Leading through Teamwork | Scott Cooper | Language Services Associates
Scott Cooper, President of Language Services Associates, is a multi-faceted leader. He came to LSA with a unique mix of a larger enterprise, political, civic, and attention-to-detail leadership skills. He spent 27 years practicing law in an international law firm, served a decade in firm leadership, and chaired his practice group. He was elected President of the Philadelphia Bar Association, President of Temple University’s alumni association, local office, and he has held many other leadership roles.
He is often described as someone who sees both the big picture and the minute details to ensure the entire project works. He is a collaborative leader who stresses empowering all colleagues to bring their best creativity to work each day. His other key work value is communication. Scott believes passionately in sharing knowledge and credit for the benefit of the whole enterprise. He is an ardent soccer player and coach, and he brings those team philosophies and borrows many lessons from the successful teams and clubs he follows.
It is pertinent to mention, Scott is a support system to the budding entrepreneurs who are trying hard to establish themselves. As a company, LSA works with many small businesses, notably on government accounts, to grow expertise in the language industry. As an individual, Scott continues to lecture at higher learning institutions and work through his alumni and professional networks to advance future generations of talent.
A Team Player
According to Scott, no one is ever successful unless they make it a top priority to surround themselves with the best talent they can find. A team approach in business – just like in sports – is essential. “I do my best work when surrounded by co-workers who bring the same passion for what we do. That is not the same thing as saying we all agree on everything. It is about finding people who share a common vision and then working together to get there,” adds the steadfast leader. “I left the leadership ranks of my law firm of 27 years – literally the corner office in a Philadelphia skyscraper – because LSA came along at just the right moment. I had represented the company and its owner/founder Laura Schriver for many years prior to taking this role. I found later in my law career that I truly enjoyed the business leadership side of my practice. Laura and LSA offered me a chance to make a once in a lifetime shift into that full time. I have not looked back since.”
Scott’s career was really in three distinct phases:
1. The basic learning of the craft.
2. Being comfortable with the skills to offer solutions to clients/customers.
3. Learning which parts of that he was genuinely passionate about.
“Early in my law career it was all about learning rules, forms and procedures. Later it was about using those skills to solve client problems. Over time, I transitioned from being an attorney to a businessperson and now President of a company,” he elucidates. “Most recently it has been about building on the business side and preparing the next generation of leaders to be ready in an ever-growing company.”
One of the most important leadership lessons Scott has learned throughout his impressive career is that no single skillset or batch of experiences can solve any given problem. It is always a hybrid approach. As an attorney, Scott often advised clients that combining legal, business, and sometimes political solutions was the best approach for resolving seemingly intractable problems. In the business world, these skills are imperative because no customer ever presents precisely the same problem to solve. “In a business world that changes with ever-increasing pace and technology, nimble problem solving is imperative,” he adds.
Building A Brand
Language Services Associates (LSA) offers a full suite of language interpretation solutions to help optimize the experience of limited English proficient customers and patients. Providing native language support improves the efficiency and productivity of staff, raises customer satisfaction levels and builds loyalty. For thousands of clients worldwide, in more than 230 languages, LSA provides a competitive differentiator in the healthcare, government, financial, insurance, banking, entertainment, hospitality, sports, and manufacturing industries.
Founded in 1991, LSA has a strong reputation for helping its clients build relationships, ensure accuracy, and make trusted connections with its customers’ limited English proficient customers and patients. As one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing professional language services companies, LSA’s passion for helping others drives its award-winning culture of service excellence. LSA’s services include Over the Phone Interpretation, Face-to-Face Interpreting, Video Remote Interpreting, American Sign Language, Translation and Localization, and Language Assessments.
LSA sits at the crossroads of human talent and technology. The entire interpretation business is about finding the best interpreters worldwide and utilizing technology to bring them as quickly as possible and with the highest clarity into the customer’s encounter. This requires technology across telecommunications, software, reporting, and video integration. Moreover, LSA must be available across all major video meeting platforms.
One of the company’s most significant achievements is the pivot LSA made during COVID. Before the pandemic, most interpretations were either an in-person session or calls over the phone. When COVID closed access to healthcare facilities and sent most customers’ workers home, everything shifted to remote and increasingly video-based solutions. Because customers had no single solution, LSA had to “meet the customers where they were” while maintaining the human side of the interpretation industry. “Our ability to rapidly embrace the changing technology, while holding true to our core values and culture, allowed us to actually grow in the midst of the worst health crisis of our generation. We can now provide our services in just about any technology configuration a customer selects,” says Cooper.
Scott adds, “I am most proud of our ability to help an increasing number of people with language barriers, even as technology changes at an ever-increasing rate. This brings me full circle to communication, thought empowerment, and collaborative solution development.” In the days to come, LSA will continue to seek out the world’s best linguistics and build the technology of the future to bring them to the customers. “We believe that whatever communications are built, we can keep up with them and make sure language is never a barrier for personal interaction, care, or business ventures.”