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Publisher's 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

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars

The best book on leadership I've ever read!

Kirsten's story is raw, real and relatable. Her book made me laugh, cry and shared valuable lessons on leadership. This book is one of many leadership books I have read but it has quickly become my favourite. I could not stop listening.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Amazing read - Highly recommend

Thank you Kristen for your refreshingly honest take on leadership. I was captivated start to finish and appreciate all the takeaways your book has to offer.

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Amazing must read!

Genuine and very insightful. Highly recommend for any new entrepreneur and managers. Recommended to all my friends.

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Fantastic lessons

Where does Permission to Screw Up rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is up there with some of the best books I’ve listened to.

Any additional comments?

This is easy to listen to, and gave me what I needed it when I needed it. Think I’ll be re—listening to this one!

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A fun business relationship book

Would you consider the audio edition of Permission to Screw Up to be better than the print version?

This is a great audio book, that reminds us that we are all human, we all make mistakes & everyone is a little bit different. Don't be afraid to try, even if you don't have all the answers (yet)

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Permission to learn

Lots of good lessons in here for any leader. No CEO knows all the answers. Few never make mistakes but we don’t hear enough about these mistakes and lessons learned over and over. We all need these reminders.

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Great Read!!

This book is honest, truthful and extremely helpful. A must for service based business owners. Thanks!!

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  • Ashley R
  • 13-10-2017

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
  • 13-02-2018

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Customer
  • 12-01-2018

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
  • 01-08-2018

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
  • 21-07-2018

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
  • 08-07-2018

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
  • 05-07-2018

wow!

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

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  • Lily Chong
  • 02-07-2018

Good lessons for every day life, not just career

This book talks about how Kristen learned through doing things wrong how to do things better demonstrating that it is ok to screw up and then course correct. It's a good leadership book that is easy to digest because Kristen walks through her experiences so that you can hear when things went well and when they didn't, allowing you to identify similar situations in your career and in your life. The lessons learned include 1) Empowering others to do their work and learn from it rather than trying to micromanage everything by telling people a play by play of exactly what to do, 2) Giving others feedback via a process called FBI, Feelings, Behavior and Impact which is basically a neutral way to give feedback that will direct the issue towards the situation and not the person to prevent the person from becoming defensive and not able to actually hear some contstructive feedback, and 3) Defining the values of your company then lead by example so that they're not just words that the leader asks others to live by but words that the leaders of the company live by too in order for employees to properly follow. There are other valuable lessons as well but those were the highlights that hit home for me as I've been in similar situations in my career and in my personal relationships as well as in the role of a parent. These leadership skills are good not only for the workplace but in life too.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-07-2018

Great story and performance! Inspiring!

I normally don't write much reviews. But I felt as confirming that this is, indeed, a great book! :)

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  • Caleb David Tews
  • 22-06-2018

Fantastic! A real story.

This a real story full of examples that taught me a lot more of what I need to be and know to run a successful business.

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  • Familyhrguru
  • 06-11-2017

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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  • S Bentley
  • 07-01-2018

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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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-12-2017

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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  • Sarunas
  • 11-12-2017

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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  • Ashley Unitt
  • 07-08-2018

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
  • 04-07-2018

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-05-2018

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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  • jeremy a.
  • 17-05-2018

Inspiring listen, some key messages lost in the story

Good points made throughout the authors leadership journey. Useful for the aspiring leader and individual moving from management, towards mentoring and ultimately leadership.

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  • Bhav
  • 15-03-2018

Great reminder that you learn from mistakes

Great examples of how making mistakes makes you learn from them and also more powerful if spoken about and others learn from your experience too.

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  • Richard
  • 27-02-2018

All people managers should read this

Where does Permission to Screw Up rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Definitely in my top ten; Kristen posits that mistakes are a necessary part of the learning process and that being open with your team is not a sign of weakness.

What did you like best about this story?

To me, this was a totally new approach to leadership, that sweeps away the dogmas of the 20th century approach to achieving ¨high performance teams¨.

Have you listened to any of Kristen Hadeed’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Have not read or listened to any other books or videos.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me smile on many occasions, mainly when I recognised myself in the book !

Any additional comments?

How One Woman Failed to Succeed !!!