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Book Review: Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki

Can you change the world? That’s the challenge Guy Kawasaki sets forth for his readers in the beginning pages of his latest book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.

The 10th book from the former chief evangelist for Apple and co-founder of Alltop.com, Enchantment is slightly loftier in tone than his previous business books, which include The Art of the Start and The Macintosh Way. That, however, is no accident.

Kawasaki admitted to me in a recent phone interview that his latest endeavor was largely inspired by Dale Carnegie’s 1937 book, How to Win Friends and Influence People.  With Enchantment, Kawasaki aims to teach “anyone who has $26 and wants to be more enchanting.”

Why enchantment? Actually, Kawasaki doesn’t waste much time talking about why we should all strive to be more enchanting (he dedicates only one chapter – the first – to the subject, which he summed up for me in one sentence, saying, “The world is a better place when you’re enchanting”), but gets right to the how, focusing on the exact steps one might take to charm anyone from your boss, to your customer, to the stranger whose place at the front of the bathroom line you desperately covet.

The power of Enchantment lies in its simplicity. Kawasaki doesn’t put forth any advice that the average person cannot easily apply to nearly any situation, in nearly any area of life, whether personal or professional.

While the focus of the book is largely on marketing – yourself, your business, or your cause, mainly – for the reader looking for leadership and management advice, there’s much to take away. Almost every principle in the book can be applied to employee engagement.  For example, Kawasaki’s advice for creating win-win situations with clients would easily translate to the boss-employee relationship, while he might as well be talking about employment branding in his chapter on the do’s and don’t’s of social media marketing.

For those looking for more tactical career advice, however, Kawasaki does dedicate two chapters specifically to enchantment in the workforce – one from an employee’s perspective, the other from an employer’s.  Here again, though, he reintroduces the simple, but important concepts that are too often ignored or forgotten, such as “don’t ask employees to do what you wouldn’t do” and “judge yourself by what you’ve accomplished and others by what they’ve intended.”

Time will tell if Enchantment has the staying power of Dale Carnegie’s iconic bestseller, but there’s no question that it is indeed an enchanting read. Kawasaki deftly combines business advice and casual storytelling. He understands the art of brevity, keeping chapters short and concise, and peppering them with colorful anecdotes that keep readers engaged while illustrating his points. The concepts in the book might not be entirely groundbreaking, but they’re delivered with a fresh perspective that makes the reader think. At the very least, Enchantment serves to remind readers that even the smallest, most ordinary gestures can go a long way in winning friends and influencing people.

Will this book help you change the world? Maybe…maybe not. But it sure makes you want to try.

Disclosure: I received a free review copy of Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
2 comments
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