We interrupt your regularly scheduled dog related rantings and ravings for a review of a business book. I just finished my preview copy of “Enchantment,” Guy Kawasaki’s latest book. (You are reading this review a few weeks after I wrote it, as previewers were asked to wait until after the book is released to publish their reviews.)
Why a business book? Because I think this particular book is important not only to business people (and I know that many of DSF’s regular readers are trainers with their own businesses,) but also to people who are involved in, as the book’s subtitle says, “The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions.”
Trainers often have to change their client’s minds about different approaches to behavior. People in the dog community that are involved in rescue need to change minds about adopting vs. buying and also about many other animal welfare issues such as tethering, breed specific legislation, and spaying/neutering.
I was initially surprised to see the title of this book, as Guy is a straightforward, no BS kind of, well, Guy. “Enchantment” seemed a little fluffy and new age-y for the author of “Reality Check” and “The Art of the Start.” However, Guy describes enchantment this way:
Enchantment can occur in villages, stores, dealerships, offices, boardrooms, and on the Internet. It causes a voluntary change of hearts and minds and therefore actions. It is more than manipulating people to help you get your way. Enchantment transforms situations and relationships. It converts hostility into civility. It reshapes civility into affinity. It changes skeptics and cynics into believers.
Enchantment is how causes and companies build loyalty, and who better to show us how to do this than Apple Computer’s former chief evangelist and the author of one of the most widely read blogs for many years?
The book is structured as a “how-to” with a list of logical steps to launch a new venture or refine an existing one. The chapter titles include “How to Achieve Trustworthiness,” “How to Launch.” and “How to Overcome Resistance.”
A chapter title like “How to Achieve Trustworthiness” might strike you as odd. Isn’t just a matter of keeping promises and acting honorably? Well sure, if you can’t do those things, don’t bother trying. But there’s a bit more to it. How do you react when people have wronged you? (I need to work on that one.) How willing are you to share your knowledge and skills? How can you create situations that make it easy for you to share and for others to share with you?
Two of my favorite chapters are “How to Use Push Technology” and “How to Use Pull Technology.” As someone with a pretty extensive technology background I know how to operate technologies, but I am always try to better learn what to use them for, and I found his advice very helpful.
Each chapter closes with a short personal testimonial from someone about how they either created or experienced enchantment. These little vignettes help drive the point of each chapter home. They are not just tacked on — they are an important part of the main text.
Trainers and rescue/shelter people are often fighting an uphill battle. The entrenched beliefs about training methods and about shelter dogs are very pervasive, and it’s easy to get angry and lash out. I tend to lash out quite a bit myself, but frankly next to some in the animal welfare community I’m the Dalai Lama. (Oops, there I go again…) Righteous indignation is a very powerful drug, but like most drugs it just tends to make you feel better, until it doesn’t anymore.
So here’s my recommendation – if you need to ethically and effectively change people’s minds and actions, you need to read this book. If you don’t think you need to ethically and effectively change people’s minds and actions, you need to read this book so you understand why you really do.