A just company creates a win-win in business. Many businesses focus on the numbers. The bottomline seems to be the primary indicator of success. However, lisa wise has not just learned but implemented first-hand the truth that businesses and business leaders who redefine business success-adjusting their focus away from profit and onto their people and those in their communities-see business soar.
Self-Elected is lisa's personal testament to the power of abundance and the profitable outcomes that occur when business leaders embrace social entrepreneurship, investing in their people, in their communities and in causes that matter to them and their customers. Part memoir, part business guide, and part manifesto, Self-Elected invites readers to explore the convergence of social justice and profit and uncover the secret sauce to business success-and it is people. People connect with people. People buy from people. People have the opportunity to serve people.
She knows because she's lived it and built a business from it. lisa wise shares her deeply personal story about being a child left behind, and how that beginning, coupled with an intuitive knack for entrepreneurship, evolved into an intense desire to build security for herself and others. This work is both personal and practical in nature, providing budding entrepreneurs and those who want to revisit their business models with concrete recommendations for centering their companies in justice without ceding profits. It includes an array of research and case studies to build a compelling argument that prioritizing people and place is the truest path not only to financial success, but to a more equitable and just society. Self-Elected is the story of how one woman who grew up with housing insecurity went on to build a thriving family of property management companies, all while flipping the traditional scarcity-based business model on its head.
The old way of tackling business isn't the only way, and it may not be the best way. Customers utilize their purchasing power to align with companies that are in lockstep with their personal values. Proactively and consistently communicating a company's values-and actively living them out in not just how their business interacts with its customers but also, and more importantly, with its employees-is a business' differentiator.
To stand out requires businesses to stand up for social justice, and in doing so, their customers, their teams and their communities will be on board, supporting and investing along the way. Businesses have a corporate social responsibility and a charge to make a difference for the greater good.
Don't look for the change; become it. The spirit of Self-Elected and the cornerstone of lisa's book is the humbling and empowering realization that we shouldn't wait for things to change. Instead, we should step into our own power to make change happen when and where it can. In businesses specifically, leaders have the opportunity to focus on what is possible rather than what is, and in the process, create companies that are win-win for all. Stop waiting. Stop looking. The answer isn't out there; it's inside each person. It's time to self-elect.
"The history of America is filled with contradictions. Inspiration and desperation. Patriotism and racism. Extreme wealth and poverty. What makes Self-Elected such an excellent book is that Lisa's story is an authentic look at one person's journey navigating those contradictions. Most importantly, her book creates the permission for leaders to celebrate the obstacles we've beaten and recognize the privileges that may have played an outsized role in overcoming them. Read Self-Elected if you are ready to go beyond profits and leverage your business to push for a more equitable America."
- Scott Case, founding CTO of priceline.com + Chair of Network for Good
"Individuals who desire to venture into social impact entrepreneurship often struggle with the misconception that you won't make much money creating a mission-driven business. Others battle with the guilt that you shouldn't make money since zero-sum theory has paralyzed some to believe that revenue means taking away from others you serve. I hope you grant yourself the permission to read Self-Elected by Lisa Wise and take part in a community that believes in a positive-sum change. A belief that everyone wins when companies are positioned based on the core values of sharing profits, valuing employees, and serving communities. Wise reminds us that purpose means profit-for all."
- Joanna Ha Yean Shin, Architecture + Human Rights, Project Manager Real Estate Development - APAH
"If you're frustrated with the state of the world, find yourself wondering what went wrong, or feel stumped about how you can still make a meaningful difference here in the 21st century, read Lisa Wise's wonderful new book! You'll get an inside look at how she turns life lessons in landladying, Lean management, and social justice into practical lessons that she turned into a ground-breaking, purpose-driven, systems-focused, still profitable, community-based business. If you read Lisa's book you'll be able to turn her teachings into a difference-making organization of your own! Her practical, powerful, and purposeful lessons are applicable in every walk of life! If the world were led by women like Lisa Wise, this would be a far more caring, more collaborative, and more creative planet!"
- Ari Weinzweig, CEO of Zingerman's