In his latest book, Guy Kawasaki provides insights on how to be enchanting, influence reatbnshps and put those crow's feet to good use.
A smile is the most frequent punctuation in any conversation with Guy Kawasaki, once-upon-a-time chief evangelist for Apple and, since then, a jet-hopping entrepreneur, author, columnist, blogger, venture capitalist and new media creator. The smile is part of his calling card, even if it's only implied by the tone of his voice traveling halfway across the country from his home office in Northern California.
Alternately self-promoting and self-effacing, Kawasaki's frank and smooth-flowing banter takes a page out of his 10th and most recent book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions, published by Portfolio/Penguin Books.
"Enchantment is the accumulation of all the things I learned in 25 years about marketing, sales and evangelism wrapped into one," he tell SUCCESS over background sounds of doors opening and closing, and his children wandering in and out.
Kawasaki explains he's a fan of the work of Bob Cialdini, professor emeritus of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University, whose book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion has sold more than 2 million copies, and of Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People (the American self-improvement guru's 1936 massive best-seller that remains popular today). "This is my attempt to enter that genre, to provide people with this type of information," Kawasaki says.
The 57-year-old Hawaiian-born hockey enthusiast (he learned to play when one of his children expressed an interest) is fond of aiming high with his long slap shots. He hoped a previous book, Reality Check, would be the entrepreneurial counterpart to grammar's The Chicago Manual of Style. In Enchantment, he writes that he hopes this work remains relevant for decades, like Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. When challenged that perhaps he was guilty in both cases of ignoring one of his tenets in Enchantment, underselling and over-delivering, he laughed robustly as he responded, "Probably."
"This may be rationalization, but if I had said that my books are better than those, then that would be overselling," he explains. "What I'm trying to do is give people a position or hook about what my book is. So I would like them to think that Enchantment is How to Win Friends and Influence People brought up to date. In the same sense, when Toyota entered the U.S. market with Lexus, they positioned Lexus as almost as good as a BMW or Mercedes at half the price. That's easy for someone to comprehend."
Kawasaki skates over some familiar ice in Enchantment, a primer on how to build relationships in meaningful and purposeful ways, but also fills it with rich, value-added materials and real-world and practical examples.
"There is no such thing as an easy book," he says. "I can make the case that by the 10th book, there are two opposing forces. On one hand, you clearly know how to finish a book. The first one is an accident. The second one, you are starting on a trend that you know what you are doing. The opposition force is that you don't want to repeat yourself. Those forces are competing with each other. I had to cover evangelism, for example, but if I just retold the subject, I would be guilty of not writing a new book. If you write too little, you've abandoned your past; too much, and you've duplicated your past."
What Kawasaki delivers with Enchantment is a quick, readable trove of how to enchant and influence.
Fast Company blogger Shawn Parr described the work earlier this year: "He's reframed emotional intelligence and made it simple for the reader to use these tools to approach relationships in business and in life differently. Guy made the advice practical and relevant so you can apply it in your day-to-day, from setting and managing expectations to effectively using social media and technology to build meaningful connections with people."
Kawasaki, who has more than 390,000 Twitter followers and is nearing 100,000 tweets, chuckles when he says, "My opinion is that in life, everything is sales." Digital tools such as Google+, Facebook and Twitter make it easier to be enchanting today, he says. "You can reach a lot more people instantly without geographic boundaries. I have a lot more friends because first there was email, then blogging, then Facebook and then Google+. There are issues, but then there are issues with all communication. I think it is a net gain."
In the Kawasaki world, "you can use a process to improve relations with people--to enchant them instead of sell, promote or bludgeon them into submission," he says. "Enchantment is about creating a voluntary, long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship of support and loyalty."
On this, a normal hectic day of multiple webinars, interviews and tweets, Kawasaki answers a series of questions related to his book and career:
SUCCESS: There is a fine line between deep-seated enthusiasm and overbearing self-promotion, and you tread that line pretty well....
Guy Kawasaki: Some people might disagree with you [laughing].
How do you draw the line where people accept rather than reject you?
GK: Some of it comes from the fact that you are not purely trying to sell books; you are trying to help people. One way, they may read your book, but there are other ways. I provide a lot of advice and tips that neither sell the book nor cannibalize the sale of the book. People have a hard time figuring me out. On the flip side, I figure if you are not pissing people off using social media, then you are not using it right, because if everybody just loves you, you are not pushing it enough.
You talk about the importance of building an ecosystem and how to do so in the book. Why is this type of community vital?
GK: The whole point of an ecosystem is to isolate you from the fragility. If you have resellers, webinars and conferences all around you, it means you are more stable; you are not standing on a single leg. You have multiple support structures. That's a very key way to make enchantment endure. If you look at Apple, with all the developers writing iPhone, iPod and iPad software, that makes Apple that much stronger.
In the book, you also talk about the imperative of being a baker who bakes the pie, rather than an eater who slices it up for his or her personal benefit. What do you do with the eaters?
GK: You don't have to win them all over to succeed. Most people would rather deal with a baker than an eater. The world is not a zero-sum game, and everybody can succeed. The people who are bakers attract other bakers, and the rising tide floats all boats.
And you talk about the need to show genuine smiles in meetings and presentations....
GK: The first thing people see when you walk into a room are very fundamental things, like how you dress and how you smile. With dress, I recommend that you dress equal to your audience, not above or below their norm. The second is your smile, and there are two kinds. The first is a fake smile, where you are only using your jaw. The second is the Duchenne smile [named after the French neurologist, Guillaume Duchenne], where you use your eyes. This is difficult to fake. In fact, what you want to see here is crow's feet. Crow's feet are a good thing. You can never have too many crow's feet. Anybody who thinks you shouldn't smile in business is a loser.
Can entrenched companies become enchanting and reach into our hearts?
GK: One of the best ways for an entrenched company to become enchanting is to have a near-death experience [laughing]. There's nothing like a near death experience to make you want to improve your product and get more friendly.
So, with your current book, how would you update your colorful quote from Rules for Revolutionaries, "Eat like a bird, poop like an elephant"?
GK: [Laughing] Well, let's see, it would be: Eat like a bird, poop like an elephant and smile like a crow.
Are you still playing hockey? The family keeping you busy?
GK: I skated today. I have four kids now, so I'm very busy. It never ceases.
Alltop [an "online magazine rack"] is going well?
GK: I can't say I'm going to retire on it, but considering we haven't spent much money and we have the equivalent of one full-time person working on it, it's doing all right. It could always do more, but it could always do less.
So is the Guy Kawasaki ball of twine getting bigger or smaller? Have you been cutting off pieces of knowledge as you wrote 10 books or just winding new string on the ball?
GK: There's a sequence here. For the two and a half years between writing books, I'm rolling up the twine. In the next year that I'm writing, I'm rolling out the twine. It seems to be working that way.
RELATED ARTICLE: About This Guy
Guy Kawasaki's career has taken some intriguing turns.
After graduating from Stanford in 1976 with a degree in psychology, he dabbled with law school then earned an MBA degree at UCLA while learning how to sell at a fine jewelry company. About this time, he fell in love with the Apple II and started working at an educational software company. In 1983, Apple hired him even though he had little computer or technology expertise. He left in 1987 and returned in 1995 with the continuing evangelistic mission of maintaining and rejuvenating the Macintosh cult.
In 1997, he co-founded Garage to provide matchmaking services for angel investors and entrepreneurs. It first upgraded to an investment bank that helped entrepreneurs raise money from venture capitalists and then in the dust of the dot-corn bust, reinvented itself as Garage Technology Ventures, a venture-capital firm focused on making direct investments in early-stage California and Western state technology companies. In addition to Enchantment, he's written books that include Reality Check, The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream and The Macintosh Way, as well as blogs ("How to Change the World") and columns. Kawasaki set his sights on new media communication as co-founder of Truemors, a free-flow rumor mill website that Now Public acquired in 2008, and Alltop, an "online magazine rack" that collects and posts the headlines of the latest stories from sites and blogs it considers the best.
RELATED ARTICLE: How to Become Enchanting
Step No. 1
We all want to be likable, right? So, why is it so easy to come off as pushy, grumpy, cold or just annoying?
The first step toward enchantment is likability "because jerks seldom enchant people," writes Guy Kawasaki in his new book, Enchantment The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions.
Kawasaki says likability requires making a good first impression with:
* A big, natural "George Clooneyesque" smile.
* A great handshake.
* The right attire--not too formal or too casual, but at the Same level as the person you're meeting.
* Simple, unambiguous words, speaking in the active voice and keeping it short.
* Being accepting of others so they accept you; recognizing that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, as well as issues in their lives you may not be aware of.
* Getting close to people through frequent contact "Presence makes the heart grow fonder," Kawasaki writes.
* Refraining from imposing your values. "The best enchanters savor the differences among people's values and use an inclusive model."
* Pursuing and projecting your passions. "Finding shared passions breaks down barriers," he says.
* Creating win-win situations. Kawasaki tells a story about actor Steve McQueen's first wife, neile, who traveled with McQueen, Paul Newman and James Garner to a car race in 1963. On the way back, she had to go to the restroom, so they pulled into a service station. The line for the ladies' room was long. So she told the women ahead of her there was a car full of movie stars parked nearby, and they all scrambled. "This was a win-win-win; Neile got into the bathroom, the girls met some famous movie stars and the men got back on the road in less time."
* Adopting a "yes" attitude. "A yes buys time, enables you to see more options and builds rapport," Kawasaki writes. "By contrast, a no response stops everything. There's no place to go, nothing to build on and no further options are available. You will never know what may have come out of a relationship if you don't let it begin."…