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7 Career And Leadership Tips From The Crown Estate's Alison Nimmo

The Crown Estate's Alison Nimmo

As chief executive of The Crown Estate, the £13B company that manages the Crown's property assets, Alison Nimmo is head of one of the biggest and most famous property companies in the U.K.

She shared details on her career and what makes a good leader with the 550 attendees of Bisnow London's Women Leading Real Estate event.

Here, in her own words, are her views on everything from mentors to what keeps her awake at night.

How to be a leader in 2018

1. Leave space for individuality

"I like to think that I lead in a modern way and that I'm an individual. I've built a high-performing team around me and hope that I can give the space to be flexible and allow them to succeed. You need to create a culture and environment where everyone can be themselves at work and flourish."

2. Keep an eye on the big picture

"I used to try and micro-manage everything, but I realised all the best leaders let people get on with their jobs. A good leader needs to have an eye on the horizon, rather than being down in the engine room, although I do love it in the engine room."

3. Find a good mentor

"I was lucky enough to work with an inspirational leader in Manchester in Sir Howard Bernstein. He was an extraordinary leader, a true public servant and brilliant at sponsoring talent. He had more women than men in his team. He threw me in at the deep end but I always knew he was on the side of the pool to stop me drowning."

4. Learn from the bad leaders as well as the good

"I had one chairman who told me, the two things that motivate people are fear and money, and I thought, this isn't going to last long. The worst boss I ever had couldn't make decisions. When I was working on the Olympic Games we were spending £100M a month. You can't sit there and wait for every last piece of information to come in, you have to be decisive."

Bisnow Director of U.K. and Ireland Natascha Bhuiyan emcees Women Leading Real Estate

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5. Have some perspective

"What keeps me awake at night? Not a lot, a good night's sleep is important. I think about cybersecurity and things like that. But it's important to have some perspective. Things feel very important in the moment, but will they in 10 days or 10 years? So I have a to do list by the bed and just go to sleep."

6. Seize this moment of change

"We're at a real moment in time for real estate, and so many different types of change are coming: socially, technology, climate change. The real winners will be the forward-looking companies who have talented teams and can disrupt their own business model."

7. Do what you love

"I did a job I didn't enjoy and then decided to change my career. For all of you out there that don't like your job or are reluctant to get out of bed in the morning, take control of your career and do something that matters."