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Settling for Excellence

Digital Recording


“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence” – Vince Lombardi 

I am a huge Packers fan so imagine my reaction when, as a court reporter, I stumbled upon this quote.  As court reporters, we are always striving for perfection but settling for excellence. Or we should be.   

Think about what I just said- we are settling for excellence. We all know that perfection is not obtainable. Let us think about it. What is perfect for me may certainly not be perfect for you. If perfection is defined as the state or quality of being or becoming perfect, then where should the emphasis be?  On being perfect or the chase for perfection? It’s the chase the empowers all of us to be the best version of ourselves. 

This translates into the work we do. We strive for the perfect notes, the perfect recording, the perfect transcript, the perfect record. It is that drive, determination, and persistence that has defined the standards for our profession. Our certifying organizations have defined excellence as the following 

• Transcript Quality 95% – 96% 
•Knowledge Test 70% 
• Transcript Quality 95% – 96% 
• Knowledge Test 70% 
• Transcript Quality 98% 
• Knowledge Test 80% 

We should all be striving for excellence regardless of which method of reporting we are using. How do we do that? Look around you and find people who have achieved success and excellence. Were they born into it? How did they achieve it?  There is any shortcut. YOU must put the work into it. How? 

You must have a passion for what you do.  You must believe in what you do. You can’t achieve without passion.  Passion means the possessiveness to be the best. 

Make a Plan 
Every success in our lives starts with a plan.  Make a list.  Create a roadmap.  Break it down into smaller, achievable chunks.  

Believe in yourself.  If you believe in yourself, others will believe in you.  Self -confidence is the foundation for success.  If you believe you can do something – you will.  

Learn from the best. Identify successful professionals in your circle and pull from their experiences. Part of what makes them excellent is their desire to share what they have learned.  Find a mentor.   

Hard Work 

Nothing is handed to us. We must pay our dues and that comes from challenging work. Be prepared to put the time and energy into the goal. This comes in the form of education, practice, and application.   

Don’t Give Up 

It is not going to be easy. You are going to encounter bumps in the road.  You may find that you exerted too much energy in the wrong direction. Don’t give up. You may find that you have encountered a task that seems unachievable.  Do not give up. You may find that you are willing to settle for less than excellence. Do not give up.  

Chase perfection relentlessly with passion – know you will not achieve it – settle for the excellence obtained from the chase and celebrate it.   

Lisa Dees
Program Manager 

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