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The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking

The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking

Eli Broad, Michael R. Bloomberg (Foreword by)

ISBN: 978-1-118-23997-1

Apr 2012

208 pages



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.


Acknowledgments xiii

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

Index 178