The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking

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Overview

"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
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The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking

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Overview

"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

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  • The Art of Being Unreasonable
    The Art of Being Unreasonable  

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Billionaire philanthropist Broad, who has built two Fortune 500 companies, serves up a lifetime of business lessons. This memoir/business primer is not of the warm, avuncular variety, but readers will sense the author's presence on the page, as if he were making eye contact, ensuring that readers are listening and understanding. In discreet, bite-sized chapters, Broad dispenses plenty of down-home, commonsensical business practice, all surrounded by an aura of pride, yet mercifully free of moony sentimentality. The author started out as an accountant, then moved into homebuilding before tackling retirement savings investment. Broad stresses a fairly simple approach, noting that his achievements have been driven by a combination of traits: a high degree of focus, commitment, a willingness to conduct serious research (no shortcuts), exercising the art of being effectively unreasonable, and always asking "why not" as an effective antidote to received opinion: "It's a question that helps sharpen my convictions and break down my unexamined prejudices." What singles out this book is Broad's applicable advice: how to pitch to the right person, how to manage risk, the value of being the second mover, to "never bet the farm--or even half the farm." The author explains how to tender a sound offer, substitute praise with a raise and higher expectations, and never abandon principles for power. He speaks to the intangibles--luck--and he details the tough stuff: hard work, sacrifice, the sting of time lost that might have been spent with family. In meaningful, attention-worthy ways, Broad wisely distributes mental habits and daily practices that have made him a happy, successful man.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118173213
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 164,558
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet 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.

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Table of Contents

Foreword MICHAEL BLOOMBERG ix

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

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    I loved the book, and found it difficult to put down. Read the e

    I loved the book, and found it difficult to put down. Read the entire book in almost one day! It was informative, thought-provoking, and useful to the soon-to-be or seasoned entrepreneur. As you make your way to the end of the book, you see a snapshot of a man with a no-nonsense vision for details, who has also learned the importance of learning from mistakes. Buy the book, you will not be disappointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Self-made multibillionaire Eli Broad personifies the American Dr

    Self-made multibillionaire Eli Broad personifies the American Dream. Philanthropist, entrepreneur and founder of two Fortune 500 companies, Broad is the son of Jewish-Lithuanian immigrants who owned a Christmas theme store, though they did not celebrate Christmas and had no prior retail experience. In this autobiography, Broad attributes his accomplishments to his “unreasonableness,” thoroughness and gutsy style. He explains how he made his fortune and offers tips on management and investing. Broad paints his personal story in bright primary colors with the simplest brush strokes, but he’s glad to teach you how to get ahead in life and business. getAbstract recommends his saga to ambitious entrepreneurs, managers and investors.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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