When Employees Aren’t Feelin’ It, Try “Enchantment,” Guy Kawasaki Style

Today, Guy Kawasaki’s new book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, is released. Guy offered me an advance copy about a month ago with a request to blog about it. I’m so happy I said, “Yes.”

We really want our jobs to mean something. It’s usually the rush more than the money that keeps us showing up every day. 

When there’s nothing to feel—no excitement, satisfaction, optimism, or joy—we’re less likely to put it all out there. Employees need leaders to tug at their hearts, excite their minds, and call them to action. Their enchantment starts with you! 

Captivate to motivate 

For years, Guy Kawasaki has been a booming voice for innovative changes. As the former chief evangelist (yes, that’s a job title!) of Apple, cofounder of Alltop.com (an online magazine rack), and author of nine other books, Guy is about building and sustaining momentum in the marketplace.

No matter what business we’re in, we need employees who have strong, positive feelings about their careers so they can: 

  • take the business to the next level
  • develop courage and take smart risks
  • innovate and expand their reach
  • make the world a better place 

What employees want is what we, as leaders, want, a chance to make a difference. It’s that enchanted connection that Guy gives us the tools to build. 

“Enchantment” 101 

The book provides tools and perspectives on planning and launching change, using social media effectively, and overcoming obstacles. 

But, it starts with simpler stuff that can be challenging for some. 

Guy writes: “Step one [for enchantment] is achieving likability, because jerks seldom enchant people.” 

I’ve often heard it said that employee respect is more important than being liked. We might get employees to follow our lead out of respect, but, Guy shows us, it won’t enchant them to embrace a vision, a cause, or an opportunity. 

Likability, Guy explains, grows from such things as smiling (he always seems to be), a warm handshake, using words effectively (since they are “the facial expressions of your mind”), and accepting others for who they are.

He reminds us that it’s enjoyable to be in the company of people we like. We’re more inclined to be drawn to and act on ideas they propose. Isn’t this what a great workplace team needs to get the job done? 

Trustworthiness is our other challenge, Guy writes, “…because people can like someone but not trust him enough for enchantment to occur.” Our hearts and minds are what we invest when we are enchanted, so gaining and retaining trust is a must. 

The book provides a great list of trust-building behaviors around Guy’s call to “Be a Mensch,” including: 

“Always act with honesty.

Treat people who have wronged you with civility.

Help someone who can be of absolutely no use to you.

Suspend blame when something goes wrong and ask, ‘What can we learn.’

Do no harm in anything you undertake.

Give people the benefit of the doubt.”

Trust enables us to throw ourselves into work that’s important, turning our fear of failure into the excitement of discovery. 

About being there… 

Guy’s book took me back to my first corporate job where I had the chance to put together a team of former educators to develop a K-12 energy curriculum fostering energy conservation. None of us had any idea how big business worked, but we cared deeply about what we were hired to do. 

We nicknamed ourselves the “Schleppers” because we did whatever it took. If that meant hauling boxes of workbooks, picking up donuts, or counting out curriculum packets, we did it. Our motto: “No job too small.” 

I was the project lead but always felt like a teammate. We liked each other to the point of hilarity. We trusted each other to know our weaknesses and our fears. We cared completely. 

Our enchantment came from the delicious blend of commitment (heart) to a change we believed in and the confidence (mind) that we could make it happen (action). And we did, ultimately winning an award from the Department of Energy and the praise of school teachers and students across the state. 

Enchantment works. If it’s in your heart to make a difference, then you’ll find Guy’s book the perfect read to fuel your fire.