Some Enchanted Guy


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How do you define enchantment? It is clearer to paint a picture than reach for the dictionary.

He smelled of pipe tobacco and always had hidden in his attic-smelling jacket a unique piece of candy for a small boy to find. His colorful rocking chair stories were filled with great adventure always starring the boy on his knee as the hero in his magical tale. He laughed easily; he laughed long. He was willing to take a courageous stand in sync with his ethics even when he was the only person in the room on his feet. He was quick to forgive with a bear hug.

This was my grandfather and he was the most enchanting man I ever knew. Year’s after his death in his mid-eighties, I still reflect on his rare gift and tried to dissect it to offer its ingredients as advice to leaders trying to be more influential.

Roger Gamble Perdue was an imaginative man with the kind of integrity that made you want to be a much better boy when you were in his presence. His non-judgmental, let-you-come-to-your-own-conclusions manner made him especially compelling to a grandson who spent more than his share of time in “time-out.” He was stern on the really important things; a pussycat on the trivial stuff. He gave me chores but always managed to help me get them done. Despite his poverty-laced childhood, he seemed to enjoy every single moment of his life. And, I always felt like I was just getting to the best part when I had to leave him to head home.

Playing “Cowboys and Indians” with his cows in a nearby pasture (the cows were the cowboys), I accidently punctured the thick hide of a cow with my toy arrow. The cow just stood there looking at me disgustedly with a tiny stream of blood flowing down its side and my toy arrow still attached. I felt like the cruelest person on the planet. When I admitted the crime to my grandfather he listened without comment and then asked, “So, what did you say to the cow?” His question was a powerful lesson in compassion taught in a completely enchanting fashion.

Granddaddy lived way back in the country in the very rural South. One day he caught a possum, brought it home, and placed it in a small pen. He called me to ask if I would be in charge of feeding the possum since it would be our supper in a week or so. When I asked what I should feed the captive possum, he totally tabled his expertise and simply said, “Whatever you think it’ll want.” When the roasted possum was served with grits and sweet potatoes at our family gathering, I got to sit at the adult’s big table and help serve the plates. I would have walked off a cliff for my granddaddy.

I believe Guy Kawasaki ( knew Roger Perdue…or someone just like him. He has completely captured granddaddy’s philosophy, practice and wisdom in his new book Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions (NY: Portfolio/Penguin, 2011). His new book is far more than a modern day “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” As helpful as Dale Carnegie was with this classic book, Guy mines far beneath simple tactic or technique to reveal the motherlode of what makes a person as persuasive as a fairy tale is to child.

In an era of leaders who rely on role or rule to persuade, we desperately need enchanters. At a time when self-centered bosses get only movement when they seek motivation, we need leaders who can inspire. Enchantment is a giant leap forward in providing the whys and how’s for how achieve Roger Perdue’s leadership style. In the words of the famed NBC Today Show weatherman Willard Scott, “If you only read two books this year, read this one twice!” I promise you will be enchanted both times!

Chip Bell
Chip R. Bell is the founder of the Chip Bell Group ( and a renowned keynote speaker and customer loyalty consultant. Dr. Bell has authored several best-selling books including The 9 1/2 Principles of Innovative Service and, with John Patterson, Take Their Breath Away. His newest book, Sprinkles: Creating Awesome Experiences Through Innovative Service, will be released in February.


  1. Where do I get the book? I just become so inspired when there are the people who show much enchantment, they show that they can motivate people in different and unique ways. Enchantment in everything we encounter must give out our heart.


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