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USA Today Bestseller
In his sixth business book, bestselling author, entrepreneur, and investor Gary Vaynerchuk explores the twelve essential emotional skills that are integral to his life—and business—success and provides today’s (and tomorrow’s) leaders with critical tools to acquire and develop these traits.
For decades, leaders have relied on “hard” skills to make smart decisions, while dismissing the importance of emotional intelligence. Soft skills like self-awareness and curiosity aren’t quantifiable; they can’t be measured on a spreadsheet and aren’t taught in B-schools or emphasized in institutions. We’ve been taught that emotional intelligence is a “nice to have” in business, not a requirement. But soft skills can actually accelerate business success, Gary Vaynerchuk argues. For analytical minds, it’s challenging to understand how to get “better” at being self-aware, curious, or empathetic—or even why it’s important to try.
In this wise and practical book, Gary explores the 12 human ingredients that have led to his success and happiness and provides exercises to help you develop these traits yourself. He also shares what the “half” is—that emotional ingredient of leadership he’s weakest at and makes the most effort to improve. Working through the ideas and exercises in the book, he teaches you how to discover your own “halves” and offers insight on how to strengthen them.
Gary’s secret to success is using these twelve traits in varying mixtures, depending on the situation. But how do we know when to balance patience with ambition? Humility with conviction? Gary provides real-life examples involving common business scenarios to show you how to use them together for optimum results.
This iconoclastic book will help you refine your ingredients and improve your leadership capabilities. When implemented in the proper situation, these ingredients can help leaders land promotions, retain core employees, move faster than competitors, win the loyalty of customers, and build successful organizations that last.
A forward-thinking revelation and an enjoyable read. This is not your typical nuts-and-bolts guide to being a better businessperson, but it is instead a personal journey through Vaynerchuk’s psyche that shows that there’s a lot more to being successful than KPIs, numbers, and drive. Twelve and a Half isn’t just about making you a better businessperson—it’s about making you a better human being, which is exactly what we need right now.
"A dishy memoir and a kind of 'best of Gary' anecdotes and reflections."
A successful entrepreneur shows us how to be better at business and life.
Vaynerchuk draws on his experiences, successes, and mistakes to offer uplifting advice about leadership and happiness. “Leaning into your humanity,” he writes, “is the actual strength that will help you survive and flourish.” He identifies 12 traits that feed into that strength: “gratitude, self-awareness, accountability, optimism, empathy, kindness, tenacity, curiosity, patience, conviction, humility, and ambition.” For him—and, he suspects, for most people—there is likely to be a trait that still needs to be developed: in his case, “kind candor,” which makes up the “one-half” in the book’s title. Vaynerchuk divides his guide into three parts. In the first, he expounds on each of the 12 traits, defining them and showing how they are connected to one another; the second part describes how the traits work together in real-life scenarios; and the third part offers exercises to put the ideas into practice. The author underscores the need for self-awareness, which, he writes, “has a close relationship with self-love and self-acceptance,” including recognition of one’s shortcomings. Although he acknowledges the importance of trying to strengthen weaknesses, he also suggests “navigating around them” when necessary. Cultivating optimism, he advises, is “wildly practical,” as well as being a “teammate” of gratitude and tenacity. Among the scenarios the author presents are dealing with negative feedback from a supervisor, facing the possible failure of a venture, weighing parenting responsibilities against starting up a business, admitting to mental health concerns and need for self-care, and being thrust into a management position unexpectedly. Exercises encourage readers to reflect personally on the traits; for example, talking with optimistic people to find out what keeps them feeling that way; doing random acts of kindness; and setting out on a “curiosity mission” to learn something new. This book presents little that Vaynerchuk devotees won’t already know, but it’s an amiable trek for fellow strivers.
A genial business guru redefines success.