It's Sean!

UK freelance journalist, author
and writer Sean McManus

Printed from www.sean.co.uk. © Sean McManus.
You are here: Home > Blog Home > Sean McManus's Writing blog: Book review: Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki

Sean's Tech and Writing Blog

Book review: Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki

08 July 2011


In the time it’s taken me to write this review of Guy Kawasaki’s book Enchantment, it’s already become a bestseller. It belongs to the new breed of business books that are influenced by the rise of blogging, with lots of short essays thematically linked in chapters. Kawasaki’s aim is to give you a toolkit for enchanting people, in the way that his former company Apple enchants with its products.

It’s a good book to dip into, with lots of interesting ideas that can be used by people or companies to improve their relationships with others. Some of the content you would expect is here: don’t forget to smile, perfect your handshake, aim for a win-win situation. Find out what passions you have in common with someone, and you can make a real connection with them. There are more practical tips too on presentation skills (Kawasaki takes a photo of himself in the city he’s presenting in and puts that at the start of his talk to personalise it), using Twitter (“the most powerful enchantment tool I’ve used in my career”) and other social networking sites, enchanting employees and enchanting your boss.

The best thing about the book is the diversity of the ideas he draws upon. We all know checklists can be useful, but he’s got an example of how they saved lives and money in a hospital context when nurses were asked to check that doctors were following them. There’s a nice example of a company where employees are shown a photo of a colleague when they log on to help them get to know others in the team. The Grateful Dead is cited as an example of promoting spreadability because of the way they encouraged fans to create and trade bootlegs. I particularly liked the charity that organises sponsored races, but also allows people to ‘sleep in’ for the cause and make a donation to stay in bed.

As with any book like this, you have to exercise your judgement in deciding whether to follow a particular piece of advice or not. Kawasaki recommends swearing in a business context for emphasis, especially for women. From what I’ve seen at work, mild swearing isn’t noticed and stronger language does nothing for someone’s credibility in the office. It’s a risky strategy. He also recommends using lots of pictures and videos on your website to make it more interesting, and says it’s better to use too many than too few. Even leaving aside the contradiction with his advice to make the website fast, I think it’s best to be selective with pictures and use them to focus attention on the right content, rather than using them for decorative purposes. These are small points, though. If you’re not thinking about what you’re reading and making your own decisions about a book’s content, you’re not really reading it at all.

Enchantment is written in an engaging style and Kawasaki’s personality shines through in it. In some areas, it’s not as comprehensive as I might have expected. There’s not very much on body language, for example, nor product design. But there’s a limit to what can be covered in a book like this, and it feels like an enjoyable ramble through Kawasaki’s mind, together with all the great examples he’s seen and heard about. Dip into it for ideas you can use to make your interactions more enchanting.

Labels:


Bookmark and Share
Permanent link for this post.

Dip into the blog archive

June 2005 | July 2005 | August 2005 | September 2005 | October 2005 | November 2005 | December 2005 | January 2006 | February 2006 | March 2006 | April 2006 | May 2006 | June 2006 | July 2006 | August 2006 | September 2006 | October 2006 | November 2006 | December 2006 | January 2007 | February 2007 | March 2007 | April 2007 | May 2007 | June 2007 | July 2007 | August 2007 | September 2007 | October 2007 | November 2007 | December 2007 | January 2008 | February 2008 | March 2008 | April 2008 | May 2008 | June 2008 | July 2008 | August 2008 | September 2008 | October 2008 | November 2008 | December 2008 | January 2009 | February 2009 | March 2009 | April 2009 | May 2009 | June 2009 | July 2009 | August 2009 | September 2009 | October 2009 | November 2009 | December 2009 | January 2010 | February 2010 | March 2010 | April 2010 | May 2010 | June 2010 | August 2010 | September 2010 | October 2010 | November 2010 | December 2010 | March 2011 | April 2011 | May 2011 | June 2011 | July 2011 | August 2011 | September 2011 | October 2011 | November 2011 | December 2011 | January 2012 | February 2012 | March 2012 | June 2012 | July 2012 | August 2012 | September 2012 | October 2012 | December 2012 | January 2013 | February 2013 | March 2013 | April 2013 | June 2013 | July 2013 | August 2013 | September 2013 | October 2013 | November 2013 | December 2013 | January 2014 | February 2014 | March 2014 | April 2014 | May 2014 | June 2014 | July 2014 | August 2014 | September 2014 | October 2014 | November 2014 | December 2014 | January 2015 | February 2015 | March 2015 | April 2015 | May 2015 | June 2015 | September 2015 | October 2015 | December 2015 | January 2016 | February 2016 | March 2016 | May 2016 | July 2016 | August 2016 | September 2016 | October 2016 | November 2016 | December 2016 | January 2017 | Top of this page | RSS

Books by Sean McManus

Scratch Programming in Easy 

Steps

Scratch Programming in Easy Steps

Raspberry Pi For Dummies

Raspberry Pi For Dummies

Learn to program with the Scratch programming language, widely used in schools and colleges.

Set up your Pi, master Linux, learn Scratch and Python, and create your own electronics projects.

Super Skills: How to 

Code

Super Skills: How to Code

Web Design in Easy Steps

Web Design in Easy Steps

Learn how to code with this great new book, which guides you through 10 easy lessons to build up your coding skills.

Learn the layout, design and navigation techniques that make a great website. Then build your own using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

More books

©Sean McManus. www.sean.co.uk.