Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment: A Little Fairy Dust in a Feature-Obsessed World

You’d have to be a real jerk not to like Guy Kawasaki’s new book…and not just because only a real jerk would trash a book called “Enchantment.”  

Quite honestly, anyone who tries to trash this book just won’t be able to do it and walk away feeling good about themselves, especially not after reading it.

That’s because Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions, is all about making people feel good.

Granted, it’s not tightly written, it jumps around quite a bit and it’s full of really bad logic. It’s not based on hard scientific research, although Kawasaki sprinkles just enough data into the mix to give it plausibility.

The real purpose of the book is to take the reader on a transformative journey, a complete redesign of self, so that by the time you put the book down, you’re immersed in the techniques and spirit of enchantment.

Why is this so important? 

Because, says Kawasaki, “by putting yourself in the mindset of the people you are trying to enchant, you’ll appreciate the amount of change that enchantment requires. It can take weeks or even months for enchantment to occur, so prepare for the marathon, not the sprint.” 

Of course, he of all people should know about the subject. As the former chief evangelist at Apple Computer, Guy is perhaps one of the most authoritative voices on getting people to like your cause.  

And there’s no question but that enchantment is important.  It’s the special sauce, that incredible intangible that differentiates a really great person or product or company from all the rest. It’s the winning combination that gets attention and holds excitement.

“The greater your goals, the more you’ll need to change people’s hearts,” says Kawasaki. “This is especially true if you have few resources and big competitors.  If you need to enchant people, you’re doing something meaningful. If you’re doing something meaningful, you need enchantment.”

This almost goofy phraseology is guaranteed to trip up a logic-obsessed reader, which is why I probably wouldn’t recommend it to that type. This is a book for storytellers, for people whose passion or business is communicating ideas with others. 

It’s for people who really want to do or say or be something great.

“In a perfect world, you are so enchanting that your cause doesn’t matter, and your cause in so enchanting that you don’t matter,” says Kawasaki. “My goal is to help you achieve both.”

How he goes about this is nothing short of a complete reconstruction of the reader, from the ground up, beginning with your look, your smile and your handshake and ending, ironically, with how to resist the enchantment of others. Kawasaki ‘s approach is imaginative in that it skips past science, MBA-speak, and personal coaching cliches to address everyday challenges with common sense techniques which, in combination, deliver a completely transformative and enchanting experience.

If this sounds absurd, consider Steve Jobs’ recent iPad 2 announcement, which was replete with references to the “magical” qualities of the product. Kawasaki presaged this event in his book.

“Steve Jobs can enchant the eggshell off an egg without disturbing the yolk, but without a Macintosh, iPod, iPhone or iPad, Steve wouldn’t have anything to sell NeXT,” said Kawasaki. “When you combine his vision, his fulfillment of this vision…and his stage presence, he’s unstoppable.”

That’s the effect Kawasaki shares so well in Enchantment.  It’s a bit of fairy dust sprinkled over an otherwise highly technical and feature-obsessed world … and remarkably, it works.

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions by Guy Kawasaki. Portfolio/Penguin Books, 2011.