. The new bit for me was the section on social media and how to use it well.
The book is brief, and I think this reflects that the author has thought clearly about what he wanted to say, and how he wanted to say it. The text is sufficient to explain the ideas. Overall this book does succeed in getting you to buy into its ideas. Which is what enchantment is all about- so it does justify its title
This is a book that will be useful to many in business and other professions. I suspect it would be particularly useful to young people looking to move into companies by giving them some idea what their interviewers may be looking for.
on 22 August 2012
Firstly, I should start by saying I bought this book because it was on the reading list for a degree course, it's not something I chose to read myself. Quite why a book about business was on the reading list for a Digital Publishing course, I will never know but anyway, there are very few plus points here. The book is easy to read and I found the chapters quick to get through but hardly any of the information stayed in my memory. I don't feel I learnt anything that you couldn't find in a leaflet for free and if like most people, you've spent some time in the working world, it's fairly standard stuff. Worst of all, it is packed full of really annoying Americanisms, such as 'one of the guys'. As a somewhat cynical Brit, rest assured, I'd rather stick pins in my eyes than work for a company that wanted me to be 'one of the guys'. If you're buying this out of want rather than need, I'm sure there are much better books on which to spend your money.
"They are joined one to another,
They stick together and cannot be parted." -- Job 41:17 (NKJV)
Enchantment is Guy Kawasaki's extension of Robert Cialdini's classic, Influence, in trying to integrate lessons from behavioral psychology to the level of creating a marketing program that makes enough of a lasting impression with a superior offering to make people change their habits. The book is mostly based on summarizing research done by others, with examples drawn either from the research methods or Mr. Kawasaki's personal experiences as a consumer. For someone who wants to understand how to be more influential in encouraging engagement and stickiness, the book is a decent summary that will save reading a lot of other sources and assembling them into a program. However, the book doesn't add much beyond being a digest of that research.
I mainly disagree that the book lays out a program for creating "enchantment," a psychological state that captures how people behave when they are doing something they love, just for the joy of it . . . such as finger painting with a child and not caring about the mess while having a giggling good time. Now a book with a title like "Enchantment" is going to sell a lot more copies than one about "Engagement and Stickiness" so I don't blame him for using it . . . but I think he's overselling his contents.
I appreciate that Mr. Kawasaki clearly states that he is on the side of ethical "enchantment." I found that the advice didn't always seem to match up with that standard. One glaring example is calculating how much swearing to do and when to make the best possible impression on listeners. To me, that seems more manipulative than enchanting.
A lot of behavior is also defined so narrowly that it will create an impression, but one that may well be forced . . . rather than free flowing. Smiling is a good example. Study the smiling countenance of some celebrity you like. Chances are you'll feel that you are in the same room with the person, and that you are being looked upon as if you were the celebrity's favorite person in the world. That can be enchanting for brief periods of time until you realize that the celebrity is really just putting on a practiced smile for a camera. It's an act.
Personally, I have been much more impressed in my business career by people who expressed actual interest in talking to me, acted with the absolutely highest integrity in every little thing, and honestly told me their innermost thoughts about what was good and not-so-good about their offerings. I didn't quite get that sense here. It was more like being prepared to put lipstick on a pig and present the pig as the greatest thing ever.
I think the lessons and the storytelling would have gone a lot better if they had been applied to a recent launch of an offering that Mr. Kawasaki helped with. Then, the practical problems would have been more obvious, and some good advice could have been presented about how to apply the research. But perhaps Mr. Kawasaki is more of a speaker than a marketing consultant. It was hard to tell from reading the book.
There's a quiz at the end that emphasizes remembering factoids from the book, rather than how to integrate the pieces together. That's emblematic of the book's overall limitations: It's more a pile of pieces than an integrated whole. It's easy to put the pieces of so many little rules together in a way that creates a Frankenstein monster clumping along looking for love rather than an enchanting engagement.
One particular weakness is that the book is probably an attempt to describe now to work with the early triers in a new offering category. These people are intrigued by anything new that offers advantages. Geoffrey Moore has written well on the subject. But most offerings must shift their appeal to meat-and-potatoes advantages if they are to reach a mass market. All of that is mixed up together as though all customers were the same. That's always a mistake.
Read, remember, and apply very cautiously.
on 20 January 2013
I read this over the new year period as I was interested to improve my Client Service skills but found it had limited flow. I can appreciate many readers enjoy the bite sized format of the chapters, however I found the stop-start nature and constant bullet point lists disrupted the flow too much to make it enjoyable.
This was my first Kawasaki book and I'd recommend this to people who can only read a chapter at a time and have a good couple days off in between. There are some good tips so it was still worth reading but it was more of a struggle than I had hoped.
I have read and reviewed all of Guy Kawasaki's previous books. This book's title caught my eye because it suggests - and as it turned out, correctly - that its material and Kawasaki's presentation of it would be significantly different from, for example, Reality Check (2008). In that book, he focuses almost entirely on how to outsmart, outmanage, and outmarket one's competition. Would he now explain how to outenchant them also?
Indeed he does, and brilliantly, as always. The title of each of Chapters 2-12 begins with a "How to" and then in the text Kawasaki explains how to achieve likeability (Chapter 2), trustworthiness (3), prepare (4), launch (5), overcome resistance (6), make enchantment endure (7), use push technology (8), use pull technology (9), enchant your employees (10), enchant your boss (11), and resist [unethical and/or inappropriate] enchantment (12). Once again, Kawasaki - the pragmatic idealist and empirical visionary with an abundance of street smarts -- is determined to explain what works, what doesn't, and why.
As he explains, enchantment can occur anywhere and "causes a voluntary change of hearts and minds and therefore actions. It is more than manipulating people to help you get your way. Enchantment transforms situations and relationships. It converts hostility into civility. It reshapes civility into affinity. It changes skeptics and cynics into believers."
When enchanted, we transcend whatever the given circumstances may be, conveyed by emotions back through time (via fond memories) and/or conveyed by the same emotions into the future (via joyful anticipation and fantasy). The enchanter could be anyone or anything that casts a spell (albeit temporary) that protects us from fear, doubt, distress, and even grief. Kawasaki suggests that we need enchantment most when aspiring to lofty, idealistic goals as well as when making especially difficult decisions, overcoming entrenched habits, defying a crowd, or proceeding despite delayed or nonexistent feedback.
As indicated, he alerts his reader in Chapter 12 to beware of "charmers" whose purposes are self-serving, often unethical, and sometimes illegal. Their resources include temptation, deception, evasion, and ambiguity. "Not everyone is an ethical enchanter, and even ethical enchanters can convince you to do something that's not in your best interest." That's a key point. Kawasaki advises his reader to avoid tempting situations, to look beyond immediate gratification, to beware of "pseudo salience" (e.g. "they say"), not to fall for "the example of one" (i.e. believing that a compelling example is the rule rather than the exception or aberration), to defy the crowd (e.g. resist social acceptance defined by a "crowd mentality"), and to track previous decisions (ask "What happened when I [or someone else] did it before?"). Kawasaki recommends creating a checklist and offers an example on Page 181.
Readers will appreciate the provision of "My Personal Story" vignettes throughout the narrative. In each, someone in a situation with with most readers can identify shares personal experience relevant to the given chapter's subject. Kawasaki is wise as well as shrewd to anchor his insights strategically in a human context.
Most of what Kawasaki has written about in previous books focuses primarily on issues of greatest importance to organizational success and how individuals can help to achieve it. Long ago, Oscar Wilde observed, "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken." In this book, Kawasaki focuses almost entirely on explaining how almost anyone can increase personal fulfillment through ethical application of an "art" whose power can change others' hearts, minds, and actions and (key point) do so in their best interests. In this context, the enchanter is a servant leader as Robert Greenleaf defines the term, an authentic leader as Bill George defines the term, and a results-driven leader as Guy Kawasaki defines the term.
If asked to recommend one book that should be read by anyone now preparing for a business career or who has only recently embarked on one, I would suggest two: Reality Check and Enchantment.
on 2 September 2011
I bought this book after hearing Guy speak at the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Seminar (Stanford University). He is an engaging speaker. Very smart, and insightful.
This book was useful really in just providing perspective on how people may think/behave the way they do.
Personally, I think you've either got it or you don't, and reading a book isn't going to make a tidal change, but you can improve certain areas of your engagement with work/others. That's what this book helps with...some fine tuning.
Is short and easy to read, so it's worth the investment.
on 26 October 2013
Dull. Dully written. Meh! Wanted to like it, really couldn't keep on reading it.... Very disappointing all round. Sorry, Guy!