Enchant to change hearts, minds, and actions

by | Mar 10, 2011 | Blog | 1 comment

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions  is the business book version of Ira Gershwin lyrics. Last century, Gershwin captivated listeners with love songs that omit the word “love.”

(For example, the older Gershwin brother writes in They All Laughed  about how “They all laughed at Wilbur and his brother when they said that man could fly; they told Marconi wireless was a phony….They laughed at me wanting you….But oh, you came through, now they’ll have to change their tune.”)

In a similar vein, Enchantment author  Guy Kawasaki advises readers of his new book (Portfolio/Penguin Group 2011) to “delight people with a product, service, organization, or idea” by showing you rather than telling you how to behave. Eleven of his 12 book chapters are “How to ….” (For the record, Chapter 1 is Why Enchantment? in which Guy explains enchantment, his philosophy behind it, and how to use the book.)

Guy is a master of leading by example. He presents his case, showcases suggested enchantment tactics, and features examples of effective enchanters using a breezy, engaging, and energetic writing style. Or, in his words, he makes the concepts “easy to swallow and easy to follow,” which makes him endearing and enchanting.

And many of his suggestions can make change more palatable, especially if you take time to understand your stakeholders and set them—as well as you—up for success.

Throughout the book, Guy calls on his experiences as the former chief evangelist of Apple (during the early years) and his more recent involvement as a founding partner of Garage Technology Ventures and a cofounder of Alltop.com. He supports his points with the science of influence and persuasion, including generously quoting the experts.

(As an aside, as someone who appreciates paying homage to scientists and authors, I commend Guy for his thoroughness in this area. I do have one nitpick. Dan Pink and his book Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us deserve mention—as well as the motivation experts Dan cited—especially around the power of purpose, autonomy, and mastery. I also want to say I wish Guy’s practices, especially his extensive citations and bibliography, would rub off on some individuals on the speaking/writing circuit who are careless with attribution.)

If you’re already a student or practitioner of influence and persuasion, you may not learn much new by reading Enchantment. Don’t take my word for it though. Before you jump to any conclusions, take Guy’s Realistic Enchantment Aptitude Test (GREAT)  This 23-question self-exam that Guy developed can help you confirm much you know about being enchanting.

Even if you ace the test, you should value the book for shining a bright light on techniques to make individuals, brands and products irresistible—that is, enchanting.

1 Comment

  1. Deb Nystrom

    Hi Liz, I was just checking in on twitter. THANKS for the helpful review of Guy Kawasaki’s latest book via your tweet. It’s great to get your insights and your synopsis.

    Applying enchantment to the showing, rather than telling is my own latest discovery and adopted philosophy of group coaching and change, with social media tossed in. Via my one twitter handle @changetools, I also took the enchantment quiz. Cool & fun! (17 out of 24, not so bad!)

    In addition, our group really appreciates your call-out of Guy’s example behavior on good citations. So many people do not give credit to the work of others.

    I’m midway through the video edit of your interview to be posted for your review very soon. Bestest, –Deb @changetools & @RevelnConsults

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