But the most successful know that heart matters.
This past year, I’ve had the delight of working with one of the sharpest people I know, a commercial real estate deal lawyer. I had a thorny residential real estate problem and called Kevin first, knowing he would know where to send me.
Instead, he spent an hour with me, asking questions and offering excellent advice. He too quickly became outraged by the situation. He didn’t bill me—and promised to refer me to someone less pricey when I was ready to act. He checked in occasionally—still not on the clock—and gave me pointers. When it was time to engage, I knew it was Kevin I must work with.
Was that his plan? No. Was I his sweet-spot client? No. Did he charge me what he charged commercial clients? No. But he fought for me, believed in my case and made me laugh when I wanted to rip someone’s throat out instead. He was, in a word, unforgettable.
The lesson here? Don’t shy away from taking on that non-traditional client if their cause tugs at you. Sometimes, it’s good to lead with your heart.