The Power of Potential

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

by Tom D'Eri

On Sale: 01/24/2023

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

“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.”

— Seth Godin, Author of This is Marketing


Discover how supporting employees 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, it was struggling. 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. Over 500,000 cars a year drive away sparkling. Rising Tide has become a media darling, featured on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, and in magazines including Entrepreneur, National Geographic, and Forbes.

Why so much hoopla over a successful car wash? Roughly 80 percent of Rising Tide’s workforce consists of people with autism. While part of the success comes from their mission, that doesn’t explain the excellence that permeates every aspect of the business: service quality, customer experience, teamwork, management, and organizational design. Put any aspect of the D’Eris’ operation against other businesses, and you’ll find they have the edge.

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 unconventional staff, the Rising Tide team was able to discover and correct common problems that typically fly under the radar in businesses. By spotting and correcting these hidden problems, any business, with any kind of workers, can achieve unexpected wins and leave average behind. The common problems include:

  • 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

To our surprise, solving the four problems changed who we were as a company. The result was four unexpected wins that added up to a culture of excellence—but leadership is needed to reinforce what matters.

  • Every Employee Feels Safe
  • Accountability is a Tool for Growth
  • Your Work Has Purpose
  • Customers Love Their Experience


'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.'

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

'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.'

'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.'

'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
  • On Sale: 01/24/2023
  • Pages: 256
  • List Price: $28.99
  • Trim Size: 161.000mm x 236.000mm x 25.000mm
  • Category 1 : BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Entrepreneurship
  • Category 2 : SOCIAL SCIENCE / People with Disabilities
  • Category 3 : BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Motivational
  • Category 4 : BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Leadership