Enchant. Enchanting. Enchantment. Words we don’t hear in the business world, but I think that is about to change with Guy Kawasaki’s latest book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.
Can you recall a time when a stakeholder said your brand was enchanting? If you thought had to think about that question for more than 30 seconds, you are probably not enchanting to your customers, shareholders, partners, community and employees.
I know what you’re thinking… No one uses that word, so your question is pointless. Okay. Let me re-ask it another way. When was the last time your stakeholders compared your brand to Apple or Zappos?
Need more time to think on that or do you know the answer?
What is Enchantment, When Is It Necessary & How Do We Achieve It?
According to Guy, “enchantment [is] the process of delighting people with a product, service, organization or idea. The outcome of enchantment is voluntary and long-lasting support that is mutually beneficial.”
If that sounds like something you want for your brand, Enchantment will get you there but only if you take it seriously, roll up your sleeves and get down to business. Being enchanting is not easy, even if Apple and Zappos make it appear so.
What could possibly make enchantment necessary? Isn’t it enough to sell a good product or service? Not always, unfortunately.
You need to be enchanting when you are:
- Aspiring to lofty, idealistic goals
- Making difficult, infrequent decisions
- Overcoming entrenched habits
- Defying a crowd
- Proceeding despite delayed or nonexistent feedback
- Why Enchantment
- How to Achieve Likability
- How to Achieve Trustworthiness
- How to Prepare
- How to Launch
- How to Overcome Resistance
- How to Make Enchantment Endure
- How to Use Push Technology
- How to Use Pull Technology
- How to Enchant Your Employees
- How to Enchant Your Boss
- How to Resist Enchantment
(Click here to see a larger version of the infographic.)
What I Loved About Enchantment
It’s rare that a business book grabs me to the point where I have a hard time putting it down. There are a few from 2010 that come to mind, like: Switch, Rework, and Confessions of a Public Speaker. What makes these books stand out is not only the writing style, but the outside-in advice they offer. That is they challenge you to understand how others see and relate to you or your organization and how to change what isn’t working. Enchantment falls into this category.
I won’t give it all away, but I’d like to share some of my favorite pieces of advice or one-liners with you (trust me when I tell you there are many dog-eared and highlighted pages). These are all direct quotes from the book:
- Embrace the nobodies (I couldn’t agree with this philosophy more!)
- Give up the illusion of control
- Be a mensch
- Everyone is passionate about something. It’s your job to find out what it is.
- When people believe, they want to help out, and it’s your responsibility to enable them as much as they can.
- The power of social acceptance should make you skeptical (though not necessarily cynical) about the wisdom of the crowd.
- Customers showed Apple this market [desktop publishing]—it wasn’t our Cupertino-centric wisdom or insights. It was their local wisdom. (If I had not read this book, I would have gone on thinking Apple was not customer-centric. Turns out that they are, they do listen in their own way.)
Guy Kawasaki Has Enchanted Me
I first met Guy in 2008. No one was talking to me on Twitter (Don’t believe me? Read The Twitter Monologue), so I hopped over to Plurk and that’s where I bumped into Guy. He was testing out Plurk for Alltop and one day a bunch of us sort of got into a discussion around whether or not his dropping links was spam.
Guy told me that he was like “my delicious guy”— how darn funny is that?!
I defended Guy because I truly felt that he was a marketer who was not buying into social media hype and all of the “rules” that people were trying to enforce upon us. I appreciated his fortitude and testing (heck, I am a marketer after all).
What happened next I will always be thankful for and will never forget. The day after the discussion, I was checking my blog traffic and saw traffic coming from Alltop! Guy had added my fledgling blog to Alltop (it’s not easy to get added to Alltop). Then in 2009 we missed each other at SES NY by a few hours (we were both speaking, Guy was the Keynote), but I was told that he had asked for me. See why I am enchanted? Even though we’ve never met in person (but have had offline exchanges), Guy has helped me without my asking for it and now I am doing the same for him. That is what happens when a person, cause, brand, or organization is truly enchanting…you just can’t help but want to help them.
Was this book about persuasion and influence? Yep, it sure is, but I was too enchanted to tell (the down-right humanness and humor of this book will grab you!). And that’s the point. If you are outright seeking to influence and persuade people or to piggy back on people’s perceived influence, it will back fire. Try being enchanting instead.
[Disclosure: I received a free copy of Enchantment from Guy. However, it is a book that I would have purchased for myself. It's also a book that I think should be mandatory reading for all corporate employees...Can you imagine an enchanting workplace?]
[Image Source: Guy Kawasaki]