Kristen Hadeed is the CEO and founder of Student Maid, a cleaning company that has employed thousands of millennials over the last decade and is known for building the next generation of leaders. In addition to leading her own company, she now helps organizations around the world make a lasting, meaningful impact on people by creating environments in which they thrive. She has worked with a variety of industries including healthcare, education, retail, real estate, nonprofit, hospitality, aviation, and consumer products. In 2017, she published her first book, "Permission to Screw Up," in which she tells the stories of her biggest mistakes in leadership. She hopes to inspire other leaders to share their "perfectly imperfect" stories of success to empower people with the knowledge that their most challenging moments can become their biggest leadership lessons. Kristen and Student Maid have been featured in news outlets including PBS, FOX Inc., NBC, TIME, and Forbes. Her first TED Talk has received more than three million hits on YouTube.
Permission to Screw-Up - Kristen Hadeed unintentionally launched Student Maid, a cleaning company that hires students, while attending the University of Florida in 2007. Since then, Student Maid has employed hundreds of people and is widely recognized for its industry-leading retention rate and its culture of trust, accountability, and compassion. But Kristen and her company were no overnight sensation. In fact, they were almost nothing at all.
A few months into her new venture, disaster struck when 75 percent of her cleaning team quit on the same day. Reclining in a comfy armchair, Caesar salad in hand, Kristen watched in shock as forty-five grimy, sweaty people marched in and resigned on the spot. Her company was about to crash and burn, with an unfulfilled contract to clean hundreds of apartments. What had she done wrong? How could she get her team back? And how could she keep this from ever happening again?
The mistakes leading to that mass walkout weren’t her first, and definitely wouldn’t be her last. But that humiliating experience sparked her obsession with learning how to be a better leader and inspired her to make Student Maid a place her people couldn’t imagine leaving.