Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Book Summary: Enchantment

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions is the latest book form marketing guru Guy Kawasaki. The book is dedicated to his family and opens with a quote from J.S. Bryan – ‘Many men can make a fortune but few can build a family.’ Enchantment enough to get me to read the book cover to cover in one go. And I’ll highly recommend it to anyone who wants a simple readable guide to better interpersonal relationships.

My favorite part of the book is chapter 11 – ‘How to Enchant Your Boss’ – something I’m sure many of us will find interesting. Your boss has a huge impact on your work life so it’s super important to get this relationship right. Guy’s boss enchantment how-to is about as pragmatic and direct as it can get:

1. Do whatever it takes to make your boss look good. Just make sure it’s legal and moral. Everything else is secondary. We all like people who make us look good.

2. When your boss asks you to do something, drop everything else and do it immediately. I think it’s sort of like with user interface design – responsiveness is the key to being perceived as efficient & effective.

3. Underpromise, Overdeliver. This was the first piece of career advice I ever got, back when I was an intern at Motorola.

4. Prototype. Creating a quick prototype and asking for feedback ensures that you actually deliver what your boss wanted. And it makes you look proactive.

5. Show and broadcast progress. Make sure your boss and everybody else knows what you are doing. This one is particularly hard for the less extrovert amongst us and it does take some effort to cross that psycological self-promotion hurdle. And of course, don’t antagonize others by overdoing it.

6. Make friends. Friendship has network effects. The more you have the more you get. It makes you more efficient because your friends will be happy to help you. It makes you look good. It makes your boss look good.

7. Ask for mentoring. Mentors and sponsors are not optional. If your boss can also be your mentor that would be great. Asking for mentorship shows you have ambition and that you respect the person you’re asking.

8. Deliver bad news early. But don’t stop there. Come up with ideas to fix the problem or mitigate the risk. Makes you look proactive and capable.

The way I see it, it’s like you are an entrepreneur marketing yourself and your boss is your customer. Aim for customer delight. Enchantment.

PS: If anyone knows who J. S. Bryan is, pls let me know. Google didn’t turn up much.

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