The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking

The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking

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by Eli Broad
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781118173213
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
05/08/2012
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
601,217
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

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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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