When Kristen Hadeed posted an ad on Craigslist offering to clean houses her junior year of college, conveniently for the same price as a pair of jeans she fancied, she didn’t think it would lead to starting and growing her own company, Student Maid. Since then, Student Maid has employed hundreds of students and is widely recognized for its industry-leading retention rate and its culture of trust, accountability, and compassion.
PERMISSION TO SCREW UP (Portfolio; 10/10/17) is the laugh-out-loud, inspiring story about how Kristen learned to lead, not despite her mistakes, but because of them. As she took her business from living-room-based startup to local powerhouse, Kristen made almost every mistake in the book: giving out hugs instead of feedback, fixing employee errors instead of enforcing accountability, and throwing parties instead of cultivating meaningful relationships. But, when things weren’t working and failure seemed imminent, Kristen turned her problems into opportunities to learn and grow.
PERMISSION TO SCREW UP follows Kristen’s journey to build a company in which people are happy, loyal, productive, and empowered—even while scrubbing toilets. Though she started as an almost comically inept boss, Kristen is now a sought-after CEO who teaches others how to lead by rejecting perfection and embracing mistakes. And a decade later, Student Maid is thriving.
“A brave and generous book, the ideal antidote to the perfection and invulnerability we pretend are essential to succeed.” —Seth Godin, author of Linchpin and Tribes
“If you’re looking for the sunshine and rainbows version of success, this isn’t the story for you. If you’re looking for the down-to-earth, nitty-gritty, honest journey of a leader, proceed to chapter 1.”
—Susan Cain, author of Quiet
“Permission to Screw Up pulls back the curtains and reveals what it’s really like to be a leader—a must read for anyone who wants to start a company. Kristen isn’t afraid to own up to the mistakes she’s made along the way, and encourages us to do the same.” —Kip Tindell, cofounder and chairman of The Container Store
“As a fellow entrepreneur and CEO, I say hallelujah to one of us finally admitting out loud that despite the success, most of us get it wrong more than we get it right. Kristen tells the truth in such an entertaining and informative way, that anyone contemplating starting a business or leading a team will no doubt be inspired after reading this book.”—Raegan Moya-Jones, cofounder and CEO of Aden + Anais
"Boooom! Kristen Hadeed is a bona fide millennial badass. Her story is an inspiring read for anyone who's got the guts and tenacity to be a high impact leader. This book is a master class on how to create a brilliant culture that drives big results."—Sarah Robb O’Hagan, CEO of Flywheel Sports and author of Extreme You
Kristen Hadeed is the founder and CEO of Student Maid, a cleaning company that hires students. She spends much of her time helping organizations across the country improve their own workplace cultures. This is her first book. She lives in Gainesville, Florida.
More at www.kristenhadeed.com and www.studentmaid.com.
Cleaning Business Today is a publication of Tom Stewart and Derek Christian, who also partner in Castle Keepers, one of the fastest growing professional house cleaning services in the US.