By Connie Psaros, RPR, B.A.
A fellow agency owner said this to me at a conference once, “We need more lions, not lambs!” and I knew exactly what he meant. Lions are the fearless reporters you can implicitly trust who will take just about any assignment no matter the unique requests, unknowns, or level of difficulty. The lambs? Not so much.
More and more these days, attorneys are asking for complex services and advanced technology. It’s the “usual” deposition with a twist: realtime streaming onsite and to remote locations, multi-site video conference hookups, or attorneys appearing by conference call at a remote site and you’re in charge of making the connections. Or maybe it’s providing CART for a yearly star-studded conference, reporting roundtable discussions (with a little Spanish sprinkled in) in Puerto Rico, or reporting a celebratory convention in a banquet setting where your elbows are in the mashed potatoes and not all the speakers are sober.
When it gets hairy, we rely on our lions to get the job done; no complaining, no drama, no problem. Are they going outside of their comfort zone? Most likely. Nonetheless, they take the assignment, take control of the situation, and get paid handsomely for their hard work.
No matter how many lions you have on staff, you could always use more. Any agency owner would agree. The reporters with the proven experience and top NCRA credentials are our go-to experts that our clients continually request for their important cases. They are professionals who are respected so much that depositions and hearings are often scheduled based on their availability.
Of course we all start out as lambs. Reporting is hard, especially for beginners just learning the ropes. Some reporters are content to only report the easy stuff, but this can prove to be a career-limiting decision. The trend over the years has been that the number of more difficult assignments exceeds the easy ones. Reporters who want to extend the life of their careers realize this, so they continue to make themselves more marketable. They earn higher NCRA certifications, they learn their software inside and out so that they can produce more pages, they provide realtime, they anticipate the clients’ needs and outperform the clients’ expectations, and they keep up with and make investments in the latest trends in technology. The reporters who have made the transformation from lamb to lion have done so with hard work and enthusiasm. They are the leaders in our profession.