- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 8, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

ENCHANTMENT: THE ART OF CHANGING HEARTS, MINDS, AND ACTIONS
By Guy Kawasaki
Portfolio/Penguin, $26.95, 211 pages

In “Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions,” business guru Guy Kawasaki channels Dale Carnegie, Vincent van Gogh, Zig Ziglar and Winston Churchill, among many others, to deliver a stunner of a book intended to help readers master “the process of delighting people with a product, service, organization or idea.”

If seamless, sharply focused prose is an indicator, enchantment appears to come naturally to Mr. Kawasaki, who formerly served as Apple’s chief evangelist and, more recently, co-founded Alltop.com, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the Web. This is Mr. Kawasaki’s 10th book, and it overflows with useful advice about how to engage the interest and loyalty of others.

The book is in many ways heir to Dale Carnegie’s 1937 book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” which has, to date, sold 15 million copies and is on Amazon’s list of top 200 best-sellers. Mr. Kawasaki writes that it continues to sell “because it provides long-lasting principles.” Making the case that one of Carnegie’s great gifts was his foresight, Mr. Kawasaki adds that the late social psychology superstar “would love Twitter. He would use it to reach his clients faster and more frequently. … He would “teach his clients to use Twitter to win friends and influence even more people.”

Like Carnegie, Mr. Kawasaki builds his book on clearly delineated principles. In an early chapter titled “How to Achieve Likability,” he treats readers to observations about the value of smiling (“Make Crow’s Feet”), dressing as an equal (“Dress for a Tie”) and being well-spoken (“Use the Right Words”). He persuasively argues that just about anyone seeking to advance his business goals, whether employer or employee, across a range of endeavors can profit from the wise use of enchantment to engage - or even convert the disengaged (if not the downright hostile) - into the smitten and loyal. The outcome of enchantment as defined here is voluntary and long-lasting support that is mutually beneficial.

After laying out the tools of enchantment, Mr. Kawasaki shows how it can be applied in the real world. He introduces readers to those places where enchantment is needed and why; how to apply it, how to thwart resistance and how to generally build trustworthiness before going for the kill, enchantingly, of course.

Mr. Kawasaki characterizes what or who enchants, starting with examples from his own life, beginning with his enchantment with Macintosh:

“Seeing a Macintosh for the first time was the second most enchanting moment of my life (the first most enchanting moment was meeting my wife). My introduction to Macintosh removed the scales from my eyes, parted the clouds, and made me hear angels singing.”

The book moves forward, anchored at intervals by memorable personal stories from others recalling what enchants them and why. By couching the principle of enchantment in stories that are by turns moving and quirky and outrageous, Mr. Kawasaki deepens the reader’s understanding of enchantment at work. There is the young father who becomes enchanted with a Macintosh when he sees how it enables his severely disabled son during the last days of his life to communicate by tapping a moving icon of “The Lion King.” Or there is the story of the woman who became enchanted by toothpaste manufacture just by watching how, from paste to tube, it was done.

“I started thinking about all the things that were produced,” he quotes his subject as saying.

Through these personal stories, readers feel the enchantment, and a reader is more than happy to learn a few tricks to become enchanting in turn. With each chapter, from enchantment’s early definitions onto how to prepare, how to launch and how to make enchantment endure, Mr. Kawasaki adds pithy quotes from business leaders, politicians, entrepreneurs, athletes and entertainment executives. The book’s final chapters covering new technologies and how they will serve the workplace into the future inform and guide even the most reluctant users.

But time and again, Mr. Kawasaki returns to the basic ingredients of how to enchant. Particularly noteworthy is Mr. Kawasaki’s “list of qualities of a great product.” If your product or cause is “deep,” “intelligent,” “complete,” “empowering” and “elegant,” it has the best chance - and Mr. Kawasaki offers a guide how to make it so.

Smart, snappy, entertaining and elegantly adorned with an origami butterfly on the cover (read the story about the care that went into the butterfly’s construction), the book does not fail to delight. In the end, when Mr. Kawasaki urges readers to “be well, do good, and kick butt,” all seems possible. For an added treat and “to get started” on your own enchantment project, take the test at the end of the book. It’s a revelation, as is the book.

Carol Herman is the books editor at The Washington Times. To watch The Washington Times’ interview with Guy Kawasaki, go to www.washingtontimes.com/video

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