The following is my review of Enchantment just after it was published. It illustrates a number of game-changing principles.

   Guy Kawasaki's hot-off-the-presses Enchantment started off weakly, or so I thought, because I didn't yet appreciate the full picture he was painting. Chapter 2, for example, is How to Achieve Likability, and includes sections like "Perfect Your Handshake" (complete with a mathematical formula for handshake excellence,) "Use the Right Words," "Accept Others," "Don't Impose Your Values," and "Create Win-Win Situations." C'mon... how Self-Help 101 can you get? Actually, this is Self-Help 001... the remedial course. But I greatly admire Guy's body of work, so I soldiered on... to the part where it says "don't use war analogies" so... umm... I guess I plodded on. And there were several other things that kept me going in the early chapters:

   First, the book has a regular stream of very useful checklists, none of which I'd ever seen before, even though Guy credits others for some of them. The book is worth the read just for the checklists. I've been a fan of checklists for years, but especially after reading The Checklist Manifesto recently, but that's another review for another day.

   Next, the book is full of useful quotes, most of which I hadn't seen, even though many were from some of my favorite quotable people. A good quote is what proverbs have been for ages, and what Twitter occasionally rises to today: the encapsulation of an important truth into a concise and sticky statement. We should all aspire to articulating things this way.

   Guy also has some hilarious phrases peppered through the book. Things like "group-groping" (the work of a committee,) "helicopter parents" (hover around their kids,) "fiefdumbs," (like fiefdoms, and just as stupid as a fiefdom would be today) and the "Dopeler Effect" (stupid ideas that sound smarter when they come at you faster.) Granted, I'm a Phrase Freak, but I'm sure you'll also find many of them either useful, amusing, or both.

   Chapter 3, How to Achieve Trustworthiness, sounds equally elementary to the previous chapter, but the sophistication of the material is warming up at this point, and Chapter 4, How to Prepare, is getting seriously useful. The “Qualities of Enchanting Causes” are very good, as is the checklist in “Make It Short, Simple, and Swallowable.” Have the discipline to do each exercise in the book; you’ll be glad you did. For example, Guy gives you one line to write your positioning statement. His is “Empower people.” Mine was much longer... until now.

   Chapter 5, How to Launch, contains a highly instructive discussion of whether we should decrease choice or increase choice. At first, Guy sounds like he’s also illustrating high levels of cognitive dissonance, but if you read closely, he outlines conditions under which each approach can work. Chapter 6, How to Overcome Resistance, includes a parallel discussion of the virtues of ubiquity alongside the virtues of scarcity.
   Guy really hits his stride in Chapter 7, How to Make Enchantment Endure. The discussion on building an ecosystem and the next on diversifying the team are worth the purchase price of the book, IMO. Full disclosure: I was sent a free review copy of the book, but after this chapter, I should have paid for it.

Chapter 8, How to Use Push Technology, is chock-full of the stuff we expect Guy to know best, and he doesn’t disappoint. From the general principles at the beginning of the chapter, he takes us on a tour de force of the best ways to use the tech that’s out there to get a message out, from presentations to email to twitter. Here’s another chapter that’s worth the price of the book.

   Chapter 9 is the counterpoint: How to Use Pull Technology, and it’s equally valuable. Repeatedly through the discussions on websites, blogs, facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube, I found myself saying “I hadn’t thought of that”... and I really like thinking about these things.

   The book is a bit like a workout, beginning with a slow warm-up, building into a crescendo of usefulness in the middle chapters, and then easing into the cool-down of the latter chapters. But by the time I got to the final chapters, I was enchanted, and happily read through How to Enchant Your Employees, How to Enchant Your Boss, and How to Resist Enchantment (from those who use enchantment unscrupulously.) At the end, the wisdom of the early elementary chapters is obvious, because those things are a necessary part of the process of enchantment. Well worth the read... see for yourself... and make sure you read to the end.

© 2012 The Guild Foundation Press