Broad Strokes: Five Key Leadership Lessons From Billionaire Eli Broad

Rick Wartzman

In his latest column for, Drucker Institute Executive Director Rick Wartzman writes about billionaire Eli Broad and his new book, The Art of Being Unreasonable.

When Peter Drucker died in 2005, Wartzman recounts, Broad “was among those who lavished praise on him, noting that the legendary management writer’s insights ‘seemed rather simple but, in fact, were very profound.’

“Today,” Wartzman adds, “the same thing might well be said of Broad, the founder of two Fortune 500 companies, an internationally renowned art collector and museum patron, and a celebrated philanthropist and civic leader. In his new book . . . Broad shares his own principles for success—nearly all of which are positively Drucker-like.”

Wartzman says that “scores of leadership, management and life lessons are sprinkled throughout” Broad’s book, but five are “especially powerful.” They are:

  1.  Forget conventional wisdom.
  2.  Don’t assume you know what business you’re in.
  3.  Try being second once in a while.
  4.  Delegate like crazy.
  5.  Beware of grand success.