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Allison Marsales, head of Canadian brokerage for Cushman & Wakefield.

Marsales Expects Considerable Change in 2024

In an interview with Connect, Allison Marsales, head of Canadian brokerage for Cushman & Wakefield, explains how her leadership style changed between 2022 and 2023 and the approach that she will take in 2024.

How was your leadership style different in 2023 compared to 2022? 

When I compare my leadership style and mindset year-over-year, there is a distinct shift in how I approached leading our employees and responding to the market.

In 2022, people still felt apprehensive about the impacts of COVID and the direction the economy was heading. As a leader, it was critical to balance being sensitive to what others were experiencing yet demonstrate strength to lead a path forward. It was also a time when I had to learn to be comfortable in the uncomfortable as it related to employee demands and changing workplace dynamics. Despite it all, my top priority in 2022 was to be a pillar of support, provide consistency for our teams, and to lead by example by showing up and making myself available – ultimately bringing positivity and a changed perspective to keep my team focused on the things that we could control throughout that turbulent time.

Fast forward to 2023, as the business environment started to stabilize somewhat, I found my priorities centred around driving more connection across our organization. It was clear that people needed to reconnect. Showing up and being consistent remained core to my leadership strategy, but my focus shifted to cultivating connection both internally and externally. 2023 continued to be a year of change. Being agile and leaning into the different aspects of the business as it demanded became imperative throughout the year. But what has probably been the most notable shift in my leadership approach was focusing on the renewed energy of people returning to the office and setting new expectations around employee engagement, client service, and ultimately business growth.

How do you think you’ll have to lead differently in 2024?

In 2024, I expect to see a lot of change driven by geopolitical, social, and economic challenges.  My approach is simple. I intend to lead a clearly defined, forward-focused path that is grounded in data, experience, and people. Being a leader that is present and visible both internally and externally will continue to be important for me. With that, I intend to bring a new energy to support change that allows for greater advancement in this new environment.

What advice do you give to your organization’s rising stars?

The advice I often give to our rising stars is to understand patience. Younger generations tend to look for accelerated results, so it’s important for them to know that it takes time to build success. At the same time, while they may be at the front end of their careers, they, too, create value for our organization and provide a fresh perspective and an important generational lens. I encourage them to not let their age limit engagement in the room and to participate in conversations and be confident in asking questions even if they feel green. This business rewards those who step up, and what they have to say speaks to a demographic that some senior leaders may not have insight into. I also tell those young leaders to get involved, lean into their experience, and take pride in where they are at.  Success comes with hard work and requires patience and time, a disciplined focus, and continuous active engagement.    


Inside The Story

Allison MarsalesCushman & Wakefield Canada

About Monte Stewart

Monte Stewart serves as Content Director - Canada for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monte provides daily news coverage of major Canadian commercial real estate markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. He has written about the real estate sector for various media outlets and Avison Young since the early 2000s. In addition, he has covered sports, general news and business for several leading wire services and publications, including The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, The Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail, Research Money, The Daily Oil Bulletin, Natural Gas World and The Toronto Star. Monte is active in his community as a youth basketball coach and raises funds for such charitable causes as Movember.

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