The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 disrupted lives across the globe and nations were suddenly forced to adapt in conditions that were unprecedented, uncertain, and life-threatening. Nations responded by closing borders and ordering their citizens to work from home, forcing organisations and those working in them to find new ways of carrying out their core functions in conditions of disorientation, isolation, competing demands, and in some cases, fear. The extent to which organisations were able to negotiate the crisis would depend on how their managers responded to their staff. This study draws on an analysis of semi-structured interviews with 26 Scottish Criminal Justice Social Workers and managers which took place during the national lockdown of March – June 2020. Drawing on theories of leadership and self-determination theory, the findings reveal that good managers at such a time of crisis are servant leaders who prioritise the fundamental human needs of their staff and reduce their level of uncertainty.