Recipes for Success at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, London

Sponsor: Chet Behl (Norton Rose Fulbright) Co-planners: Randeep Buttar (CSN) and Pooja Kumari (CSN) Moderator: Randeep Buttar (LinkedIn/@EmicoConsulting) Panel:

  • Simon Dodds (Deputy General Counsel, Deutsche Bank AG)
  • Kamel Hothi (Head of Responsible Business Projects – Group Corporate Affairs at Lloyds Banking Group)
  • Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner (Senior Rabbi to the Movement for Reform Judaism)
  • Sathnam Sanghera (Columnist for The Times and author)

Key note speaker: Wasim Khan (Partner at Norton Rose Fulbright)

The first Recipes for Success event of 2014 took place at the stunning Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) offices in London. The evening began with an opening speech from Wasim Khan, a Partner at NRF, who imparted a few words of wisdom to the audience on what success means to him: “Success is about trying to fulfil your potential.”   Each member of the panel was introduced and asked to provide their views on success in their opening statements. The evening then continued on to an audience question and answer session followed by networking. Below is a summary of some of the key points:

Simon Dodds:

Speaking from personal experiences, Simon shared five tips that have helped him to become successful:

  1. Seek a career you enjoy and find intellectually stimulating – do not be driven by remuneration alone
  2. Success depends on hard work, determination and curiosity – do not be afraid to ask questions
  3. Manage your career – reflect on what you have done each year and keep a record of it. This will not only keep you focused, it will remind you of how far you have come
  4. Play fair – do not give in to workplace politics – understand it but do not play it; and
  5. Stay grounded – do not forget your background, family or faith.

Simon discussed the need to get to the substance when dealing with people and situations is very important. The need to be true to yourself and build upon natural abilities was an overriding theme of his advice. On the topic of managing stress, he stated that it is the importance of understanding what is truly important in life.

Kamel Hothi:

Kamel offered an insight into her definition of success, which she believes is in the “eyes of the beholder”. Some of the key points raised by her included:

  1. Do what drives you and love what you do;
  2. Success is not just limited to a career – don’t miss out on life and what it has to offer;
  3. Don’t compare your own success to others – we’re all on our own journeys. Be inspired and learn from others, but don’t compare yourself to them;
  4. Have a tangible plan for progress; and
  5. Create a good first impression – give yourself a personal brand that people will remember.

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner (@LauraJanklaus):

Rabbi Laura made a memorable connection between power and ideas of success through Rabbinic analogy: We each have two pockets of power. Each power combats feelings of negativity and encourages positivity. In one pocket, we have a piece of paper that reads, ‘I am but dust and ashes’. This reminds us that we are all equal and come from the same root. This power pocket enables us to keep our ego in check and stay grounded in the other pocket, a piece of paper reads: ‘For me, the whole world was created’. It is important to remember this, especially when you are feeling particularly low. The trick with these power pockets is for you to find a balance; that is when you will be at your most powerful. She also emphasised the importance of being around those you love and thereby having the freedom to rebuke one another and steer clear of hubris.

Sathnam Sanghera (@sathnam and

Sathnam’s take on success can be summarised as follows: Success is a bi-product of hard work and luck, which has been particularly relevant in Sathnam’s case. Hard work is a direct result of diligence. It is so important to have role models that you can look up to and draw inspiration from. Sathnam spoke of the need to approach things with a degree of naivety as extensive pre-planning removes the opportunity to experience something afresh and exhibit your true abilities when faced with something new. He also discussed the importance of humility and how you do not always need to emphasise your own achievements in order to be respected. He commented on how you shouldn’t shy away from a challenge and to win over the “most difficult person in the room”.

Finally, our co-planner at Norton Rose Fulbright, Chet Behl, had the following to say on the event: “The seminal message we took home that evening was that “success” is the ability to improve yourself in every sphere of life, on a continual basis. The panel exceeded our expectations in every sense and provided ‘that little bit more’. CSN put on such a stellar show both in terms of logistics and moderation and the calibre of Q&A from the invited guests was a very real testament to the reach that CSN now has in the City of London. I for one, left feeing most inspired.” Authored by: Chayya Sayal, City Sikhs Network Ambassador (LinkedIn/@c_syal)