Some time ago I sat next to Southwest Airlines co-founder Herb Kelleher on a flight back to Dallas. It was the second time I had sat next to him on a flight. Each time I felt I learned something valuable from him.

As I left him, full of ideas and enthusiasm, I was reminded of something he had said that I read in the Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba’s book Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force.

Kelleher said:

We tell our people, ‘Don’t worry about profit. Think about customer service.’ Profit is the by-product of customer service. It is not an end in and of itself.

What do you suppose would happen if a managing partner told the lawyers in her firm:

Don’t worry about profits per partner or getting your hours. Instead focus on doing the best work possible and on client service.

I wonder what would happen to the profits per partner and the hours billed by associates? In my post on Monday I will share with you 12 Tips to Make Your law Firm One of the Few Your Clients Will Recommend. I think you will find it valuable.