The unexpected success story of one of today’s most inspiring young entrepreneurs, who succeeded not despite her mistakes but because of what she learned from them. Learn about success through her screw ups—and how getting your hands dirty is part of the process.
How do you turn a part-time job into the best job someone’s ever had? How do you get people to do the dirty work necessary to keep a business running—especially when the work is literally dirty—scrubbing toilets and mopping floors?
Kristen Hadeed built a cleaning business called Student Maid that college students now clamor to join. But to say that her company’s early years were a hot mess is an understatement. With no training or experience in managing a business, she had no idea how to encourage or inspire her team. And how do you get anyone—millennial or otherwise—excited to dust and vacuum? Her first year was a series of almost comic leadership mistakes, from extreme micromanagement to infuriating aloofness.
When 75 percent of her team quit on the same day, Hadeed realized she had to change her leadership style if she wanted her business to survive. She set out to give her people a reason to come to work, apart from the paycheck. She figured out how to help them feel trusted, empowered, and valued. And before long her team, and her company, were thriving. If it weren’t for the company’s policy that requires students to move on when they graduate, many would have stuck around. Instead, they go off to start their own companies and take highly sought-after positions in organizations around the world as a result of their experience at Student Maid.
Permission to Screw Up shows us all of Hadeed’s mistakes and what she’s learned from them, from leading by example, to the importance of mentorship, to fostering accountability, and showing compassion for others’ mistakes. The book blends the exciting story of Student Maid’s underdog success with insights that can inspire readers to become leaders in any environment. It proves that no matter how messy things get, we can always find opportunities to make them better. If it can happen in a cleaning company, what’s possible for you?