Advising Clients in Times of Crisis: How Servant Leadership Can Deepen Client Relationships and Add Value During the Pandemic and Beyond

37 Pages Posted: 26 May 2020

Date Written: May 10, 2020

Abstract

This paper analyzes servant leadership demonstrated by the Twin Cities hospitality industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what lessons this industry can teach attorneys who are advising clients during this public health crisis. In response to government-mandated shut-downs, many local businesses are pivoting their business models to serve community needs. Despite being one of the hardest-hit industries by the pandemic, they are demonstrating servant leadership by prioritizing service to others and being good stewards of resources. Lawyers can learn from the leadership modeled by this business community by engaging their clients on issues that go beyond the law. Lawyers continue to limit their advising to just the legal issues their clients face, and this approach to the lawyer-client relationship deprives the client of the full value the lawyer can provide. By adopting the servant leadership model, attorneys can focus their efforts on helping the client grow and succeed during the pandemic and beyond. Lawyers should pay attention to the servant leadership being demonstrated by the hospitality industry because it shows that clients are concerned about more than just the bottom line and complying with the law. Attorneys should be engaging with clients to learn about their values and objectives to help the client make the most informed decision that best protects their interests. This article explores the ways in which local businesses are demonstrating servant leadership and how attorneys can use servant leadership to strengthen client relationships and provide added value to clients.

Keywords: servant leadership, advising, pandemic, value, COVID-19, service, attorney-client relationship

Suggested Citation

Olson, Ashley, Advising Clients in Times of Crisis: How Servant Leadership Can Deepen Client Relationships and Add Value During the Pandemic and Beyond (May 10, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3609971 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3609971

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