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Featuring You - Meet Author Lisa Gable

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

A worldwide crisis gave many that excelled at being in the public eye an opportunity to reflect inward, and the result ended up with many words of wisdom imparted we may never have been provided. Lisa Gable, renowned bestselling author, CEO, Entrepreneur, and philanthropist is one such person that took that “life-pause” to provide some important valuable insight. Learn more about Lisa and what she’s learned about what is most important here:

What inspired you to start writing?

The pandemic lockdowns allowed me to stay put and manage my time. I could exercise regularly and think. I realized people were struggling and needed support. My PR agent and publisher suggested I use this time to write a book, Turnaround: How to Change Course When Things Are Going South. The goal was to help organizations recover from the economic and mental health challenges caused by the lockdowns.

I focus on understanding people and their current problems in my writing. The aim is to assist individuals in overcoming difficulties and guide the next generation of leaders in solving complex issues. My writing is about positively impacting people's lives and helping future leaders grow.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing more actively in 2010, mainly publishing work-related articles that aligned with the goals of the organizations I led. After retiring in 2022, I have regularly written for media outlets such as the Diplomatic Courier, CEOWORLD, and SWAAY. My focus areas include foreign policy, women, leadership, and business innovation. Thanks to my diverse government, business, and philanthropy background, I can delve into current affairs while drawing on insights gained from interactions with world leaders, CEOs, and inspirational women. Writing allows me to share these observations and contribute to discussions on important topics.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

While I dabbled in the college newspaper, I truly embraced the identity of a writer in 2020. Despite being an avid speaker with regular engagements on TV, radio, podcasts, and keynotes, I began channeling my passion into the written word. A key factor is my desire to share the wisdom accumulated over a 40-year career, offering unique insights into the workings of large institutions and the individuals leading them.

A catalyst for this shift was my father's passing in 2019. My father’s death made me ponder how I could share the blessings I've received to help others positively impact the world. My loss prompted me to reflect on how people remembered him not for the institution he built but for his personal impact on their lives. This realization fueled my commitment to passing along valuable insights and contributing to the greater good.

What is your schedule like when you are writing?

I seem to have a knack for writing in my sleep because I often wake up at 5 AM and can immediately transform scattered thoughts from the week into a coherent article ready for publication. I maintained a strict schedule during the intense period of writing my book. Despite leading an organizational turnaround and raising funds during an economic downturn, I dedicated Saturdays and Sundays from 7 AM to 4 PM solely to writing, with no breaks except occasional laps in the pool to refresh my mind. [My husband was not fond of this process because I refused to talk to anyone during my writing hours!]

Remarkably, I completed the book in six months, with discipline and focus despite a demanding schedule.

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?

At first, I was not confident I could write a book. I had no prior experience. Collaborating with the editor felt like a professor-student dynamic. Initially, I expected her to make corrections and redline my work. However, instead, she provided insightful feedback, pointing out that certain sections lacked clarity and needed more stories and examples. It was a process of constant rewriting until she gave her approval.

Through this journey, she taught me the art of engaging readers and making them feel like I was speaking directly to them. Furthermore, she helped me refine my language, avoiding loftiness or a “preacher's voice" and ensuring a more relatable, human touch to my writing. The most surprising realization was the collaborative process with my editor improved the book's quality and transformed my approach to storytelling and communication.

Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

The book focuses on leadership and character, specifically on seven common problems behind every challenge, as outlined in the introduction, "The Turnaround Method".

My insights draw heavily from the lessons learned from my father and my early professional experiences at Intel Corporation. Emphasizing the significance of relationships, my father taught me that growth is a team sport, stressing the need to build a supportive network of individuals who bridge gaps across religion, countries, and political parties. Drawing from my mentor at Intel, I learned the critical role of process and instilling discipline to navigate challenging situations.

Can you share a snippet that isn’t in the blurb or excerpt?

“…when things start to blow up, discipline is critical to digging your way out. You need to examine your process carefully and understand what is working and can stay and what is not and needs to go. My turnaround method brings back this discipline of process engineering, but also adds another important element which I learned from my father: diplomacy…Combining kindness and grace, he listened to people and then worked with them to outline the major milestones that would help them achieve their objectives. He was thoughtful and always respectful.”

What do you want readers to take away from this book?

I want readers to ask themselves, “How do you want to be remembered?” Beyond just results, what you build and how you build it illustrates how you treat people, react to success or failure,

and who you lift with you along the way. That’s all part of the legacy you leave as a leader—kindness, humility, generosity, and results.

You may have never taken stock of how your actions have impacted the lives of others. Realize that you may never know how your actions benefit another.

But let positive engagement be your guiding light. It will drive your success.

About Lisa Gable

Lisa Gable is the WSJ and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the book, Turnaround: How to Change Course When Things are Going South and is recognized worldwide as a turnaround mastermind. As CEO of several organizations, and as a former Presidential appointee, US Ambassador, UN Delegate, and advisor to Fortune 500 companies, Lisa has orchestrated and executed the successful turnarounds of well-known private and public organizations in all industries and sectors. She is highly regarded in business, political, and philanthropic circles for her ability to tackle difficult issues directly and with discipline and diplomacy.

Lisa is the Chairperson of World in 2050, the futuristic think tank of the Diplomatic Courier Global Affairs Media Network and a Distinguished Fellow at the Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity, at SMU Lyle School of Engineering in Dallas, Texas.

Most recently Lisa served as the CEO of FARE, the world’s largest funder of food allergy research where she secured $100M in commitments over 3 years. Prior to leading FARE, she was a senior advisor at PepsiCo and President of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, a CEO-driven national initiative aimed at helping to reduce obesity.

In 2004, she was appointed by President George W. Bush as US Ambassador and Commissioner General to the 2005 Aichi World EXPO. Gable is the first woman in World’s Fair’s 170-year history to direct the U.S. Pavilion, a 100 percent non-federally funded $33.7 million operation.

Lisa was named one of the 10 Most Influential Business Leaders in 2022 by CXO Magazine. An entrepreneur and mentor, Lisa acts deliberately to move organizations and individuals toward their full potential. In the past, she served as the founding chair of the board of directors for the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World; has been a national trustee of the Boys and Girls Club of America and on the board of directors of Girls Scouts of the USA; a board of trustee of Thunderbird School of Management; a member of the National Academy of Medicine IOM Roundtable on Obesity Solutions; and board member of the Independent Women’s Forum. She is also a mentor in organizations such as Rare as One project, a Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and serves on the advisory boards of startups in the health and wellness space.

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