Kristen Hadeed

Kristen was on track to have a pretty typical college experience–until she became a CEO. Learning the skills of leadership on the job and not through a textbook, Kristen inspires students to become the leader they want to be. 


▪Career Development ▪Communication ▪Entrepreneurship
▪First Year Experience ▪Fraternity & Sorority Life ▪Leadership
▪Organizational Development ▪Orientation ▪Recruitment
▪Women’s Issues & Empowerment


▪From Hitting the Bar to Setting the Bar
▪Dorm Room to Board Room
▪You Can’t Be Kinda Committed: Why Values are Critical to Recruitment Success
▪The Workshop That Will Change Your Relationships Forever

Kristen was on track to have a pretty typical college experience–until she became a CEO. During her junior year, she started cleaning houses as a side gig, but before she knew it, she had a booming business. With dozens of employees to lead and not a single textbook to tell her how to do it, Kristen had to figure out how to get people excited to clean toilets. In the end, it was her biggest failures–like the day 45 people quit on her at the same time–that taught her what it takes to become a leader worth following. Now, she wants to show you how you can become one, too.

Kristen’s Bio

Kristen founded Student Maid, a cleaning company that hires only students when she was a junior at the University of Florida in 2009. Student Maid has since employed hundreds of students and has been widely recognized for its culture of trust, accountability, and empowerment. Kristen’s employees love their jobs and are engaged at work, despite the fact that they clean toilets. Today, Kristen helps organizations across the country improve their cultures by sharing how she created Student Maid. Funny and relatable, she tells stories of the triumphs and mishaps that shaped her company and herself as a leader; her examples show what it takes to lead–and that anyone can do it if they are willing to try. Over the last several years, she has shared her stories and experience with more than 60 college campuses. Several national media outlets have featured Kristen and her company, and her first TED Talk has been viewed more than two million times on YouTube. She is working on her first book, due out in late 2017, and she lives in Gainesville, Florida. Kristen is a member of Tri Delta.

Connect With Kristen

To the women pretending to be someone else because being female isn’t “good enough”: WE NEED YOU. We need you just the way you are. We need your hearts. We need your leadership in businesses, in schools, in healthcare, at home...everywhere. Happy #internationalwomansday ✨

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“Kristen’s speech was perfect for young women in college. We could really relate to what she was saying. Kristen inspired so many of us and girls are still talking about her speech several days later.”


University of Arizona, Kappa Alpha Theta

“I’ve never seen a speaker here at RIT who was able to captivate and engage the audience like Kristen. As Kristen came highly recommended to me by a colleague, I believe it to be my duty to continue spreading how well she presented so others may have this opportunity.”

Trevor McClenon

Rochester Institute of Technology IFC

“Kristen was beyond amazing! The students had nothing but positive comments about her – some described her as the best part of their day! Her energy, honesty, and overall presentation was wonderful! We could not have asked for a better speaker for our conference. It was really great of her to stay and continue speaking with the students during lunch.”

Jody Goodman

University of Massachusetts Amherst

“Kristen blew her TED Talk out of the water and emerged as one of the highest rated speakers at the event. I recommend Kristen Hadeed without reservation to anyone who is–like I was–seeking a speaker who can rise to the occasion and wow an audience.”

Ben Erez



You Can’t Be Kinda Committed: Why Values are Critical to Recruitment Success

This program is designed for Fraternity & Sorority Life audiences and organizations but is customizable to fit other audiences as well.

Does someone’s favorite food determine how loyal they will be to our chapter? Does knowing where they like to shop or what they did over the summer prove anything about their character? Asking questions like these might spark fun conversations, but it won’t help us attract the best people to our organizations. To do that, we have to ask questions that reveal whether a potential new member will live up to the values our organizations were founded upon. Are they committed to personal and academic success? Will they always act with integrity? Are they passionate about leaving behind a meaningful legacy? Imagine how different our campuses, communities and our world would be if we grew our organizations by inviting those whose values matched ours.

Through her journey as an entrepreneur, Kristen has learned the critical role values play in attracting the right people. She believes that if you aren’t recruiting with your chapter’s values in mind, then you aren’t truly committed to them. When it comes to values, there is no in-between: Either you live by them, or you don’t. You can’t “kinda” commit to the values of your chapter–and committing starts with recruiting members who will commit to them, too. In this interactive program, Kristen will show you how to step up your recruitment game. You’ll leave with the questions you should be asking potential members, and you will be inspired by what can happen to your chapter and community when you put your values first.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to identify values that are unique to their organization,
  • how to ask questions that reveal whether or not a potential new member will commit to the values of their chapter (without being awkward!),
  • how to create a chapter and community culture where all members truly buy into values-based recruiting practices,
  • how to have meaningful conversations during recruitment instead of rehearsed, superficial discussions, and
  • how to hold members accountable to the organization’s values to set the correct tone for its new members.
Dorm Room to Board Room

This program is for female-only audiences.

In college, Kristen Hadeed thought she knew exactly what she wanted: A job on Wall Street, a Manhattan apartment, and a six-figure salary. But then she started cleaning houses between classes to make some extra cash, and she realized what she didn’t want was a life of working on someone else’s terms. So, she stuck to cleaning toilets–while her friends and family told her she was crazy. Fast forward a few years, and Kristen now has a thriving business that has employed hundreds of people.

But that didn’t happen by chance: Kristen jumped hurdle after hurdle to get where she is today–and not one of them had to do with her gender. If anything, starting her business at 21 was more of an obstacle: From being turned down for bank loans to being the youngest person in the boardroom, Kristen has had to work hard to earn a seat at the table. Kristen believes you shouldn’t let anything hold you back. In this program, she’ll show you how to become a powerful woman equipped with self-confidence who lets nothing hold you back.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to view age and gender as a non-obstacle,
  • how to transform rejection into incredible opportunities,
  • how to be confident, even during times filled with self-doubt, and
  • how to become a supportive, community of women.

This program is designed for Fraternity & Sorority Life audiences and organizations but is customizable to fit other audiences as well.

We often call ourselves “leaders,” but are we? Do we really walk our talk? When we see members go against our values, do we hold them accountable? When there is a difficult conversation, do we avoid it? When our brothers and sisters become disengaged, do we just watch them drift away? Are we competing against other chapters instead of working to strengthen our community? Kristen knows what it takes to lead. In college, she built a business that has since employed hundreds of people and is known for being a leader in its industry. But this wasn’t always the case.

For many years, Kristen was the kind of leader who said one thing but did another, and it almost cost her the company she worked so hard to build. Kristen believes that while many of us claim we are leaders and that our chapters are, too, in reality, we’re full of sh!t–just like she used to be. In this brutally honest program, Kristen will show you how to become a leader who walks your talk. She’ll change the way you think about and define leadership in your chapter, council, and community, and she will inspire you to turn your chapter into one that leaves behind a meaningful legacy.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to create an environment that cultivates the leadership potential amongst members,
  • how to hold themselves and their organization’s members accountable to their organizational values,
  • how to view their organization as a community and not competition, and
  • how to create an organization that leaves behind a legacy and doesn’t depend on certain individuals to succeed.
From Hitting the Bar to Setting the Bar

Kristen used to be pretty clueless about leadership. When she started her business at 21, she didn’t have a lot of experience being in charge. From doing keg stands with her employees to never confronting anyone ever because she was afraid to hurt their feelings, she quickly figured out she had a lot to learn. Many years and hundreds of employees later, Kristen eventually got it right–but she never would’ve guessed that it would be her biggest screw-ups that taught her how to become a better leader.

In the process of cleaning up her messes, she learned invaluable lessons on how to establish trust, communicate honestly, cultivate empathy, and make hard decisions. Now, Kristen shares what she learned the hard way, so you don’t have to. In this shockingly honest program, Kristen talks about the real challenges you face as leaders and shows you how to navigate them. She’ll have you laughing as she proves that any person can shine as a leader, no matter how challenging the situation or how messy the problem.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to make difficult decisions based on values,
  • how to hold people accountable and the best way to confront them,
  • the importance of recognition and making others feel valued,
  • how to create deeper, more meaningful relationships with others, and
  • how to turn leadership failures into opportunities for growth.
The Workshop That Will Change Your Relationships Forever

Inspired by a conversation that changed her life, Kristen, an entrepreneur who has employed hundreds of people, created a workshop to teach her employees how effective listening can dramatically change relationships.

After seeing the huge, immediate impact this program had on each of her employees and the culture within her organization, Kristen felt a responsibility to share it with others.

At the end of this program, you will realize that you never truly listened to anyone before. You will understand why many of your relationships are superficial and barely scrape the surface. You will know why confrontation exists and why certain relationships might seem beyond repair and you will leave with the tools and the knowledge to fix them.

Get ready for your relationships to grow more than you ever thought possible.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to build more meaningful relationships,
  • how to listen in a way that  makes people feel supported and appreciated,
  • how to begin repairing relationships that may seem irreparable,
  • how to get to the root of confrontation and address it in an effective way, and
  • how to make strong relationships even stronger.