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on March 8, 2011
Marketing and leadership books are strange animals. Some are great and others make you want to stab yourself in the eye with a fork. Almost all, though, usually fall into one of two categories:

1. How to develop a large and successful business; and
2. Why all marketers are liars

Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki is neither of these; instead, it's a book about one thing:

Influence.

"How can I influence others without moral compromise?" is the question at the heart of Enchantment. And it's an important one. There are a number of easy cheats to convince people to follow your leadership (carrots and sticks) or to buy your product or join your cause (incentives), but eventually those things always fail.

Why? Because they're disingenuous. They don't tap into people's passions. They don't move the heart.

And without that happening, whatever impact you have is fleeting at best.

The "pillars of enchantment" Kawasaki puts forward ones you'd be hard pressed to disagree with:

1. Be likeable
2. Be trustworthy
3. Have a great cause

In other words, be someone you'd actually want to spend time with and offer something that matters. These seem like concepts that should be met with a resounding, "well, I should hope so." I mean, this seems to be common sense, doesn't it? That's thing about common sense, though. To paraphrase G.K. Chesterton, it's not that common sense has been tried and found lacking, it's that it's been found difficult and left untried.

Unless you're likeable, it's extremely difficult to be found trustworthy. And unless you're trustworthy, no one will rally around your cause, no matter how good it is.

Whether you're in the for-profit or non-profit world, whether you're in some form of vocational ministry or working for a huge conglomerate, who you are impacts everything you're involved with. Our character can be the scent of life or the stench of death, and we would all do well to remember that.

The rest of the book tackles the implications of being enchanting, from launching your cause, overcoming resistance, using technology, how it plays out with employees and employers, how to make enchantment endure--and even how to resist it.

A key principle that resonated with me is that of endurance. Even if you have the greatest cause, it's essential to remember that "enchantment is a process, not an event." You're working to build a relationship, not just get a sale or get someone to do something for you. And relationships take effort. This is something that is not easy for many in marketing and even in leadership positions to remember. The truth is, though, for many of us, it's easier to try to squeeze whatever we can out of our market today, and not think about the long-term consequences (like having no market in the future).

This is where social media comes in handy, especially Facebook and Twitter (two resources that Kawasaki highly recommends). These two tools allow organizations and individuals to connect in ways that previously weren't possible. And used well, they can allow you to truly enchant your customer or supporter base by engaging on their terms. Dell, among other organizations, fields support questions via Twitter (I know because an associate contacted me once after I complained about my previous laptop). This gives people a great experience with the company, even if they don't like the product.

One of the challenges with social media, though, is finding the right mix of promotion vs. conversation. Kawasaki suggests that if around 5% of your content is promotional, you should be in good shape, but he's also quick to point out that if people aren't complaining, you're probably not promoting enough (p. 115).

(Does this mean my Twitter followers will be seeing a shift in my updates? Probably, and hopefully for the better.)

Principles aside, the thing that caught my attention about this book is that it brought to mind people I know who are naturally good at this. They just seem to "get" that this is the kind of person you need to be in order to be successful. Take some time and look around your office, your school or whatever context you spend most of your day in, and I suspect you'll see at least one or two people who are naturally "enchanting" as well.

So here's the big question: Will this book help you to be "enchanting" in your sphere of influence?

Possibly. This isn't a book that guarantees that if you follow these 8 easy steps, you'll have more friends, better posture and piles of candy. What it does remind readers, though, is that the only way to really make a lasting impact on people is to act with integrity. That's a big deal and advice we would all do well to heed.

If you have a chance, do pick up a copy of Enchantment. It's definitely a worthwhile investment and just might challenge you in a few places where you won't expect it.
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on March 11, 2011
If you read a lot of books you eventually run into the same material fairly often. That's the case for me with "Enchantment". While I generally admire Guy's work, I was not enchanted with this book.

It is extremely basic stuff. Smile, firm handshake, don't dress like a slob---enchanting? Steve McQueen and his wife are returning to LA from Las Vegas by car and she needs to relieve herself. There's a line at the gas station restroom so she tells the gals in line that there's a movie star out front---the crowd runs to see the stars and she takes a leak. That's an example of creating a win-win situation. Well, next time I need to pee I hope there is a celebrity I can use nearby.

I'm not going to bother recapping the story about the TV producer who repeats that she just liked Howard Stern about a zillion times. (Puke)

Frankly, by mid way I had to resolve reading this book on an empty stomach. I find celeb stories dull and somewhat grating. Hell yes, if you're Bill Gates you'll be enchanting no matter what the hell you do. BTW, swearing is encouraged but must be used properly. (Bill Gates is my example)

Unless you can see the turnip truck that just dropped you off pulling away, skip this one.

Chris Reich
(2 stars because the design is very good though the content is "see Flip run" basic.)
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on April 6, 2011
At the end of Guy's book "enchantment" he fesses up to ripping off a lot of stuff from another guy's book.

Guy's book borrows heavily from a book that I read years ago and which is a much better resource for understanding "enchantment"
Get Robert Cialdini's book here instead, it's much more authentic and way deeper in examples.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials)

Cialdini's book is the real deal while Guy's book is just another Guy book without an original thought. Guy even touts his company alltopp again in this book, same as he did in his last book.

Guy is a good marketer of Guy but not much more than that
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on March 11, 2011
I am one of the many random people worldwide that received a complimentary copy of the book. And much as I feel grateful for the gift, I'll be honest. The book did not enchant. It's mostly a collection of tips that I've come across from various sources before this. What did not help was that the author re-wrote those tips in his own writing style (which is far from enchanting...actually it is tiresome!) It seems the author is more an entrepreneur than an original thinker or writer.

p.s. Btw, I got a link to a quiz on the author's FB page that offered to tell me how enchanting I was based on my responses. After filling out some 25 questions I clicked the Submit button to see my results and got a message that asked me to 'LIKE' the author's page BEFORE I could see my results. I was not enchanted. :(

p.p.s When I last checked, the quiz had been tweaked. You can now participate only AFTER you LIKE the page. Looks like the author still doesn't get it.
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on May 1, 2011
Lately both Guy Kawasaki and Seth Godin has been writing books for the sake of writing. I have due respect for both of them but there is nothing new in this book, rather its boring and waste of valuable time. There are no hard and fast rules to build great companies, Google followed its own philosophy to build a great search engine and likewise Apple followed its own philosophy to build great products. Its a good thing to reason what steve jobs will do /what Bill gates will do but there is no guarantee that they both will succeed at it .

Same old stories and same old garbage. Save your money
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on April 9, 2011
A VERY disappointing read to say the least! The content was unoriginal, uninspiring and the book seemed like a compilation of other peoples ideas rather than the authors own. In summary, my expectations for this book weren't even close to being met! I recommend reading YES! by Robert Cialdini over this one - you'll find Kawasaki makes reference to it in most of his chapters anyway...
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on April 25, 2012
I like Guy's posts and I read them quite frequently. However, this book was a great disappointment. The main reason is that, at least in my opinion, it was really vague. Imagine that it has been almost two weeks since I bought it and when I got the reminder from Amazon to write a review I couldn't even remember what it was all about. Then I opened my kidle to try to remember why I didn't manage to finish it. Well, I can tell now what I didn't like. It was all about "enchantment" and how to inspire others, and how to project your passions and think great and dress well and say yes to everybody (!), tell nice stories, show up, self promote and lots of other fake PR tricks. Well, sorry for being strict but personally I don't think that all this image making is the key to success. Somebody has to work first and be distinguished for the quality of his intellectual and professional product. Just showing up and smile and saying nice stories is very superficial. The fact that such an "advice" attracts such goods reviews is, in my humble opinion, a sign of our times.
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on October 25, 2011
Kawasaki presented nothing new in this book, ideas in the books are not something profound. It is merely a compilations of various quotes and also come across as Kawasaki's self promotion (for his involvement in Apple etc). Extremely disappointed with this book due to numerous great reviews.
Perhaps a better read would be something from Godin and Gladwell.
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on December 21, 2011
I attended Guy's talk when he came to my office (a large Silicon Valley company), and I thought he was a great speaker. The content, on the other hand, was nothing more than feel good mumbo jumbo and trickery. While this was a good approach to more esoteric topics like founding and funding startups, it misses the mark when applied to being likable. It was actually funny that you could see Guy applying his own technique during the talk (exaggerated eye smile, dress code, body language). More than properly demonstrating the art, it made him seem insincere. Since then, I've become a bit more cynical and wary of overly friendly people who are in a position to benefit from interacting with me. That's why I gave the book two stars instead of one. At least it's useful in helping to catch the smell of a hidden agenda.
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on June 26, 2011
Mr. Kawasaki, I read through your book twice. I have also read and reread Dale Carnegie; I own multiple Dale Carnegie books. Mr. Kawasaki, You're No Dale Carnegie (with appropriate kudos to the late Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, [...].

I read some of the early reviews and the highlights sounded pretty promising, but have you ever watched a movie preview and then see the movie and find out the best parts of the movie were in the preview and the rest was pretty weak? That's what I felt like after reading the initial reviews and then reading the book, i.e., the best parts were in the preview.

You hope your book becomes a timeless classic and is seen as a replacement for "How to Win Friends and Influence People." As I walked through the Atlanta Airport recently "How to Win Friends" was prominently displayed in one of the bookstores. Will "Enchantment" be in the Atlanta airport in 50 years? I'd say Fat Chance. You should have consulted "How to Write a Timeless Classic for Dummies." Below are a few points that should be made in this "Dummies" book.

Avoid being Temporal
[...]
There are many references to technologies that didn't exist a few short years ago and may not exist in the near future. A few years ago you would have espoused "IM-ing" as a critical tool. IM-ing still exists and is still used, but is a much les frequently used communication tool. The primary example I'm thinking of is from "Back to the Future." Marty McFly's boss told him "You're Fired!" not only via video phone call, but via Fax [...]. We all chuckled when "You're Fired!" printed out of faxes in every room, including the bathroom. Faxes are practically obsolete today, but back in the day, they were the temporal, hot technology. It seemed certain that their use would only increase! I'm sure there are some "faxes" in this book.

Employ a True Diversity of Reviewers
My sense is that there was a real lack of diversity in the pre- and post-publishing reviewers of this book. My guess is that many of the reviewers of this book come from the legions of Twitter followers, basically people who have drunk the Kawasaki Kool Aid.

Avoid Slang
The book comes across "Too California" and has way too much slang for a "Timeless Classic." The "Duh-ism" is that a timeless classic wouldn't use language like "The Bummer is ...."

Neutral -- as in Politically Neutral
A truly enchanting timeless classic would try to stay politically neutral instead of Politically Correct and also would not show an obvious political slant. The political correctness and slanted statements are "Bull Shiitake" and show you don't truly care if you are enchanting to all people, another requirement to be a Timeless Classic.

Change
There is a baseline assumption that change is always good. We had a lot of change on 9/11 and none of it was good [...]

Summary
An enchanting book should be one that I don't want to put down. I found this one easy to stop reading. Each chapter was progressively less useful. The book, while not truly enchanting, in fairness does have a few good points and bits of advice. I'd suggest reading some of the positive reviews to glean those and save your money.
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