Rules Of Enchantment
A lyrical, inspiring book that aims to re-ignite the spark of passion in the work we do.
Do you view yourself as a corporate rat on a non-stop treadmill? Marketer and TED speaker Tim Leberecht’s lovingly-crafted book will make you look at work and life in a whole new way. He presents office as a wondrous place full of mysteries, interesting relationships, and offering a diversity of experiences and rewards. Even the dull daily ritual of dressing up for work is invested with thrill.
It’s all about perspective, you see. Leberecht has the perspective of a romantic who spots the beauty in the mundane. But the book is by no means a dreamy in-the-cloud cataloguing of an idealist’s vision of workplace. Leberecht looks hard at the reasons behind the figures thrown up by a Gallup Poll conducted in 140 countries, which found only 13 percent of employees enthusiastic about their jobs. Debt, long work hours, social inequality, confusion, insecurity and growing insolation caused by the digital landscape – the reasons for disenchantment are many.
But Leberecht presents us with the alternate of business life – the excitement, the learning, the sense of fulfillment. This he does by meeting scores of people and sharing their stories. Some of the characters are admittedly not the average corporate Joe, but creative folk with bizarre dreams. Take the story of Gaston Frydlewski who hated the ratty knots and labour of tying and untying that went into shoelaces. He pursued his goal for over eight years to launch his own lacing system, a thriving business today.
There are dozens of such incredible characters in the book, but Leberecht also writes about utterly relatable people, products and companies. Take Twitter. Leberecht calls it a social collision of forces, and a place where you celebrate witty repartees, provocations, and lightning speed slices of intimacy. He brings Twitter alive through the lens of Twitter’s editorial director 62-year old Karen Wickre, a tech journeywoman with a liberal arts background who manages to draw out human whims even in an algorithm-driven world. Or take those ubiquitous networking conferences that jaded corporate foot soldiers yawn their way through. Leberecht approaches these events with the same tingling sense of anticipation you would have at meeting an exciting stranger for dinner.
Leberecht seeks purpose in our business life, digging deep among his friends, strangers, historical books, and management classics. As he writes, “With small acts of significance, we can reclaim our narratives.” It’s a book that fills you with pleasure in the same way that Byron’s poetry does, even as it educates, enlightens and awakens.