The Art of Being Unreasonable | Eli Broad

Summary of: The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking
By: Eli Broad

Introduction

Unleash the untapped potential of unconventional thinking with Eli Broad’s ‘The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking’. This summary will guide you through Broad’s journey from his first home-building business, KB Home, to becoming a multibillionaire with successful ventures in insurance, philanthropy, and the arts. In this informative summary, you’ll glean insight into Broad’s philosophy on questioning conventional wisdom, embracing calculated risks, the significance of research and analysis, and the value of strategic investment. Get ready to unlock the secrets of being unreasonably productive and what it means to seek the true path to success in the face of skepticism.

Unreasonable Eli Broad

Eli Broad’s unusual approaches to life and business decisions have shaped him into the successful man he is today. From changing the pronunciation of his last name to convincing his future wife to marry him after just a few dates, Broad’s ability to make out-of-the-box decisions has served him well throughout his life. Broad’s determination to invest in his ventures led him to sell his wedding china, a decision supported by his wife. This proclivity for unreasonableness continues to shape his decisions, personal and professional, to this day.

The Unreasonable Man

Leonard Broad, a gifted accountant, founded KB Home by betting on unconventional houses without basements. He used his astute analysis of the local housing market and potential homebuyers to succeed in the rapidly expanding homebuilding market. Broad understood early on that the US was about to transform into a nation of homeowners, and he was sure he could excel where most other home construction firms were inefficient and poorly financed.

The Business Acumen of Eli Broad

Eli Broad, a successful businessman, acquired Sun Life Insurance Company of America to safeguard his real estate earnings in 1971. Applying his marketing concepts, he instructed Sun Life’s managers to achieve 20% annual growth, which they accomplished by expanding sales and profits through acquisitions, rivaling Merrill Lynch with an enormous broker network. Broad’s foresight to reorganize the company and focus on retirement savings with specialized fixed and variable annuities shifted the emphasis from life insurance. As a result, SunLife’s earnings beat its competitors by 2%-3% annually, holding the New York Stock Exchange’s best-performing stock from 1990 to 1998. Broad accumulated a multibillion-dollar fortune from his successful home construction firm and insurance company, outperforming Warren Buffett’s renowned umbrella company, Berkshire Hathaway. Broad’s philosophy of reframing insoluble issues by thinking everything is important and saying yes to every request from others will make 24 hours appear inadequate.

Eli Broad’s Business Wisdoms

Eli Broad is a successful entrepreneur with decades of experience and a passion for philanthropy. In his book, he shares his insights on how to succeed in business and make wise investments. Broad emphasizes the importance of being opportunistic, taking risks, and constantly learning. He advises entrepreneurs to focus on their passions and to surround themselves with competent individuals. Broad also advocates for a culture of philanthropy in business, stating that giving back is not only the right thing to do but also good for one’s reputation. Overall, Broad’s book is a valuable resource for anyone looking to advance their career or investment strategy.

The Advantages of Being Second

While being the first-mover in a market may seem desirable, the reality is that being second can be more profitable. First-movers carve out new territory, paving the way for competitors who can then improve on their initial efforts. This phenomenon can be seen in the easy replacement of Friendster by Facebook. In many cases, second movers are better positioned to adapt as markets evolve.

Building the Walt Disney Concert Hall

Learn how Eli Broad successfully raised over $200 million to fund the Walt Disney Concert Hall by enlisting the help of influential figures such as Andrea Van de Kamp, the head of the Los Angeles Music Center’s board, and Los Angeles mayor Dick Riordan. Through dealing with the right people right away, Broad ensured the project’s success, and today the Walt Disney Concert Hall is an architectural masterpiece that has become an iconic landmark of Los Angeles.

Know Your Customers

Learn from Eli Broad’s experience in the homebuilding business that selling products requires understanding your target customers’ needs, wants, purchasing power, and preferences. Research your market thoroughly, identify gaps in the market, and create unique value propositions. In Detroit, Broad discovered that providing affordable mortgage payments was key to attracting buyers. By meeting their needs, he sold 120 houses in his first year. Customers want products that are tailored to their lifestyle, budget, and preferences. Understanding this will help you build long-lasting relationships and lead to long-term success.

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