LEADERS Women Leaders
Shari L. Heyen, Greenberg Traurig

Shari L. Heyen

Women Attorney Leaders at Greenberg Traurig Discuss Their Formula for Moving the Needle

Editors’ Note

Shari Heyen is co-chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Global Restructuring and Bankruptcy Practice and co-managing shareholder of the Houston office. Heyen has experience in complex restructuring, bankruptcy, insolvency, and complex commercial litigation matters. She has represented numerous creditors’ committees, debtors, bank groups, acquirers and other significant constituencies in national Chapter 11 cases and workout proceedings, including complex oil, gas, and energy cases. Heyen has broad experience in the prosecution and defense of fiduciary litigation, real estate, oil and gas, healthcare, receiverships, and alternative energy matters.

Firm Brief

Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GT) has approximately 2,300 attorneys in 40 locations in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. GT (gtlaw.com) has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, diversity and innovation, and is consistently among the largest firms in the U.S. on the Law360 400 and among the top 25 firms on the Am Law Global 100. The firm is net carbon neutral with respect to its office energy usage and is Mansfield Rule 4.0 Certified Plus.

In my experience, I have found that great leaders lead by example, with intention, and with a servant heart. It is their authenticity that draws people closer, allows others to trust them and showcases their excellence. By being true to yourself, and not a second-rate version of someone else, you are able to foster genuine relationships. These relationships, especially those with mentors or sponsors in the legal field, can make all the difference in your career.

As a woman in a prominent leadership role, it is important for me to recognize my potential and responsibility to serve as a role model, and vital for me to make myself visible, accessible, and available to engage with others, especially those who are interested in growth. A leader’s team is their responsibility. The pros, cons, positives, and negatives can all be traced back to how well a leader was able to provide their team with means for success. I have made it a point to keep a strong group of diverse individuals around me. The importance of this not only lies in the diversity of experience, but also in the diversity of logic and thought. A diverse group allows for commercial solutions in real time that work in our complex world. This is also why it is important to maintain diversity in roles across the team, especially leadership roles.

I am grateful to be at a firm that has allowed many diverse individuals, like myself, to be at the forefront of change in the legal profession. This is a firm that values leaders from different backgrounds, with different experiences, and different voices. Greenberg Traurig believes good leaders come in all shapes and sizes, and I am honored to work with many of our firm’s great leaders.

Writer Joel Barker put it best when he said, “Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.” With that, I encourage women who want to lead to be intentional with their actions. They can help make a world of difference in their organization, community, and beyond. Leaders must make sure their voices are heard and used to lead by example towards the greater good.