Don’t Menschion It: How Trust Enchants

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
Mensh post

“I learned a Yiddish word,” I tell my friend Scott, who is Jewish.

“Really? What is it?”


“Oh, yeah. A mensch. It means a sweet person. Like you.”

(insert “awwww…” soundbite here).

I am suspicious of the compliment, however, because this is the same friend who, a few weeks earlier, said this to me:

“I’m going to give you the best compliment I can possibly think of.”

I prepared to be demure—waited for some good flattery.

“You are very…dependable.”

What? Dependable? All of my wonderfully wonderful qualities and this is his “best”?

“You just can’t count on people to do what they say they will do anymore.”

This may not be on my list of the top ten compliments, but according to Guy Kawasaki, it is crucial to enchantment. Likability is only half the battle of enchantment, he says. The other half is achieving trustworthiness.

Kawasaki gives this advice for achieving trustworthiness: Be a mensch. Turns out being a mensch means a bit more than being sweet. Drawing from Bruna Martinuzzi’s book The Leader as a Mensch: Become the Kind of Person Others Want to Follow, our enchanting author gives us these guidelines to menschdom:

  1. Always act with honesty.
  2. Treat people who have wronged you with civility.
  3. Fulfill your unkept promises form the past.
  4. Help someone who can be of absolutely no use to you.
  5. Suspend blame when something goes wrong and ask, “What can we learn?”
  6. Hire people who are as smart as or smarter than you and give them opportunities for growth.
  7. Don’t interrupt people; don’t dismiss their concerns offhand; don’t rush to give advice; don’t change the subject. Allow people their moment.
  8. Do no harm in anything you undertake.
  9. Don’t be too quick to shoot down others’ ideas.
  10. Share your knowledge, expertise, and best practices with others.
  11. Focus on goodwill.
  12. Give people the benefit of the doubt.

There is more to enchantment than being a mensch and a poetic message, however. In this week’s chapters Guy Kawasaki talks about the importance of disclosing your interests, gaining knowledge and competence, positioning yourself, and conducting a “premortem”--among other things. He also reminds us of the importance of a great cause and gives us his list of qualities that make a great product (you’ll have to read the book to find out what those are!).

Just too much good information to menschion it all here.

Just for fun:

*In chapter three, Guy talks about crafting a description of you or your organization. It should explain what you do and why you exist, he says. He lists four qualities of a good positioning statement: short, clear, different, and humble. Guy’s positioning statement is: Empower people. What’s yours?

*In chapter four, Guy gives us a list of his Enchantment Hall of Fame. Included on his list are such things as a 1965 Ford Mustang (car), Istanbul (city), and Nelson Mandela (political leader). What are some items (people, places, things) that would be on your enchantment list?

How about you? Share with us in the comments or link up below to your thoughts at your blog.

This is the second week of our book club discussion on Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hears, Minds, and Actions. Join us next week for a discussion on chapters five and six: How to Launch and How to Overcome Resistance. See you there!


How to Change the World: A Book Club Introduction

Achieving Likability: Crows Feet and the Perfect Handshake (week one)

Image by Claire Burge, used with permission. Post by Laura J. Boggess, author of The Wings of Klaio series for young adults.