Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions by Guy Kawasaki

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Rate: 12 Stickies

Read: Cover to Cover

Category:  Big Idea, Communication

Twitter Review: You can catch more b’s (business, bounty, bank, backing, belonging) with honey than vinegar.

I’m pretty stingy with the stickies in a book review, but Guy Kawasaki’s book Enchantment is, well… enchanting.

He enchanted me into it.

He does what every great enchanter does – he charms, amuses, disarms, gives you insight without pontificating, and writes not so much with great efficiency, but as a great teacher with experience to share.

This is a book (as with his others) that brings concepts and ideas from many credible sources as well as his own, but he also brings his own (enjoyably irreverent) personality to the writing.   This isn’t a book about product, or disrupting an idea, or a new marketing gimmick.  It’s really the new “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”  It really takes us back to the golden rules – amongst but not limited to, be kind, be likable and trustworthy, return a favor, don’t screw you friends, business partner or for Heaven’s sake, your best friend’s wife.

He argues the interactions you have with people, be they business or personal, shouldn’t be manipulative with the aim of getting what you want, rather, by enlisting their goals and desires in an honest, trustworthy way, and by framing a cause that others can embrace, you have the opportunity to change your own course, build a more enduring business, turn observers into buyers, all the while having a lot more fun.

I may be making this sound like a touchy, feely kind of book – and I want to assure you it is not. It is really a marketing, sales and communication book that simply puts forth a different (and much more interesting) way of doing business.

My Takeaway

This is a timely read, with the economy the way it is.  Independents, freelancers and small business people can sometimes appear desperate in securing customers, clients and an audience. They fallback on gimmickry, the hard sell, the push to close.  When you read Enchantment, you learn that having resources like being likable, honest, passionate, trustworthy and smart – attributes that you probably already have – are worth more to your business than anything you could throw money at.

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Continue to be awesome!

Elaine Joli

MoneyBall by Michael Lewis

Rate: ***1/2

Read: Skipped some of the excruciating baseball stat details

Category:  Business

Tweet Review: An idea, some resources and an unwavering belief trumps money every time.

I like baseball but I’m not a fanatic.  I like Brad Pitt but I’m not a fanatic.  So, when MoneyBall the movie came out (I am a movie fanatic), I went to see it, thinking the same thing as everybody else, a nice little drama about an underdog that changed something.  In this case, how an entrenched but most beloved industry run by the old boys gets a kick in the ass.  Fantastic storyline.  I can see why Brad Pitt thought this book would make a great movie.  I saw the movie first and all I could see were the principles of great business thought leaders put into action.  For me this is a story about innovation, a disruptive idea and leadership.  It has a little Jim Collins (Good to Great) – “get the right people on the bus, get the wrong people off the bus, and then drive the bus”.  It has a little Seth Godin (Poke the Box) to start something; Luke Wilson (Disrupt) take an old idea in an entrenched industry and make it new;  it has a sprinkle of Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry (the Method Method) challenge the bigger, richer guys with a leaner, meaner organization, a smattering of Jason Fried (Rework) don’t follow the rules – all told in the story telling format that Peter Gruber (Tell to Win) encourages you to do so that you remember it.  The book was really written about a manager that didn’t have enough money, would never get more and how he created a competitive edge by thinking differently – challenging the status quo – which is what we are all trying to do in business.  Do more with less.  Make something great, not by throwing money at it, but by looking outside the box.  Billy Beane, in embracing a new model for choosing players looked objectively at the stats, got the old guys off the bus, brought the new guys on the bus and then drove the bus (if you only get one concept from Jim Collins – this has really got to be it).  It’s not very often that you get to sit back and watch a business story come to life – so if you don’t want to read the book, at least rent the DVD.

My Takeaway

To make the movie/book meaningful, it would be helpful if you knew the concepts I am taking about from the above named authors.  At the very least, in the movie the is a certain schadenfreude (pleasure derived from others misfortune) that comes when the old know-it-all scouts get a comeup’in.

Elaine Joli