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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
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.
Whereas the perfect 20/20 vision of hindsight, delivered in a brilliant to-the-point format of a book, might make the answer to the question seem obvious (of course I would have backed him, he was a genius!), the here and now is always infinitely more difficult. And that's the beauty of the success of The Outsiders, William Thorndike's masterpiece; waved around today as a blueprint for capital allocation prowess and corporate stewardship, at different points in time all eight CEOs portrayed in the book have been considered to be utterly insane, with share-prices lingering at Graham-type valuations. KB Homes and Eli Broad, while not one of the eight Outsiders, were no exception.Read more ›
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 5 months 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 6 months ago by JCB
Great book. Shows hard work and integrity pays off . Broad is amazing having conquered dyslexia and run 2 Fortune 500 companiesPublished 18 months ago by Shankar Subramanian