Guy Kawasaki, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions
“I know you would do the same for me.”
These nine words make up an Enchanting thought and principal and are one of the reasons I’m writing this book review for you.
Let’s start with some contexts: nearly all of my reading these days comes through <140 Character lenses, either in twitter rivers I’m scanning, headlines I catch, bookmarks I “read later,” and RSS feeds planted on my iGoogle page. Through these lenses I telescope into articles and then share, curate, feed and react to in my social spaces. Some of the apps I use on my iPad & laptop include Good Reader, iBooks, Instant Paper, Kindle for iPad, Twitter and YouTube.
It doesn’t leave a lot of time for good, old-fashion reading, an endeavor that’s been my passion, solace, escape and even the focus of my studies in college. In his book, “The Pleasure of the Text,” Roland Barthes describes the deep physical and emotional joy/joie derived from reading the written word on paper.
That’s the context: in my eReader reality, I’ve missed this pleasure but have been straying back through some light snacking on Leonard Cohen and Bukowski’s poetry to feed the soul. I’ve also picked up some business books— usually a “pleasure with pain” scenario—either to sharpen my knowledge in an area or because I’m friends with the author.
I couldn’t start a review of Guy Kawasaki’s latest book, Enchantment, without this background. I found it both snackable and sharpening my business knowledge. It fed my soul and helps me approach business challenges with new lenses. I won’t go so far as to say it’s poetry and prose, but there’s an artistry that Guy applies to his message.
There’s a body of “Enchantment reviews” that discuss the content of Guy’s book. I want to review the substance.If you’ve read his books over the years or had the honor of getting to know Guy as I have you’ll understand that the principles he outlines in Enchantment are not delivered with an academic distance or stump-speech repetition. Guy truly lives the values and guidelines he shares. And the personal stories, passion and uncompromising clarity of “the right way to be” come through on every page of this book.
I realize I sound like a fanboy, and Guy has earned it. When you see someone outline their belief system and live them consistently over time you experience what I consider to be a living brand. In one of my first blog posts I spoke about meeting a “Real Brand” in person having spent an evening with Wavy Gravy. Take the time to read Guy’s book, Enchantment, and you will experience this truth as well. Let’s put Guy Kawasaki through the same filter I used for Wavy that I believe are required elements of a Real Brand:
- A real brand is patient; it is in it for the long haul –Yes, here’s a pdf of “The Macintosh Way” written over 20-years ago by Guy in 1989. In Internet years, he’s ancient and clearly in it for the long-haul.
- A real brand is planned; it knows itself – Guy is self-aware in the best sense of the term
- A real brand leads; it (re)invents an entire category – Guy evangelized Apple when it was just changing the world of computing and before it went on to disrupt Music, Video and Telco industries; He’s also been an important player in Web 2.0 and the Social Web through his investments at Garage Technology Ventures as well as founding AllTop and establishing maven-status on Twitter
- A real brand moves; it taps into emotions – Read Enchantment. Check.
- A real brand is a story that’s never completely told – He’s still telling it… Check
- A real brand is pragmatic; it has consistent values and design consistency – Guy has a great design and personal aesthetic, as well as a life-plan and values expressed in each of his books.
- A real brand is relevant – As I said about Wavy Gravy, “his message is one of perennial truths and his action is one of giving and service. He is a message we need now more than ever.” Check.
- A real brand is proprietary; it is uniquely ownable – Guy is a pure, no-bull shitake, one-of-a-kind-broke-the-mold person and personality. That’s what’s so Enchanting about him.
I started the review with nine words that compelled me to write this review. When Guy spoke for us recently on BrandSquare spreading the message of Enchantment, I thanked him. True to one of his tips in the book, instead of saying “You’re welcome,” Guy said, “I know you would do the same for me.” And in saying these words he enchanted me to write this post, a debt I’m happy to relieve. Then again, I know Guy would do the same for me. As a reward for reading this far, here are:
Slides for Enchantment:
5-15 minute segments of Guy presenting Enchantment for BrandSquare:
In summary, read Enchantment to: peek into a Real Brand; learn some pragmatic truths about how to change the hearts, minds and actions of others; and get to know the substance of Guy Kawasaki better.