Permission to Screw Up

How I Learned to Lead by Doing (Almost) Everything Wrong

Publisher: Portfolio
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 ten 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.
 

READ AN EXCERPT

1 THE 45

It’s a hundred-degree day in the middle of a scorching Florida summer.     

I’m sitting in a comfy armchair, right smack in the middle of a beautifully decorated, air-conditioned apartment clubhouse where the residents congregate to play pool and watch football....
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PRAISE FOR

“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

Permission to Screw Up is incredibly inspiring. Thank you, Kristen, for having the courage to admit that you aren’t perfect and for reminding us that no one is. We can still get it wrong—a lot—and be considered a success. No matter where you are in life, I promise you will get something out of this book.”
Anne V, supermodel