Synopses & Reviews
Praise for The Art of Being Unreasonable
"In The Art of Being Unreasonable, my friend Eli Broad lets us in on his secrets to success in business, philanthropy, and life—and he asks the right questions, looks for the right answers, and never stops working until he gets results. At a time when our country needs to focus on what works, Eli's book is a blueprint for effective public citizenship."
—President William Jefferson Clinton
"Reading Eli Broad's The Art of Being Unreasonable may not turn you into a billionaire philanthropist, but it will surely make you stop and think about the thousands of hours you waste stopping and thinking, when you could be out there doing. Eli is the exemplar of how to succeed in business and in life by really trying and only taking yes for an answer."
—Morley Safer, Correspondent, 60 Minutes
"As a creator of successful companies, Eli Broad has few equals, and The Art of Being Unreasonable clearly shows why. It's also a book that powerfully makes the case that wealth finds its ultimate purpose in public service."
—Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Chairman, Microsoft Corporation
"The art of being effectively unreasonable has propelled Eli Broad to the pinnacle in four careers. But he also is completely delightful, as is this book. It will teach you how to become a success by merrily bending reality."
—Walter Isaacson, author, Steve Jobs, and CEO, Aspen Institute
"Eli Broad is the only entrepreneur ever to create two Fortune 500 companies in different industries, and in this movingly personal and wonderfully plain-spoken book, he not only describes how he did it, but also the lessons anyone can take from his career. It's a story rich in engaging anecdotes and human detail."
—Maria Bartiromo, Anchor, CNBC's Closing Bell and The Wall Street Journal Report
"Eli Broad is a man of great accomplishments in many fields. Few will read his book without a twinge of envy; almost all will learn a lot. And what you learn will be useful in your career and your life."
—Donald E. Graham, Chairman, The Washington Post Company
"There's one common theme in all my activities: I run away from conventional wisdom at every opportunity. That's why 'unreasonable thinking' is the subject of this book. It has helped me build two Fortune 500 companies, and give away $6 billion to endow some of the greatest contemporary art museums, scientific research centers, and K-12 education initiatives in the world. Of course along the way, I've been celebrated and condemned. I've been called all kinds of names, some of them accurate. You've got to be ready for that if you're going to do anything big.
By contrast, most people and institutions take a 'easonable' approach to problems, which I call 'Of Course Not' thinking. When faced with the prospect of a new or different approach, they will come up with all the reasons something can't be done and conclude, 'Of course not' because, after all, no one else is doing it that way.
This book hopes to explain the 'unreasonable' methodologies that got me to where I am, with the hope will be of use to you." - Eli Broad
Unorthodox success principles from a billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist
Eli Broad's embrace of "unreasonable thinking" has helped him build two Fortune 500 companies, amass personal billions, and use his wealth to create a new approach to philanthropy. He has helped to fund scientific research institutes, K-12 education reform, and some of the world's greatest contemporary art museums. By contrast, "reasonable" people come up with all the reasons something new and different can't be done, because, after all, no one else has done it that way. This book shares the "unreasonable" principles—from negotiating to risk-taking, from investing to hiring—that have made Eli Broad such a success.
- Broad helped to create the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and The Broad, a new museum being built in downtown Los Angeles
- His investing approach to philanthropy has led to the creation of scientific and medical research centers in the fields of genomic medicine and stem cell research
- At his alma mater, Michigan State University, he endowed a full-time M.B.A. program, and he and his wife have funded a new contemporary art museum on campus to serve the broader region
- Eli Broad is the founder of two Fortune 500 companies: KB Home and SunAmerica
If you're stuck doing what reasonable people do—and not getting anywhere—let Eli Broad show you how to be unreasonable, and see how far your next endeavor can go.
"The reasonable man adapts himself to theworld. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends upon the unreasonable man."
—George Bernard Shaw
"Reasonable" people come up with all the reasons something new and different can't be done, because, after all, no one else has done it that way. Eli Broad's embrace of "unreasonable thinking" has helped him build two Fortune 500 companies, amass personal billions, and use his wealth to create a new approach to philanthropy. He has funded scientific research institutes, K–12 education reform, and some of the world's greatest contemporary art museums.
The Art of Being Unreasonable shares the unreasonable principles—from negotiating to risk-taking, from investing to hiring—that have made Eli Broad a success. From understanding "the value of being second" to embracing the thrill of taking a risk, Broad shares the insights and practices that have propelled him to the top. The book explains how to ask unreasonable questions, pursue the untried, relentlessly revise expectations upward, be restless, and most important, seek out the best in everything—the best values, the best investments, the best people—and the best in yourself.
If you're stuck doing what reasonable people do—and not getting anywhere—it's time to get unreasonable, and see how far your next endeavor can go.
About the Author
Eli Broad is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and the founder of two Fortune 500 companies, KB Home and SunAmerica. He is an internationally known art collector and museum patron and has been profiled on 60 Minutes, in Vanity Fair, and in the New York Times for his role in the creation of Los Angeles cultural institutions, including the Frank Gehry–designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and The Broad, a new contemporary art museum he and his wife Edythe are building in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. He and his wife have been the driving force behind a genomic medicine research powerhouse—the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT—and three stem cell research centers in California. He is a life trustee on the boards of MOCA, LACMA, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York and is regent emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution.
Table of Contents
Foreword MICHAEL BLOOMBERG
1 The Art of Being Unreasonable 1
2 Why Not? The Powerful Question 7
3 Forget Conventional Wisdom 14
4 Do Your Homework No Matter How Much Time It Takes 23
5 The Value of Being Second 31
6 How to Work 24/7 and Still Get 8 Hours of Sleep 38
7 Bright and Young Is a Winning Combination 44
8 Risk 53
9 How to Get Results 58
10 Leverage 64
11 Marketing 71
12 Investing 79
13 Negotiation 85
14 The Logic of Being Logical 94
15 I Ain't Nothing but a Hound Dog 100
16 Is That the Best You Can Do? Motivating People by Challenging Them 109
17 Competition 116
18 It's Better to Be Respected Than Loved 124
19 Giving Back 133
20 Education: Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste 139
21 The Unreasonableness of Art and Artists 147
22 Reflections and Second Thoughts 156
Appendix Eli Broad Career Highlights 166