This must be book review month here at gregverdino.com, because my mail has been overflowing with freebies and my posts are full of read this, buy that, download the other one for free. Next up, Guy Kawasaki's new book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions.
You'll find full reviews elsewhere - my buddy C.C. Chapman gave it a rave, and Guy has compiled a long list of reviews from blogs and the mainstream press. So rather than post yet another plain vanilla review, I reached out to Guy and asked him a few questions about the book. In addition to giving him the opportunity to chat about some of the ideas in Enchantment, this should help you decide if you're enchanted enough to buy yourself a copy.
Q: Hey Guy! As I read Enchantment I couldn't help thinking that a lot of the advice is common sense (smile, shake hands, be honest, make a good product) but then remembered that old adage, "The problem with common sense is it isn't so common anymore." Which brings me to my first question - what was the inspiration for Enchantment and why did you decide to write this particular book?
There are two answers to this question. First, I was in a two-book contract, and my editor wanted the second book. :-) Second, I've been evangelizing things for twenty-five years now. It's required trying to enchant, influence, and persuade people, so I've become a student of these techniques. Dale Carnegie and Robert Cialdini inspired me. I wanted to document and distribute everything I've learned about the subject.
Q: In the book, you seem to place equal weight on how the reader can be more enchanting as a person and how the reader can create a more enchanting company. Do you see this as a necessary one-two punch? In other words, can a disenchanting leader create a wonderfully enchanting company? Can an enchanting leader have success at the helm of a business that is inherently disenchanting?
It's hard to imagine an enchanting company with a disenchanting leader or a disenchanting company with an enchanting leader. It's possible, but I suggest that companies not try to explore whether it can be done and strive for both. There's an old saying that when a fish gets rotten, the head stinks first, so I would recommend that you start at the top.
An enchanting leader will have enchanting employees who will in turn enchant customers. That's the ideal model.
Q: The CEO of a company that has suffered a major moment of disenchantment - let's say BP - calls you in and asks for help. Can a company like this become enchanting? And what's the most important piece of advice you'd offer?
The most important piece of advice is, "Make your reality enchanting." That is, enchantment is not about putting lipstick on a pig. Step one is to fix the pig. After that, work on likability and trustworthiness. Enchantment is not "spin"--it's reality.
Q: On the flipside, let's take a look at a current social media darling - Groupon. They've had some stumbles (the controversy over their Super Bowl spot for example), might be a bit arrogant (turning down Google's billion dollar offer), and I know a number of small business owners who gripe about their business model (most sellers take a loss on the deal and few can definitively say they got repeat customers as a result). Yet people love Groupon and the company has gotten a ton of positive press. Do you think Groupon is enchanting? If so, what makes it enchanting and what can other start-ups learn from it?
It's too early to tell. A company can achieve commercial success and not be enchanting. I can name a dozen tech companies that fall into this category. But suffice it to say that no enchanting company would run a spoof about Tibet. That was shockingly stupid. It created a crater, not just a hole, that Groupon has to dig itself out of.
Want more? Guy offers a handy-dandy infographic that provides a snapshot of all his advice for how to be enchanting in both life and work, a nifty quiz to test how enchanting you are today, and if you want to see what enchantment looks like to other readers to show Guy what enchantment looks like to you be sure to check out the Nikon-sponsored Enchantment photo competition too.
Have Guy and his ideas enchanted you? Ready to get your crow's feet on? Pick up a copy of Enchantment wherever books are sold.