Permission to Screw Up

How I Learned to Lead by Doing (Almost) Everything Wrong
Narrated by: Kristen Hadeed
Length: 5 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,137 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

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 screw-ups, 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

Featured Article: Big Ideas in Business and Tech


Even the most successful entrepreneurs had to start somewhere. When it comes to groundbreaking technology, the people who became leading business executives often began as lone visionaries with nothing but an idea. Now that they’re global industry leaders, many of them have shared their amazing stories in memoirs. These tales of heartbreak and triumph will bring you along on the roller-coaster of success, all the while showing you the secrets of how business greats transformed their dreams into reality. Read on to find your next great inspiration!

What members say
Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    919
  • 4 Stars
    166
  • 3 Stars
    40
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    847
  • 4 Stars
    149
  • 3 Stars
    35
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    853
  • 4 Stars
    136
  • 3 Stars
    34
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Finally an honest, vulnerable book about business.

I was engrossed from the beginning to end, and enjoyed it more than the last 20 I listened to combined. I applaud the authors courage.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspired

Great book. Easy to listen to. I finished in just a few short days. As a business owner it is great to hear that it is ok to mess up from time to time...to be human. After listening to this book I feel a renewed energy to find the best in people and to work as hard to build internal relationships as we do on the external ones!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars

Fun read, good lessons

Quick lesson with a reassuring theme - celebrate your mistakes by learning from them. More than that, Kristin Hadeed stumbles on, internalizes, and lives the keys to leadership.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Embrace your imperfections all way up

“Behind every leader there is a perfectly imperfect story!” Love Kristen’s authenticity and sharing stories her daily life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Just what I needed

I have been in leadership in one fashion or another most of my “adult” life. I had taken a online class where Kristen was the host, it was about how to accept and receive effective feedback. I absolutely loved it and immediately got her book. After listening to her stories and the hard journey I connected with almost ever single part. It was exactly what I needed right now for my life. It has given me permission to be human and know to be imperfect is okay and I can still hold myself in high regard. I’m looking forward to sharing this with my leadership team and more. Thank you for having courage to be honest about your journey.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome Book

From one Gainesvillian to another, awesome read, very entertaining and very enlightening. I am so glad our friend Corie share this with me.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great read!

Ordered this book on Audible. The narrative is great and keeps you interested. I enjoyed listening to all the failure that lead to the success. This book has great advise on culture and employee happiness. Her FBI way of correcting an employees actions is great. I highly recommend this book.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Innovative, smart, well rounded

I recommend this book to those starting a business. I recommend it too to those who want to feel humans and inspired.
I admire how smart is the perspective she chose for this book. I think it makes so much sense for her story and underlines the intention behind all her hard work.
The book is entertaining while informative, it seemed to go by really fast.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Familyhrguru
  • Familyhrguru
  • 11-06-17

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for S Bentley
  • S Bentley
  • 01-07-18

Inspiring and entertaining tales of leadership

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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for P&S
  • P&S
  • 12-26-17

Wow!

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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sarunas
  • Sarunas
  • 12-11-17

INSPIRING

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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-07-20

🤯

Absolutely loved it, will listen again and have already recommended it to friends. Inspiring!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jonathan Jooste
  • Jonathan Jooste
  • 04-02-20

Read more, learn more, read more.

I never had to read soo many other books after listening to this one.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for radhika biyani
  • radhika biyani
  • 03-07-20

Great book - just ends so quickly !

Like the narrative ! but just wished it had gone a bit deeper into some topics and been longer.

but overall great

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for K. J. Gracie
  • K. J. Gracie
  • 02-07-20

Entrepreneurs guide

No doubtedly a fantastic book. I’ve already recommended it to so many people. The narration is good, but there’s a bit in the middle where I think the editing gets a bit wonky.
There’s words or sentences skipping. It happens a LOT in one chapter, but you still get the basic idea.
90% of the boom is fine, just one odd bit. I wonder if maybe the file is corrupted?

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for gaz
  • gaz
  • 01-16-20

what a fantastic way to present ideas for leaders

what a fantastic way to present ideas for leadership. great ideas on how to engage with millennials.
a great start middle and end well done for a first book.
a must read for any budding entrepreneur new leader or just somebody that wants to understand how the business world really works.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Roberta Focsa
  • Roberta Focsa
  • 08-12-19

One extraordinary honest book

I just LOVED this book, particularly because it gives you the full picture - the ups and downs, the lessons and failures.

The audio was also great, Kristen is a great, engaging narrator! Thumbs up!!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-14-17

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jan
  • Jan
  • 01-23-20

more information needed

I would like to understand a bit more concrete information about the size of the company at the different stages of growth, so that we can relate to it here in New Zealand.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 05-21-19

From one imperfect leader to another

My story is of ‘what not to do in business’ and yet each year we grow. It is a painful and draining passion, with many learnings along the way. It was so refreshing to read/hear the lesson before the learning. Thoroughly enjoyed

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-26-19

A must listen, If you want to lead your team.

This is the best book I have listened to! Thanks for inspiring me Kristen! The way you describe leadership makes perfect sense and the fact that you share your biggest mistakes is such a change from the others. Well done

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for C.M.Artes
  • C.M.Artes
  • 02-28-19

So refreshing!

The author captured my own sentiment in the last chapter--very few business books out there speaking through the challenges of growing/running a business. Kristen aired not only the challenges, but also her approach to getting through them. Well done, great book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr D Robertson
  • Mr D Robertson
  • 01-29-19

A must listen too

Loved it start to finish, I admire the honesty and a side of a story thats not just sunshine and rainbows

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-26-19

refreshing and so true

i opeeate a totaly different business and see so many similarities. such a great read

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 07-04-18

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 06-21-18

Amazing must read!

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Cal1976
  • Cal1976
  • 02-24-18

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!