Kristen Hadeed is the founder of Student Maid, a successful cleaning company that has employed thousands of students over the last decade and that is known for building the next generation of leaders.
In 2017, she published her first book, “Permission To Screw Up”, in which she offers an unapologetic account of her biggest mistakes in leadership. She hopes that her vulnerability will give others the courage to open up about their own “perfectly imperfect” moments and proudly embrace them as the tremendous learning opportunities they are.
Kristen has been featured in news outlets including PBS, FOX, Inc., NBC, TIME, and Forbes. Her first TED Talk has more than three million views on YouTube.
[4:10] In college, Kristen got a cleaning contract and within 3 days, 45 of the 60 people she hired walked off the job. She had no idea she was such a bad leader, but it was a defining moment for her to change.
[6:25] Instead of blaming others, Kristen took an introspective approach. That’s because she grew up in a household where failure is learning.
[9:55] People don’t trust people who are perfect.
[11:25] When Kristen was writing her book, she realized she had a fear of failure as well as a fear of success.
[14:20] If you keep people in bubble wrap to prevent them from making mistakes, the business will not be able to grow.
[14:50] Kristen defines “empowering” as trusting in someone before they’ve proven it. It’s about believing in someone’s potential.
[17:50] Kristen puts the responsibility on her staff to own their own performance plan and to take accountability for their actions.
[22:05] Kristen focuses on building leaders not simply hiring people to join a cleaning company.
[25:20] Companies are hesitant to invest in their low-level employees if they know they’re just going to move on. Kristen invests in her employees because she cares about the people.
[25:50] People do so much for our organizations, so it’s only natural we give back and.
[26:50] Kristen used to be so focused on retention, but has since shifted her focus to investing in people.
[28:25] Empathy is really about hearing people, seeing them, and validating their feelings.
[30:35] The pandemic has been an excellent time for Kristen to reflect on her priorities as she now feels like she was on autopilot before.
[34:00] Kristen always ends her day on a daily reflection, so that she can both learn from the good and the bad that happened throughout her day.
[38:30] Listener challenge: When we look back on this time, what do you want to say about it? Live a proud life.
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