Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki: A Review

I’ve been a big fan of Guy’s for years, but I must admit this is the first of his books I’ve gotten around to reading.  And I’m glad I did.

His latest, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions(affiliate link) is a breeze of a read and one that I found delightful and, well, enchanting.

While some might be quick to simplify the book’s advice  to nothing more than good ol’ common sense, I would argue it is much more than that.  Think of a great mentor you’ve had, or one you hope you might one day have.  If he or she were to put every ounce of advice into one tome and attempt to do so in a way that is relevant in an always-connected-world, well, this might be the book they’d write.

Along the way, Guy references the dozens of books he read and researched while in the process of writing Enchantment.  Many of them I wasn’t familiar with and I plan to dig into several of them soon, as if my list of must-reads wasn’t already long enough.

The single biggest takeaway for me were the two chapters outlining what Guy refers to as “push” and “pull” technologies where push technologies are your presentations, e-mail and Twitter, for example.  Examples of pull technologies on the other hand would be your website, blog, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube pages, though I think Facebook and LinkedIn could also fall into the “push” category.

In these two chapters, he outlines some best practices for utilizing each.  Some of them I’ve seen from Guy before and have actually implemented and used with great success.  While, again, some points made are arguably common sense, I suspect many individuals and organizations still aren’t implementing them.

Throughout, the basic and on-going theme of the book, for me at least, was the idea of altruism.  I could invoke biblical concepts and verses here, as Guy does: put the needs of others before you own, treat others they way you desire to be treated, not only in the real world, but in the virtual one many of us spend so much of our time in these days.  Additionally, Guy’s desire is that this book remain relevant for decades to come, regardless of the inevitable technological changes ahead.  I believe he has succeeded in making it so.

Lastly, I thought I’d take advantage of a couple of resources that might help you in determining if this is a book that is right for you.  Below, you’ll find a relatively short video as well as an infographic.

This video is an abridged version (about 11 minutes) of Guy’s Enchantment speech.

 

 

This infographic does a fine job of summing up the book’s main ideas.

 

Enchantment Infographic

Something I didn’t expect to get out of the book was this little gem (a concept that Guy initially applies to your relationship with your boss):

If your wife asks you to do something, drop everything and do it.  You may not think it’s important, but you aren’t juggling four kids, a career, and several charitable causes.  You may see the big picture, but you don’t see her big picture.

Worth the price of the book, as Guy argues?  I think so.

What are some ways you inject altruism into your daily projects, communication opportunities and the like?  Do you think you’ll pick up this book?

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Portfolio / Penguin Group (USA).  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

How to Get a Free Book from Guy Kawasaki

Got this e-mail from Guy yesterday:

A long time ago (1987 exactly), I published my first book, The Macintosh Way. I wrote it because I was bursting with idealistic and pure notions about how a company can change the world, and I wanted to spread the gospel. Here’s what a reader said about it:


It is hard to believe this book is now over 20 years old. Guy Kawasaki does a marvelous job of conveying key traits of effective “Macintosh Way” companies and managers. The key, really, is to do the right thing, the right way. Seems common sense enough, but even 20 years later, it appears as elusive as ever.
(Edward J. Barton)

I recently re-acquired the rights for this book, and I’m making it freely available from the fan page of my upcoming book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. To download The Macintosh Way:

1. Go to the fan page.
2. “Like” the page.
3. Click on The Macintosh Way book cover to download the PDF.

All the best for a great 2011.

Guy Kawasaki

Sweet.  Thanks Mr. Kawasaki!  By the way, Guy’s new book Enchantment releases in March.

Our Schools Are Killing Creativity

So says Sir Ken Robinson and, I would suppose, Daniel H. Pink and others.  If you’re passionate about education – maybe you have young children or are a school teacher, or both – you need to get to know these names.

I first discovered Sir Ken Robinson a few months ago while searching TED conference videos online.  I was immediately taken in by his casual and often humorous delivery.  But what really drew me in were his insights on our current educational system and all the ways that it is broken.  I happen to agree with him in many respects.

 

 

I was reminded of Sir Robinson just few days ago as I began listening to the audiobook version of Daniel H. Pink’s latest, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future (affiliate link).  I’m about half through it now and am absolutely loving it.  In it, he discusses society’s fascination over the last century with “left-brain dominance” (lawyers, software engineers, accountants, etc.).  The future though, according to Pink, “belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: designers, inventors, teachers and storytellers.”  In other words, creative and empathetic “right-brain” thinkers.

If you’re as fascinated as I am by this subject, do yourself a favor and pick up this book (affiliate link).  And don’t forget to check out the videos you’ll find at TED.  Here are links to two of Robinson’s talks.  The first I’ve included above and is from 2006 and called Schools Kill Creativity.  The second is from earlier this year and is called Bring on the Learning Revolution.  I’ve embedded it below.

It’s important to note that Sir Ken Robinson is among the speakers scheduled for the next Chick-Fil-A Leadercast happening on May 6.  If you’re in Nashville, stay tuned to 88.7 WAY-FM for more on your chance to check it out via satellite at Oasis Church.

 

 

What about you?  How do you feel about our nation’s schools and their impact on our ability to become who we’re meant to be?

 

Nelson, Coupland or Alice: The Future of Books?

With a hat tip to Dave Delaney, IDEO, a global design and innovation consultancy, has produced a video showcasing their vision on three potential scenarios for the future of books.

The common thread among the three seems to center around encouraging discussion, interaction and community among readers.  As an avid reader, I’m intrigued to say the least.

Do you see a future here, or are simpler e-readers like the Kindle and the Nook more than adequate at doing the job?  What about the iPad?

The Butterfly Effect: A Book Review

How significant is my life?  Do I make a difference?  When I move…when I act…when I do something…does the universe notice?  Do I really matter?

Thus begins the new book from Andy Andrews called The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters.

Few books of significance are as brief as this one.  Totaling a little over 100 one- or two-sentence pages, Andrews attempts, in true story/parable form, to illustrate how easily one’s actions and decisions can have an impact for years to come, not just on those in your immediate sphere of influence, but on people all across the globe.

The true story of union soldier Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, a thirty-four year old school teacher, is alone worth the price of the book.  I’d be willing to wager it is a part of our nation’s history about which you’ve never heard.

While reading through The Butterfly Effect the first time, I couldn’t help but think how powerful a book it could be for the parent of a young child.  I could see myself reading it out loud to my nieces and nephews.  The potential impact it could have on young, developing minds cannot be overstated, in my opinion.

The underlying message is simple.  Everything you do matters to all of us forever.  This is best illustrated in the second story Andrews shares.  I won’t give anything away, but I liken it the AT&T commercial where you see an elderly couple clapping and all smiles as their son is being introduced as the president of the United States.  You’re then taken back in time as the spot reveals that first chance meeting between the president’s parents.

If not confined by the 30- and 60-second nature of television advertising, it would be easy to carry that story even further back in time to reveal each person who, with one decision or action, impacted the future outcome.

In the words of Andrews, “There are generations yet unborn whose very lives will be shifted and shaped by the moves you make and the actions you take today.  And tomorrow.  And the next day.  And the next.”

“Your life…and what you do with it today…matters forever,” Andrews says.  And I’m inclined to agree.

What are some things you can do to ensure the impact you make is a positive one?

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Portable Patriot: A Book Review

While Independence Day may be behind us, that doesn’t mean we have to put our patriotism on the shelf until next year.  A recent e-mail I received from a PR agent tipped me off to a new book from Thomas Nelson Publishers called The Portable Patriot: Documents, Speeches, and Sermons That Compose the American Soul and edited by Joel J. Miller and Kristen Parrish.  It is one I recommend highly.

If you, like me, are fascinated by stories of our country’s origins, especially when they come straight from those who lived them, then this is definitely a book you’ll want to consider reading.  From the first settlers in the early 1600s to our country’s founding, the stories recounted here are remarkable.

I found the book thought-provoking and a definite page-turner, especially when engaged in stories like the one early in the book from late 1600s settler Mary Rowlandson as she harrowingly recounts having been taken captive – a three-month ordeal – by Native Americans and the many losses suffered along the way.  Still, her faith gave her the strength to push on in the face of innumerable obstacles.

Faith is the common strand that threads these many stories together.  In each of them, you see what was once commonplace in our communities: a complete and natural reliance on God for our future.  Or, as our forefathers put it, “…a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.”

The Portable Patriot is my own “little library of foundational documents” and a welcome addition to my bookshelf.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Sneeze program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

No Size Fits All: Video Book Review No. 2

I first became aware of this intriguing new book at Mark Ramsey’s blog Hear 2.0.  If you’re so inclined, I highly recommend you take some time to read his analysis of what the book has to offer.

If you’re in the business of figuring out your industry’s or company’s digital future, and are fascinated by the psychology behind the popularity of social networking – or for that matter, why some marketers are welcomed to otherwise closed communities with open arms while others aren’t – then I highly recommend you give it a go.

There’s a bit of nostalgia where this particular video is concerned.  It was shot at my parent’s home in the room I grew up in as a boy.  Unfortunately, the Farrah Fawcett posters are no longer a part of the room’s decor.  What a shame.

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