At the Erb Memorial Union’s Ballroom at 7 p.m. on Thursday, an audience of 450 gathered to hear Kawasaki’s wisdom and advice about success and the philosophies outlined in his latest book, Enchantment. Sponsored by U of O’s Center of Diversity and Community, or CoDaC, this special event celebrated the organization’s 10-year anniversary.
Mia Tuan, director of CoDaC, thought Kawasaki was the perfect person to speak to the college community about the importance of diversity and cooperation in today’s world. According to Tuan, Kawasaki understands how to engage audiences beyond the usual suspects.
“This is his community,” she said. “He knows what his charm is and how to create community out of it all.”
As Tuan said, this entrepreneur and web guru thinks outside the box to get others to take notice of current issues, and that is exactly what she wanted to achieve when addressing the complexities of diversity.
Kawasaki’s career began in the jewelry business where he learned firsthand that he needed to “enchant” people immediately if he was going to sell anything. His claim to fame, however, was his work with Apple as an evangelist in the Macintosh Division from 1983 to 1987 and then as a chief evangelist starting in 1995.
After much experience in achieving likability and enchanting his co-workers and peers, the main goal of his University of Oregon speech was to educate his audience on how to influence people’s hearts, minds, and actions.
Connor Murphy, senior advertising major at the U of O, found the talk especially inspiring because of Kawasaki’s ability to captivate his audience with visuals and direct dialect.
“He didn’t use fancy language,” Murphy said. “He kind of had that ‘Don’t worry; be happy vibe,’ and I can really relate to that. I try to live by if you’re confident, things will work themselves out.”
Attending the lecture out of pure interest, Murphy found discovered Kawasaki and his ideas by stumbling on his book, The Art of the Start, in an airport.
“He really knows his stuff,” Murphy said. “It kind of teaches you how to be more productive by building a team and recruiting people to want to work with you.”
With his comical voice and charismatic personality, Kawasaki had the whole ballroom laughing. From professors to hockey players, he relayed his points with ease and clarity, even managing to connect Justin Bieber to his words of wisdom.
His main points included how to give someone a genuine smile, how to be trustworthy and likeable, and how to be respected by others.
As he said, “If you want to be liked, you have to like and accept others first.”
These tips work apart from class, race, or gender—a perfect connection to CoDaC’s approach to promote cross-cultural knowledge, skills, and awareness.
Kawasaki uses his enchantment as a way of life that follows a “default to yes” outlook to see the best in people before doubting them.
“I Ask: ‘How can I help the person I just met?’” said Kawasaki. “Not: ‘What can they do for me?’”
By using this technique, Kawasaki argues that people can gain a more enchanting relationship by invoking reciprocation for services again and again. By earning this trust, Kawasaki says that everyone involved will become more committed to others and of the product being sold.
“It’s the path of least resistance,” Kawasaki said. “Enchantment is just an easier way to live life. It takes a lot more energy to be pissed off all the time.”
Because disagreements in the business world do arise often, the ability to get through the speed bumps of relationships is crucial to any entrepreneur and democratic marketing system.
As Mia Tuan said, “We must all learn how to respond effectively when things go awry in the complexities of diversity.”
By breaking down these barriers and seeing enchantment as a way of life, Kawasaki works off his own experiences to write his books and lectures. Based off of his own perceptions of people and relationships, he researches his instincts and then compiles his findings.
“I’m an innovative, out-of-the-box thinker,” said Kawasaki. “I try to outline my ideas and then I read every book in that genre.”
Ten books and endless credentials later, he evokes a down-to-earth nature that makes him that much more trustworthy in his guidance.
“Trustworthiness is different than likeability,” he said. “You can like Charlie Sheen, but would you trust him?”