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Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business

Anthony K. Tjan

Three entrepreneurs and advisors-turned-venture capitalists delineate the traits in the title as absolutely critical. From their work with hundreds of executives across the globe, the authors found that every one of their subjects possess these attributes in some combination.

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Book Information

Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Publish Date: 08/06/2012
Pages: 256
ISBN-13: 9781422161944
ISBN-10: 1422161943
Language: English

What We're Saying

August 09, 2012

This new book by Anthony Tjan, Richard Harrington, and Tsun-yan Hsieh divides the successful entrepreneur into one of four traits they're biased toward. According to the authors, Heart is about passion, indicative of CEOs like Howard Schultz. Smarts is about brain power, as seen in people like Amazon's Jeff Bezos. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

November 26, 2012

The season of lists is upon us. The first ornament up on the tree was Steve Coll's Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power, published by The Penguin Press, which took home the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year earlier this month. And there was another large nonfiction title related to economics—Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James A. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

What's your entrepreneurial profile? Do you have what it takes to build a great business? In this book, three prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs--now venture capitalists and CEO advisers--share the qualities that surface again and again in those who successfully achieve their goals. The common traits? Heart, smarts, guts, and luck. After interviewing and researching hundreds of business-builders across the globe, the authors found that every one of them--from young founder to seasoned CEO--holds a combination of these four attributes. Indeed each of us tends to be biased toward one of these traits in our decision-making, and figuring out which trait drives you will lead to greater self-awareness and likelihood of success in starting and growing a business. So are you:
- Heart-dominant, like renowned chef Alice Waters or Starbucks's Howard Schultz?
- Smarts-dominant, like Jeff Bezos of Amazon or legendary investor Warren Buffett?
- Guts-dominant, like Nelson Mandela or Virgin's Richard Branson?
- Or are you most defined by the luck trait, like Tony Hsieh of Zappos (and a surprisingly high proportion of other successful entrepreneurs)? Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck includes the first Entrepreneurial Aptitude Test (E.A.T), a simple tool to help determine your specific profile. Though no single archetype for entrepreneurial success exists, this book will help you understand which traits to "dial up" or "dial down" to realize your full potential, and when these traits are most and least helpful (or even detrimental) during critical points of a company lifecycle. Not only will you know how to build a better business faster, you'll also take your natural leadership style to the next level.

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