The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking

Eli Broad

Wiley,  May 2012

"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

"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.

Hardcover | ISBN: 9781118173213 | Publication Date: May 2012


"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