Insights: Publications Riders on the Storm: Servant Leadership During a Crisis

U.S. News - Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" 2021

Written by J. Henry Walker, IV

Although 2020 began with promise and optimism, we were all soon thrown into an unexpected global crisis that sparked tremendous uncertainty, fear, and anxiety. Our health and welfare were threatened to the core. The economy took a dramatic downward turn. The COVID-19 pandemic has since dragged on much longer than most people initially expected. It’s likely that 2020 will not go down as a good year for the Best Lawyers featured in this issue. 

Those chosen as Best Lawyers typically serve as leaders, mentors, and role models in their law firms. During a time of crisis, these Best Lawyers’ adherence to the principles of “servant leadership” has never been more vital. As stated by one of the founders of the servant leadership model, Robert K. Greenleaf, “a servant leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong.” While traditionally leaders are at the top of the organizational pyramid, servant leadership inverts the pyramid with the leadership at the bottom of the pyramid and clients and employees at the top. Simply put, a servant leader’s role is to help position others to be successful.  Law firms and in particular “Big Law” firms and lawyers benefit greatly from adherence to the principles of servant leadership. 

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