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Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success

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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.   

202 pages, Hardcover

Published November 16, 2021

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About the author

Gary Vaynerchuk

52 books2,696 followers
Gary Vaynerchuk is the ultimate businessman. Born with an entrepreneurial spirit, Gary is a proven investor and advisor in the world of startups, and now an expert on the Fortune 500 world, through is work as CEO of Vaynermedia, a social media marketing agency. Having two bestsellers under his belt doesn't hurt either.

Thirty-three years ago, Gary got his start in business by ripping flowers out of people's yards and selling them back. Years later, he would use that savvy to grow his family's wine store from $3 to $45 million in just a few short years by launching WineLibrary.com, one of America's first wine websites. Fast forward to now, and he's continued to use that same business savvy, along with his brother, to build VaynerMedia, a new breed of agency that helps Fortune 500 companies like GE, PepsiCo, Hasbro and the New York Jets find their social media voices and build their digital brands. Along the way Gary launched a stratospherically successful internet wine show, written two bestselling books, and beaten Dr. Oz in basketball.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 153 reviews
Profile Image for sAmAnE.
493 reviews84 followers
May 18, 2022
بعد از پیدا کردن شغل با درآمد مناسب😶 مهم‌ترین بخش حفظ اون و برقراری ارتباط مؤثر با محیط کاره. نیاز هست فرد از لحاظ روانی و احساسی با اون‌ها کنار بیاد و رابطه مسالمت‌آمیز، همراه با رضایت نسبی برقرار کنه. چون گاهی هر چقدر هم که مهارت و تخصص داشته باشیم بلاخره باید از لحاظ مهارت‌های هیجانی ارتباط قوی و مؤثری با محیط کار و همکارامون برقرار کنیم. هوش هیجانی بالایی داشته باشیم، تقویتش کنیم و چالش‌هامون بپذیریم و بتونیم تا حدی رفعشون کنیم.
نظر نویسنده:
... از قضا خودم هم می‌گویم فقط قوی‌ترها دوام می‌آورند، ولی معتقدم بها دادن به عواطف و احساسات هم نیرویی است که آدم با آن بهتر دوام می‌آورد...
هر فصل این پیام رو داره که چجوری تو زمان‌های خاص یا به طور کلی در محیط کار و زمان‌های سخت بتونیم استقامت کنیم. حدودا هشتاد صفحه‌ی اول کتاب ویژگی‌های لازم و دوازده صفت مهم که نقش اساسی در کسب و کار را دارند، توضیح داده و نام‌برده. به نظرم بهترین بخش کتاب بود. فصل دوم که وارد توضیح و تفسیر نمونه‌های واقعی میشه کمی کلیشه‌وار بود که البته میتونه برای کارآفرینان مفید باشه. فصل آخر هم شامل برخی تمرینات هست.
کتاب روان و خوش‌خوانی هست. کتاب خودیاریه، اگر می‌خواید بخونیدش حتما این رو در نظر داشته باشید.
خیلی از موارد رو میدونیم و خوندیم ولی گاهی لازمه دوباره به خودمون یادآوری کنیم. هرچند که تنهایی تلاش کردن برای ایجاد یک محیط کاری ایمن و مثبت و کلا انسان بهتری بودن اصلا کافی نیست و ممکن هم نیست...
Profile Image for bamlinden.
86 reviews7 followers
December 13, 2021
The first 70 pages of this book were a quick, enjoyable read. The next hundred pages were a borderline waste of time for me. The conclusion of the book didn’t have much teeth either.

I enjoy listening to Gary Vee talk. I think he has tremendous energy, optimism, self-awareness and a blunt (but fair) commentary on whatever it is he’s voicing.

Reading what this book was about had me really intrigued and I instantly took a stab at this title when I saw it at the library. He jumps into many great topics and gives his takes…but then the “scenarios” came into play.

Scenario #57 - a guy comes up to you and starts talking about 12 and a half “emotional ingredients” to a healthy and successful business. How do you respond?

This….is the basis for most of the book. Laying out various scenarios and then explaining how he would use his 12 and a half steps to solve or react. I just didn’t need that much of it in this book. Some of the scenarios had no relevancy to me…many, created a sense of “well, of course”. It didn’t dive too deep into the essence of the book topic.

After picking up this book, I noticed that Gary had blogged about each of these “emotional ingredients”. I felt like I could’ve gotten just as much out of the topic from him by reading his blog vs this book.

A good read…but just didn’t have enough meat on the bone to connect. Unfortunate, because I like Gary and what he stands for.
Profile Image for simona.citeste.
110 reviews123 followers
February 18, 2023
Mi-a plăcut ideea acestei cărți dar recunosc că am simțit-o ca fiind puțin nerealistă.

Nu pentru că spune lucruri neadevărate ci pentru că nu este deloc ușor să aplici principiile ei și să reacționezi așa cum sugerează autorul.

Mi-a plăcut descrierea emoțiilor și ideile de aplicabilitate; aparent este o carte despre succes în afaceri dar cred că este o carte despre succes în tot ce înseamnă relații interumane. Vorbește despre emoții și despre cum le putem face să lucreze în avantajul nostru.

Responsabilitate, optimism, empatie, bunăvoință, răbdare, curaj și alte câteva ingredinte care ne fac să fim umani și să arătăm lumii partea bună a noastră sunt descrise aici.

Partea a doua vine cu câteva scenarii și răspunsuri pe care să le oferim, concentrați fiind pe emoțiile acestea pozitive. Ușor de zis și greu de făcut, dacă e să mă întrebați pe mine, dar eficiente și ideale într-o lume așa cum ne-o imaginăm.
Profile Image for Matthew.
63 reviews4 followers
November 30, 2021
The 20's version of the mail in campaign

After going through and taking a look at the core messages of this book, it isn't something I would recommend for people looking to get real insight to how people tick or even how you tick. Instead, the book is a social experiment of sorts. Every call to action has either a hashtag, an email address or a handle to tag. If it weren't for the fact these call to action moments won't be used for an ad campaign, I'd almost call it a scam.

Not worth the money I paid for it, but at least it is good to see the message I consistently get in audio format from GV is the same this time around as well.

Skip if you are an introvert or you don't have social media. You won't find value here.
Profile Image for Jonathan Brook.
1 review1 follower
December 21, 2021
If you listen to his podcast then you will get all the knowledge that is in his book. First few pages are great but the scenarios drag on.
Profile Image for Mike Weston.
97 reviews6 followers
March 1, 2022
Thoroughly enjoyed Garyvee’s new work on leveraging EQ in the workplace. Always clear and compelling while full of conviction it’s an easy and enjoyable read. Useful book for leaders.
Profile Image for Mihai Matei.
3 reviews2 followers
March 29, 2023
Just common sense wrapped in way too many words. This book could have been written as 12 pages power point with a 40 font. Probably with greater impact for the readers.

Here is Freudian slip …
“Empathy is the ingredient that provides the answer to the test. When you can feel what another is feeling, you develop an extraordinary ability to MANIPULATE human beings” (read this five times).
Profile Image for Chris Boutté.
Author 8 books150 followers
September 23, 2021
Gary Vee can do no wrong in my eyes. I have some criticisms of this new book, but they’re extremely subjective, and at the end of the day, this book has a ton of value and will help a lot of people. I actually didn’t even know Gary had a new book coming out, and when I found out, I immediately asked the publisher for a review copy. I binged this book in one sitting, and it really helped with the headspace I happened to be in the day I read it. As someone who was recently laid off after two years due to the pandemic and is trying to do the entrepreneur thing again, this book was jam-packed with some good ol’ Gary Vee wisdom and tough love.

The book is short, and it’s an easy read. Basically, Gary breaks down most of his main principles such as gratitude, empathy, accountability, humility, ambition, and more. Each chapter teaches and reminds the reader how to persevere through the difficult times while also being compassionate towards others. If you’re someone who has followed Gary Vee’s work for years, you already know where Gary stands on all of these topics, so it’s repeat information, but Gary knows that, and that’s what I love about him. Many of us have thick skulls (me included), and we need this information repeated multiple times, and even though I’ve heard him say this stuff a million times, I really needed it again today.

As for my criticisms, they’re minor. It’s hard to explain, but the structure threw me off a little bit. The twelve and a half “ingredients” are the first half of the book, and the second half is Gary creating scenarios as though someone was asking him for advice, and he uses the ingredients for the answers. With the book being so short, I personally would have liked it better if it was 75% - 100% on the ingredients, but it was a cool idea to create the scenarios. But like I said, that’s just my subjective opinion, and I’d still read this book again just like I have all of his other books. The book is kind of marketed towards business leaders, but every entrepreneur needs to check this book out and use the tools Gary provides.
Profile Image for Mariya-Nikol.
54 reviews19 followers
November 20, 2022
"Хората говорят за това, че служителите трябва да са благодарни, че имат работа, но също така е вярно, че компаниите трябва да са благодарни, че имат служители."

Благодарността е само една от "Дванайсет и половина" съставки за бизнес успех според един от най-успешните предприемачи на нашето време, Гари Вайнерчук.

Книгата е своеобразен наръчник по емоционална интелигентност, представящ ни качествата, които трябва да притежаваме, за да бъдем успешни в бизнеса, било то като управители, служители, или клиенти.

Изданието е написано на достъпен език и е удобно разделено на три части - описание на всяка от съставките, обяснение как да ги прилагаме на база на примери от реалния живот, и упражнения за развиване на всяка една от тях. А защо са дванайсет и половина съставките, и коя е въпросната половина, можете да разберете като прочетете книгата. ;)

Вайнерчук ми е добре познат като влиятелна личност в социалните мрежи и водещ на подкаст, но това е първата ми среща с него като автор, и съм благодарна на издателство AMG за тази възможност.
Profile Image for Julia.
8 reviews1 follower
January 2, 2022
The concepts outlined in this book are nothing earth-shattering. I didn’t get much new information out of it, but it was an easy and pleasant enough read. However, I found it extremely repetitive. If we took out all of the fluff, this book could’ve been a blog post.
I also got the sense (especially in parts II and III, which are about real-life scenarios and exercises on how we can implement the 12 and a half emotional ingredients outlined in Part I) that the the aim of the book was really to sell you something, to get you to visit his website/social media pages and use his hashtags, and to promote GaryVee’s brand and companies.
Overall, it was a quick and easy read, but I was disappointed with its contents.
455 reviews1 follower
January 24, 2022
My kids turned me on to Gary Vee years ago. His bluntness, his attitude for success and his honesty are refreshing. This book is a perfect way to reflect on your personal work ethic and the points that we should all be mindful of as we navigate the work force. With so many remote positions now, communicating effectively using talents such as kindness, patience, empathy and humility are necessary. Gary gives insight through examples and explains his logic for each point. I enjoyed the scenarios and while I can't relate to each one, there are definitely people I have worked with who would benefit from his words of wisdom! This is a quick read packed with a lot of information from someone who continually proves his prowess not only in being an entrepreneur but being a compassionate human being. Way to be an example Gary!
Profile Image for David.
2,223 reviews45 followers
December 28, 2021
I follow Gary Vee on Instagram and Twitter, have sampled his podcast, downloaded his free infographic on repurposing material, and have read one of his other books...and I think this is the most fully relatable material he's published. In summary, it's really about two traits: kindness and candor, and the balance between. This is about traits such as accountability, gratitude, optimism, self-awareness, and other traits that translate to being a better business leader as well as a better person.
2 reviews
March 17, 2022
I loved this book so much. It’s one of those moments where a book comes into your life at the exact time you need it. Gary Vee is someone that inspires me and has helped me a lot with his content and this book again was super super helpful especially as a new business owner. What I liked about the book is that it’s not only catered towards business owners but also people working for a company in business too. So this book is really for anyone & everyone. Really good read!
4 reviews
January 15, 2023
This book genuinely surprised me. Although the concepts are vague in nature and Gary’s personality can be narrow minded, I admire the creativity and thoughtfulness that went into making this book. This is not a long book but as I read each night I could only ever get past a chapter a day. The concepts in part one really made me self reflect on how I see myself and the way I treat others. I truly spent a lot of time reflecting on each “Ingredient”. Part two was simple. I appreciate the addition of this part in the book but I primarily skimmed through most of it. Although it might be wise to do, I did not spend any time actually completing the activities in part three. I did look over them and self-reflect but nothing more than that.

Overall, it was a great book to start 2023 with and I can see myself coming back to this book next year to reflect on.
Profile Image for Wendy.
98 reviews7 followers
December 13, 2021
I really don't know why I read this book lmao

Look, i've never read a business book in my life and I'm a 21 year old university student and have never had a real job, so I really was not the target audience for this book. Besides that, I think the contents of this books are extremely useful for any young professional. This is one for the finance bros and hustlers. This book really got me rolling my eyes at a lot of points though (especially whenever they mention Linkedin)
Profile Image for Dustan Woodhouse.
Author 7 books189 followers
March 28, 2022
I’m an optimist, and like Gary I understand the proper meaning of the word.

As such, of course I love the book.
It’s validating.

It stirs up thoughts, which become actions, which dictate our results.

What results are pursuing?
Profile Image for Roderick Vonhögen.
213 reviews58 followers
June 13, 2022
I enjoyed Gary's optimistic and positive approach in the way he conducts his business. He stresses the importance of a number of values that other business books rarely touch upon, like humility, gratitude and patience. I liked the various scenarios in the second part of the book where Gary applies his principles to specific situations.
Profile Image for Shannon.
111 reviews4 followers
June 18, 2022
The BEST management book I've ever read (actually listened to the audio version, didn't read it)! Not only great for business relationships but could improve your personal relationships as well! Highly recommend!
27 reviews11 followers
January 7, 2022
Bueno, no el mejor

Recomendado para quienes buscan incrementar su inteligencia emocional con el objetivo de incrementar sus probabilidades de éxito en el mundo empresarial
3 reviews
December 20, 2021
Thought-provoking, important and actionable.
In this short book, Gary shares 12 necessary “emotional ingredients”, which are essentially emotional skills, integral to have led to his success and happiness in life and business.
I have made a "Lessons Learned from"/"Summary of" the book, also acting as a Checklist, with important points from the book. Something to refer to even after reading the book. You can check it out here: https://arjunkhemani.com/2021/12/19/l...

October 28, 2022
Not much new knowledge gained.
The 30+ real life examples and how to respond are the most valuable.
I think the audiobook would be better, not worth reading it.
Profile Image for Цвети Запрева.
53 reviews5 followers
September 22, 2022
Може би на пръв поглед ще си кажете, че книгата е подходящта само за хора, които искат да разиват бизнеса си, но не е точно така.
Това е книга за всички лидери.. както казва в посвещението си автора "Посвещава се на всеки предприемач, основател, ръководител, управител, служител, майка, баща и по-голям брат или сестра, достатъчно смели, за да станат по-добри лидери за тези, на които вдъхват респект"

Авторът ни представя основните качества, които е нужно всеки от нас да развие и това как да бъдат прилагани в живота.
Тази книга те кара да погледнеш на нещата от друг ъгъл - да се запиташ, защо в дадена ситуация реагираш по определен начин и как да тръгнеш в правилна посока.
Кара те да рискуваш.
Рискът е по-добрият вариант от "какво щеше да стане ако.. " Всеки е имал поне една ситуация в живота си в който се е питал точно това и точно тази книга те кара да действаш, да риск��ваш.. не да се питаш и съжаляваш.

Като човек, който развива свой бизнес прочитането на тази книга ми беше доста полезно и знам, че ще я прочета и отново.

"Мислите, че успешното лидерство не зависи от емоциите? Помислете пак.."
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jung.
950 reviews17 followers
March 23, 2022
Emotional intelligence is made up of many different components, or “ingredients,” that can be combined together to solve a wide range of problems in business and life. The author has narrowed the list down to twelve: gratitude, self-awareness, accountability, optimism, empathy, kindness, tenacity, curiosity, patience, conviction, humility, and ambition. By carefully analyzing which ingredients you know how to use well and which ones you’re lacking, you can power up your strengths and improve on your weaknesses, ultimately developing a powerful arsenal of tools that will help your business thrive in the long-term.

Actionable advice:

Identify your half.

So we’ve talked about the 12, but you’re probably wondering what the "half" is in the title Twelve and a Half. The half is whichever ingredient you’re weakest in. Whatever that is, that’s your half. Vaynerchuk identifies his half as “kind candor.” Throughout his career, he’s given a lot of positive feedback to his employees, since he believes a safe, positive work environment is far superior to one defined by fear and uncertainty. The problem is that kindness without honesty, without candor, can create entitled employees. If you’re always kind, always positive, without having the confidence to be candid about shortcomings, the people you’re giving feedback to will never know where they need to improve, which may result in their falling short in their role. Vaynerchuk has seen this happen multiple times, and he wishes that, in addition to being kind, he’d been candid more often. Everyone has a half – a place where they could learn and grow. So what’s yours?
Profile Image for Tim Hughes.
Author 3 books61 followers
February 10, 2022
I met Gary Vaynerchuk when he came to Vaynermedia in London and I was introduced by an employee of Gary’s. Before the meeting, I had a conversation with that employee that went like this.

Me: I bet Gary is really hard to work for?
Employee: Not at all, he’s one of the best managers I’ve ever had.
Me: A hard task master?
Employee: of course, he expects the best in people, but he supports a culture of experimentation and risk taking. That means he supports us if we make mistakes.
Me: Is it a hire and fire culture?
Employee: no, in fact if people are not in the right roles, Gary will create a new role that they will be better suited to.

Anyway, when I met Gary, he was brilliant, he insisted on having a selfie taken with me and my business partner and he insisted in holding my first book.

The thing is Gary often comes across as brash, this is compounded by his direct attitude in his previous books. He was vocal for “hustle culture” which added to his edge.

In his latest book, “Twelve and half” Gary puts forward a different Gary. One that is empathetic, compassionate, self-aware, patient, in fact 12 and half emotional ingredients you need to be a leader and manager today.

The book is split into three, what are the emotional ingredients that we need as leaders, real-life scenarios and finally a number of exercises to undertake.
Profile Image for A.M..
Author 7 books46 followers
February 28, 2022
It is intriguing to me that a LOT of ‘new’ approaches and tactics are all pretty much coming down to ‘in the end only kindness matters’ [wasn’t that a Jewel song??? yes, it was, thanks brain]

This is Gary Vee, the original super entrepreneur, the $100 star-up guy, the hustler for hustlers who has now worked out that WHY we do things matters. And that comes down to emotions. He gives an example where a staff member stole $200k from him, and he said his first thoughts were: why did they do that? What’s wrong? Are they in trouble? He also said it was on him, if he let them do that. [accountability is one of the 12]

I mean, he’s not WRONG and if it makes work easier for your employees and provides a better service for your customers, then your business will be more than fine. I despair at the current shareholder driven business mindset; if you do not look after your customers AND your employees, you do not HAVE a business.

He goes through the 12 (and a half) emotions in the first half and then lists specific scenarios for business situations and some exercises. YMMV for those, but I am glad he has written them all out; some of them felt pretty hokey, but that is how we learn.

3 stars

this year my library has saved me A$639.33
Profile Image for Brandy Vanloo.
136 reviews3 followers
February 28, 2023
I read this book as part of a challenge I did; I think it's safe to say I would not have picked it up otherwise. This book bills itself as using Emotional Intelligence to take on and improve success from a business perspective. It's split into three parts, the first of which breaks up each of the 12 ingredients, with a "summary" about why it's important. The next part, which is almost half of the book, it's just a list of scenarios and how those 12 things can be applied; it's pretty much just used as a list of buzzwords. The last part is somewhat helpful, with ideas on how to work on these twelve skills.
Maybe it's because I'm not, nor have any desire to be, a business leader of any kind, but I did not get much from this book. It could also be because I've had emotional intelligence training where I actually learned where *I* could improve, instead of reading a book that is a general catch-all. In the end, this book honestly seemed like a cash grab to me. While the content isn't necessarily bad, I felt like it started off as an idea for a blog post, then was bloated up to a full length so it could be sold. And don't even get me started on the amount of times NFTs are mentioned....
Profile Image for Fernando Suarezserna.
Author 12 books56 followers
January 13, 2022
I was about 30% into the book and thought "wow, this one is, by far, the best of Gary's books".

I believe this is the fourth book I've read by the author, and the thoughts about how he has positioned himself as a "hustler" is very illustrative about his self awareness and how he's still growing in his journey. The first 1/3 of the book has many golden nuggets about how to channel emotions in a work environment, from the CEO's point of view. I've found his advice actionable and in many cases, even wise.

These were the two most powerful ideas I got from the book:

**Empathy is the bridge to understand the market. Curiosity is about discovering new ideas, and curiosity is impossible when ego gets in the way. Empathyis about knowing if those ideas will work in the market.

**Starting positive is seen as naive, and being negative is seen as "keeping it real", and that's a tragedy because, believe me, being positive is part of the equation.

Unfortunately, the rest of the book was just a super long Q&A, and the ending is just rush through a bunch of call to actions that feel more like self promotion (using his hashtags, etc) than about reflection.
34 reviews
December 28, 2021
Who will this book help? For readers that are looking to be more empathetic, both towards themselves and the people they manage/work with, this book offers several incremental and practical steps to do so.

- In the first section, the author first defines 13 emotional ingredients like patience, kindness etc (he calls it 12 and a half vs 13).
- The next section, which is the bulk of the book, is a variety of scenarios and how you can approach it from an empathetic point of view, using one or more of the emotional ingredients defined in the first section. I give credit to the author for picking relevant, everyday scenarios that many of us are likely to face on a recurring basis.
- The last section and wrap up, is a mini workbook of exercises, for each ingredient.

Other comments
The book is easy to read and I appreciate the brevity. Many books nowadays are 300 pages long, relying largely on repetition to drive home the same point. The author spares us the repetition, and instead focuses on getting his point across the first time. Thank you Gary.

42 reviews
January 7, 2022
Pump me up kind of book! More of application with lots of empathy sprinkled or sprayed everywhere.

Some takeaways:
- For most of us, negativity is seen greater (magnified) than positivity
- Feel the pulse of the culture of the workplace
- Don't rely on motivation based on insecurities ("I'm gonna show you/mom/dad/ I can make it") rather than curiosity or self-awareness
- Winning at all costs has its consequences. It's not about winning always, but showing empathy to those who work under you
- Ambition is like a healthy carrot
- The real luxury in life is happiness
- Dig deep into the why's. Why did the employee choose to say that behind my back? Be upfront and know their motives. "I wanna learn and understand why"
- Regret is the ultimate pain (After 60-70 years, I wish I should've done XYZ)
- There's always an opportunity to make lemonade from the lemons I encounter. Positivity is underrated

Definitely a Garyvee book indeed.
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