Ask "Why Not?" More Often To Drive Greater Success

Early on in Eli Broad's book, The Art of Being Unresaonable, he reminds us of the power of a child's instinctive asking, "Why not?"  Unfortunately, most adults lose that habit and Broad goes on to explain that it was his continuing to ask "Why not?" throughout his career that brought him success.

"The questions you're willing to ask when others think they have all the answers are doors to discovery," says Broad.

Other words of wisdom from the book, and my favorite takeaways, include:
  • Most successful businesses have to begin by bucking conventional wisdom.  Invention and innovation don't happen without it.
  • Do your homework no matter how much time it takes.
  • Big ideas don't happen in a moment.
  • You can't do it all yourself, so ask questions and delegate.
  • The trick to delegating is to make sure your employees share your priorities.
  • Find the best people to whom you can delegate, and know their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Younger employees simply have fewer preconceived ideas of what they can and can't do.  Try to widen their perspective, deepen their sense of accomplishment, and build their capacity.
  • No matter how much money your customers have, they still want value.
  • The best way to mentor is to challenge people and then to set an example by letting them see you in action.
  • When you challenge people to dig deep and do more and better than even they imagined they could, it creates a particular bond.
  • Show me a person with an unblemished track record, and I'll show you a person who has dramatically underachieved.
Broad's book, subtitled, Lessons in Unconventional Thinking, is well worth the read.

Broad is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and the founder of two Fortune 500 companies -- KB Home and SunAmerica.


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