We have all met unreasonable people in our lives. Some of us have even been called unreasonable—or worse. But if ever there’s been someone qualified to write a book on being unreasonable, it is Eli Broad. And if ever there’s been a time when we need more people to be unreasonable—in business, philanthropy, and especially government—it’s right now.
Eli Broad’s life is a great American story, not only because it is a story of hard work and success, but because it’s a story of dreams—of pushing into new frontiers and believing that the impossible can be achieved. That’s what Eli has done throughout his life, and it’s why he has accomplished as much as he has. But this book is less about what Eli has done and more about how he has done it.
I first met Eli some 30 years ago, back when I was just starting my own company. Eli had already built a Fortune 500 company from scratch, KB Home—and he would go on to build a second: SunAmerica. Maybe the second time is easier, but I doubt it. Building a company is an all-consuming undertaking that requires an enormous amount of dedication, an unflagging belief in your idea, and plenty of good luck. But to me, the fact that he built a second Fortune 500 company is less impressive than the fact that he set out to do it in the first place. Plenty of other people would have kicked back and enjoyed an early retirement. Not Eli. He wanted to continue building—and he had the guts to try to do it in an entirely different industry. ...