The Power of Potential

How a Nontraditional Workforce Can Lead You to Run Your Business Better

by Tom D'Eri

On Sale: 2023-01-24

Price: $28.99

Book Summary

Tom D’Eri started Rising Tide Car Wash with his father John as a way to find meaningful employment for people with autism like his brother, Andrew. What the employees taught Tom about running a business will astound us all.

About the Book

“A powerful, game-changing book. Tom's approach is changing lives.”

— Seth Godin, Author of This is Marketing

Discover how supporting employment for people with autism unlocked new ways of running a business—and revealed transformative lessons for all of us.

Rising Tide Car Wash in Parkland, Florida, isn’t average in any way. When Tom D’Eri and his father John bought the location in 2013, they wanted to create employment opportunities for workers with autism. Like 1 in 54 Americans, Tom’s brother Andrew has autism, and he was facing lifelong unemployment. So the family set out on a mission to provide professional opportunities for people like Andrew, starting with one car wash. Now it’s one of the highest-volume washes in Florida. Its employee retention rate is five times that of its competitors. It has spun off into two additional locations that have been immediately successful, and the business is absurdly profitable.

The Power of Potential tells the inspiring, surprising reason why: The wash’s excellence isn’t in spite of their unusual workforce, but because of it. Thanks to their neurodivergent staff, the Rising Tide team was able to discover and correct common problems that typically fly under the radar in businesses, including:

  • You hire based on interviews
  • You think great talent is the secret to a great business
  • Your managers are “good enough”
  • You fire your worst employees

By spotting and correcting these hidden problems, any business—with any kind of workers—can achieve unexpected wins and leave average behind. At Rising Tide, solving these problems resulted in four unexpected wins that added up to a culture of excellence:

  • Every employee felt safe
  • Accountability became a tool for growth
  • Everyone’s work gave them a sense of purpose
  • Customers loved their experience


'Everybody who is interested in getting people with autism employed in a job that gives them a sense of purpose should read this book.'

'One of the top ten businesses books of 2023. The book goes way beyond a story of one business that is so exhilarating and stimulating you'll want to tell it to friends and colleagues. It ultimately provides essential advice for every manager in business, nonprofits, and government. The advice on hiring alone will have you hiring art teachers to engineers and nurses--in half the time with double your success.'

'This is a powerful, game-changing book, a book for anyone who has ever built a hiring process or managed a team. Tom's approach is changing lives.'

'This provocative, informative, and engaging book contains the seeds of a revolution--an inclusive future in which businesses unlock the hidden potential of employees with autism and other neurodivergent conditions by redesigning onboarding processes and creating opportunities for them to shine. It's a template for a society in which everyone is given the best chance of success.'

'Tom's account of how he built Rising Tide Car Wash and the lessons he learned from hiring and managing a non-traditional workforce is riveting. Read it and learn how to overcome some of the most entrenched problems that hold companies back from scaling.'

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781400228850
  • ISBN 10: 1400228859
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Leadership
  • On Sale: 2023-01-24
  • Pages: 256
  • List Price: $28.99
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Leadership
  • Publication Date: 2023-01-24
  • Category 1 : SOCIAL SCIENCE / People with Disabilities
  • Category 2 : FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Category 3 : BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Entrepreneurship
  • Category 4 : BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Motivational
  • Category 5 : BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Leadership