TWELVE AND A HALF | Kirkus Reviews


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.

Pub Date: yesterday

ISBN: 978-0-06-267468-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Harper Business

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021





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