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The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking Hardcover – May 8, 2012
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From the Inside Flap
"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.
From the Back Cover
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
More About the Author
Today, Eli Broad and his wife, Edythe, are devoted to philanthropy as founders of The Broad Foundations, which they established to advance entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science and the arts. The Broad Foundations, which include The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and The Broad Art Foundation, have assets of $2.4 billion.
His first book, "The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking," was published by Wiley in April 2012.
The Broads reside in Los Angeles and have two grown sons.
Learn more: www.elibroad.com
Like Eli Broad on Facebook: www.facebook.com/elibroad
Follow Eli Broad on Twitter: @unreasonableeli
Top Customer Reviews
Read it in a day, found it to be a fun and inspirational page-turner. One of the reasons I enjoyed this book is that he is an incredibly successful man who doesn't theorize about life - he just went out and did it. Think that a lot of the things he wrote in the book can help everyone be more critical with their time, and also more giving.
One of the favorite quotes from the book:
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends upon the unreasonable man." - George Bernard Shaw
Here are some things I personally took away/learned from the book:
1. Help people meet their essential needs
2. Be unreasonable
3. Research, meticulously
4. Appeal to the interest of others
5. Ask a lot of questions
6. Revise expectations upward
7. Take risks
8. Seek out the best in your work
9. Seek the best in yourself
10. Be focused in your goals
11. Ask: "why not?"
12. "Conventional wisdom abhors innovation."
13. Keep innovating, keep moving!
14. Learn from the mistakes of others in history
15. Be stingy with your time
16. Delegate work efficiently (but do critical work yourself)
17. Put your money where your mouth is
18. Invest in solid mutual funds (don't do it yourself)
19. Focus on assymetric opportunities (when the payoff is higher than the downside)
20. Diversify or die
21. Ask people: "Is this the best you can do?"
22.Read more ›
Instead, Broad's book is a memoir. It's well written, brief, and easy to read.
But I didn't pick this book up because I was interested in his life story. I could've found that on the internet. For that, I can't give his heavily marketed book more than two stars.
Perhaps it's just my recent mindset but after reading two books (this one included) by business successes that were glossed over and lacked much real depth I'm done with the genre before reading a lot of reviews beforehand. Contrast many of these books with Jack Welch's Winning, in which we learn amazing insight into business, and these other books lack substance.
On the positive, Broad sprinkles in a few facts about his life, which one might guess is very interesting. The book is easy to read, uses simple language and is well organized. He gets the third star for the wonderful way he speaks about his wife (I was genuinely touched).
On the negative, there just isn't a lot of here here. Do you need to be told to take risk if you want to be a big success? To set high standards and work long hours? Broad claims to be "unreasonable" but doesn't really define the term in his own context or why it lead to his success (or perhaps he just means high standards, long hours, etc = unreasonable = success). For example, he mentions that Frank Gehry was designing his own personal residence, that didn't work out and then Broad had to cooperate with him in the building of Walt Disney Hall (Gehry designed it). There must be a very interesting story in that clash - you won't find it in here.
I actually wish I hadn't paid for this book but, again to be fair, it's a very quick, light easy read so not a big commitment. I just wish I'd learned something valuable. But to be fair, my expectations of what I was getting tainted my reading experience (it wasn't the book I thought it would be) so hopefully this review will clarify the contents for those interested.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a very easy read, but the wisdom contained within comes from one of the best businessmen ever.Published 11 days ago by R. Wittig
Boring book written by a man that claims that he innovated when in fact he minimized. As someone that lives near much of his work, I can say that I think his efforts served to... Read morePublished 13 days ago by JCB
Great book. Shows hard work and integrity pays off . Broad is amazing having conquered dyslexia and run 2 Fortune 500 companiesPublished 12 months ago by Shankar Subramanian