• Bubble
  • Bubble
  • Line
The Art of Being Unreasonable - Book Review
Andrei Clinciu Article AUthor
Andrei Clinciu
  • 2019-04-06T09:38:00Z
  • 6 min to read

My Recommendation: 5/10

If you're into stories written by a billionaire then consider reading "The Art of Being Unreasonable by Eli Broad".
The following is a summary from my notes combined with my vision and comments.

Conventional wisdom keeps people from attempting to do anything. It's extremely important to do research, analyze and come to your own conclusions.
Entrepreneurship and success depend on proper thinking.
It's a fact that in your early stages you will be mostly solitary. When you'll reach success everyone will be around to share it with you.

Seek out the best in everything!

Ask Why not?

Why Not? Is a powerful question. Re-framing the facts in different ways. Redefining the status quo to reach a richer life, on a spiritual, mental and social path.
Eli Broad gives us this great advice which seems to have been adopted by great minds.
It's actually advised to forget conventional wisdom. By asking Why not? we can gain unconventional insights. Innovation is a permanent revolution.

Doing your homework no matter how much time it takes! Don't waste time on searching shortcuts. They're always dead ends. Although he didn't mention it, "get fast quick" schemes are popular due to the fact that people are lazy. Pay attention to history, present, and past. What you're comfortable with is not what you're good at.
Always try to run a better company, become more efficient. Big ideas require time and nurturing.

You can't do it all yourself. By asking questions and delegating you can always know what's going on.
This is why I've developed my Business Efficiency service to help companies become more efficient.

There is something I agree with to a certain point with Eli: The value of being second
First movers are eaten by latecomers in business. Follow the smart first movers. The market evolves, first movers can't or just won't keep up with innovation. Small Companies that are innovative are bought by larger corporations which aren't as flexible. Thus they always leave some room. You just need to find it and keep innovating. Improve, sharpen, evolve!

How to work 24/7 and still get 8 hours of sleep

This chapter talks about protecting your time. A theme I've encountered in most books/courses about time management.
Saying "Let's move on!" when you feel you're on the verge of wasting your time.
Then when someone has already wasted your time ask "Anything else?"
Be stingy about your time! Avoid procrastination.

Never stay anywhere be it a party, museum, or a meeting longer than 3 hours. Leave when you reach the 3-hour limit. Getting a peaceful time away from the office. Although Eli didn't mention why, I understood this statement. Creativity and innovation need time so that your subconscious works on a solution. It's called the incubation period.

Know what you have to do. It's usually less than you think. By taking control of your actions you will know what you must do.
Setting priorities is a discipline, not rigidity. By doing the crucial you can automate anything redundant. Delegate everything else.
Never interrupt what you're doing for the intrusion of another task. Make it clear what qualifies as an emergency. Get goals accomplished through delegation and get proper feedback.
Say "Let's move on" to everyone!
By protecting your time you're actually protecting everyone's time.

Bright and young is a winning combination

Eli seems to prefer to capture bright, young and talented people over experienced ones. If the interviewee has drive, confidence, and ambition then he'll ask questions.
By promising such people growth they will put in the hard work and will reach your high expectations. Challenge and reward build loyalty.

Motivating people by challenging them by asking "Is that the best you can do?"
It seems that high expectations and shared challenges create loyalty. This is better than praise and money.
Fear is a bad motivator because it creates unhappy employees and poor work.

How to get results

Persuade people in an artfully unreasonable way. Make sound promises and offer something in return. Always make promises you can keep.
Ask for help at their homes when they're in their comfort zone. Be committed to your ideas. Others will follow your good pitch.

In the chapter about Leverage (buying on credit) he had too many personal stories without making it interesting and providing clear steps.
Eli Broad started bragging about fundraising and his accomplishments in almost every chapter. Which at one point became boring. From my point of view, the book could have been summarized in 1/2 of pages.
I guess this book is more of a personal history of his.


Project confidence and focus on what customers want. Focus on value. Make what you're selling matter from the name and slogan down. Selling a cause is more than conviction.
Life always gives us asymmetrical opportunities. And picking an advisor for investments and innovation is important.
This is exactly what I'm helping business do through a Personalized Marketing Experience service.


Andrei's note: It's funny to read negotiation tips and advice from someone who spent $23.000.000 on a freakin' sculpture!

Give people choices. Make fair offers and keep emotions under control, take other party's interest under consideration. Calculate costs, overhead, and profit on beforehand. stick to the offer and be fair!
Never be afraid to ask during negotiation. "Is that the best you can do?"
stay unemotional and disciplined. Stand your ground and avoid pushback. Keep your eyes open on the endgame prize. Don't let anything distract you.


Persistence produces big payoffs. Know when to quit and when to focus on other projects to avoid wasting money, time and resources.
Set a limit on what you're willing to expend just as in negotiation.

When talking about Risk there is always these questions to ask ourselves:
What do I have to lose? (If I do or Don't do it?)
What's the worst that can happen?

Whether you succeed or fail keep moving.

It's better to be respected than loved

Not counting on what people think of you is a feat. Being respected is always better than being loved.
Hold yourself to high standards. Expect the same from everyone else. Treat people fairly and get things done.

Disagreement is healthy! Learn how to distinguish it from dissent. (This made me think of Rene Brown's books including Dare to Lead)
There are many ways to get somewhere, disagreeing over how. Be in charge and end the debate on time.
Focus on a mission and get it done. Don't back down.
If the circumstances aren't great then get up and walk away. Never wholly abandon what you believe in.
Don't become ensnared by ego's not even your own!

Conclusion and general thoughts

A lot of stories. Stories that repeated and more personal stories. IN the chapter about  competition he talked about architecture of some known buildings in LA. I expected something more real. What I enjoyed most was the part about Time Management. I've trully started to never spend more than 3 hours somewhere (except work of course). He did talk about marketing and negotiation however It felt forced when combined with various stories that didn't really have much to do with the point of selling!
Eli focuses on being unconventional and this is how he became a billionaire. He knew when to persist, how to protect his time and that being fair means a win for everyone.
Most of his stories focused on giving back to help change the world.

What do you think about the book by reading this review?

Check out other book reviews.

Photo by Marius Venter from Pexels

Ideas and comments

Andrei Clinciu
Andrei Clinciu

I'm a Full Stack Software Developer specializing in creating websites and applications which aid businesses to automate. Software which can help you simplify your life. Let's work together!

Building Great Software
The digital Revolution begins when you learn to automate with personalized software.

Find me on social media