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Summary

The inspiring, unlikely, laugh-out-loud story of how one woman learned to lead - and how she ultimately succeeded, not despite her many mistakes but because of them.

This is the story of how Kristen Hadeed built Student Maid, a cleaning company where people are happy, loyal, productive, and empowered, even while they're mopping floors and scrubbing toilets. It's the story of how she went from being an almost comically inept leader to a sought-after CEO who teaches others how to lead.

Hadeed unintentionally launched Student Maid while attending college 10 years ago. Since then, Student Maid has employed hundreds of students and is widely recognized for its industry-leading retention rate and its culture of trust and accountability. But Kristen and her company were no overnight sensation. In fact they were almost nothing at all.

Along the way Kristen got it wrong almost as often as she got it right. Giving out hugs instead of feedback, fixing errors instead of enforcing accountability, and hosting parties instead of cultivating meaningful relationships were just a few of her many mistakes. But Kristen's willingness to admit and learn from those mistakes helped her give her people the chance to learn from their own screwups too.

Permission to Screw Up dismisses the idea that leaders and organizations should try to be perfect. It encourages people of all ages to go for it and learn to lead by acting rather than waiting or thinking. Through a brutally honest and often hilarious account of her own struggles, Kristen encourages us to embrace our failures and proves that we'll be better leaders when we do.

©2017 Kristen Hadeed (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What members say

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My new go to resource on humane & effective leadership

A really wonderful, engaging and insightful book on leadership. Whether you’re an experienced leader who has studied the theory, got the t shirt etc, or brand new to leadership, or starting up a new venture if your own, this book will help your thinking, and I hope, inspire you. I listened on Audible and my commute was transformed. Kristen is a great story teller, really bringing to life her ‘screw ups’ and the deep learning that followed. So much of her success is her people focus and the attention she has paid to relationships, values and honest feedback. She shares her insights generously and and also attributes and thanks the others who have helped along the way. I am already boring anyone who will listen to me with my recommendation to read or listen to this book. I’m delivering a 2 hour overview on leadership theory imminently - no mean feat! This is one of 4 books I am specifically referencing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Inspiring and entertaining tales of leadership

Refreshingly candid and open tales from leadership that are both inspiring and entertaining in equal measure.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wow!

If you want to learn then this is a great book to listen to. Game changer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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INSPIRING

Amazing life changing story already helped me so much in our business and my personal life THANK YOU SO MUCH !

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Transformational

A refreshing story of leadership. Regardless of whether you are a seasoned leader or starting life, this honest and engaging book is well worth your time.

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My favourite Audible listen to date! Loved this honest account of failure and perseverance.

I am a business owner who has made many mistakes along the way. It’s very easy to feel alone and singularly crap at what you are doing as there is no manual handed out when you start your own business. And then, if things go well, there is the growth phase to navigate! I loved this book. Kristen has written so candidly about her experiences as an entrepreneur and I’ve not read any book like it. She herself says towards the end of the book that she only ever found business books that spoke of success - nobody seems to want to focus on what goes wrong. She herself didn’t set out to write a book on failure but when reviewing her first draft it didn’t feel right to her. I am so glad she did because even though my business has nothing to do with cleaning, so many of the struggles and mistakes she recounts are relatable. Hiring. Performance management. Money management. Motivating employees. Company culture. The importance of mentors. This was absolutely my kind of business book. I’ve read many books by entrepreneurs I just couldn’t find kinship with. If you enjoyed Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh you will probably like this too.

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Very insightful, felt like it ended too soon

Listened to the whole book in one day while on my travels. The story was engaging and insightful. Interestingly enough she references Tony Hseih of Zappos and his book delivering happiness while I finished yesterday so tied in together nicely

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An authentic, often hilarious look at leadership

If you listen to one leadership book listen to this one. A honest and heart warming look at one amazing leader's journey.

The book I'd wish I'd read twenty years ago before starting my company.

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  • MR
  • 04-07-18

Wow just wow

One of the best audio books I have listened to in years an amazing story and a very easy listen

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Raw, honest, approachable.

Leadership from an emotional human perspective. Such a refreshing book! Must read from an employee to CEO. Thank you Kristen!

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  • Ashley R
  • 13-10-17

Everything I Needed as a Millennial Manager

This book was everything I needed at just the right time. In the midst of struggling to find a way to align my leadership goals with a “behind the times” company culture, I was starting to doubt myself and my mission. After hearing Kristen’s story and being able to identify with the majority of it in one way or another, I feel like I have been able to refocus on what truly matters to me as a leader. Leadership is incredibly difficult when you are saddled with the title and responsibilities of [insert title of influence here]. No wonder so many seniors/executives have lost their leadership paths in a jungle of conflicting organizational cultures. Simon pointed out that people pulled out their notepads and listened when Kristen spoke; as they should. What she has to say is absolutely invaluable for all levels of an organization. Particularly for those who have lost their way. I am so glad she decided to share her screw ups with the rest of us. Thank you, Kristen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • katie
  • 13-02-18

Truth will out as great leaders say!

I’m glad Kristen threw out those first easy chapters she wrote and willingly rewrote them again and agin until she delivered this poignant book about life and leadership. To be a good leader one has to be willing to evolve and change not for ones own sake but for those they lead and Kristen demonstrates that over and over again through her trials and tribulations as she grows her business. The fact that she has come to realize that part of growing is also letting and wanting to see others leave and follow their passion to find the same happiness and success speaks volumes. I have been in leadership for many years and sometimes I have been blessed to have leaders like her guiding me and teaching me and other times not so lucky, but yet in those times I still learned and was able to grow and be more wise when choosing my next opportunity. I thank her for her honesty and applaud her for courage to be a force of change in the landscape of leadership that still has a lot of room to improve. For anyone who is looking for reinforcement and confirmation that being a leader is better than just managing your team is the way to achieve success, I highly recommend Kristen’s book.

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  • Customer
  • 12-01-18

Easy to listen to!

Kristin is so pleasant and easy to listen to. Hearing her story is almost like sitting down and listening to a story narrated by a friend. Her lessons learned are indispensable and her openness to admit her mistakes is refreshing . This book is deafly something that all leaders and future leaders need to read!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-09-18

Great story of growing a business and people

Inspiring story of someone who knows people are the most important product and that you can believe this and still kick butt professionally.

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  • P L
  • 29-08-18

Great read

I truly enjoyed hearing an honest story about success without all the fluff. The cherry on top is that you could feel every word since it was read by the author. I truly truly appreciate the level of transparency, Thank you Kristen for telling your truth

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  • Amanda Beloy
  • 21-08-18

A Must Read!

Loved every minute of this book. I loved it so much that I listened to it twice in the same week! I'm buying a copy for every team member.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-08-18

I think this is the best book I've read all year

I love this book can't say enough good about it I hope she writes Again

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-07-18

Great book

It is a great book with many great stories. Very inspiring. I'm sure will listen to this book over and over again from time to time.

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  • Goze2elevin
  • 08-07-18

Highly Recommended

The lessons from each story were structured in a straightforward manner. Many of her accomplishments came out of being able to identify feedback (screwing up), interpreting the feedback in an honest way (this is what caused the screw up) and responding to the feedback (making adjustments). Those concepts are explored more deeply in the book PEAK: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson.

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  • Billy D
  • 05-07-18

wow!

so eye opening. can't wait to translate my ah ha moments to my team! Thanks!