119: Suraj Akotia | Breaking Boundaries in Law and Leadership

On today’s episode of The Edge of Excellence, Matt is joined by Suraj Akotia, who shares his unique journey from aspiring attorney to becoming a multifaceted corporate counsel and Chief Operating Officer.

Suraj discusses the importance of maintaining an open mind and the willingness to undertake various roles beyond his legal expertise. His approach to continuous personal and professional growth, coupled with his ability to deliver value across different facets of the business, underscores his philosophy that excellence is about constant improvement and learning.

They do a deep dive into Suraj’s career trajectory, highlighting the pivotal moments and decisions that shaped his path. Suraj’s story is a testament to the power of exploring new opportunities, engaging with challenges head-on, and seeking out mentorship and learning in every situation. From his early days interning at an asset management firm to his strategic move into in-house counsel and operations, Suraj’s journey is filled with insights on navigating career transitions, embracing change, and the significance of aligning personal goals with broader organizational objectives.

Prepare to be inspired by Suraj’s definition of excellence and his approach to career development. His experiences offer valuable lessons on the benefits of stepping outside one’s comfort zone, the impact of mentorship, and the importance of contributing to a company’s growth beyond conventional role expectations. This episode is a must for anyone interested in law, operations, or anyone seeking motivation to pursue excellence in their careers and personal lives.

Join Matt and Suraj for this fascinating conversation.


What You Will Learn In This Show:

  • The importance of being open to taking on various roles beyond one’s job title or expertise area.
  • Suraj’s transition from corporate attorney to COO, showcasing the blend of law, operations, and corporate strategy in his career path.
  • Suraj’s evolved definition of excellence as a continuous process of learning and growing, rather than just being the best at something.
  • The role of seeking mentorship and building a supportive network in navigating career transitions and opportunities.
  • How in-house counsel roles provide unique opportunities for lawyers to engage deeply with a single client, contributing significantly to business strategy and operations.
  • The importance of exploring different departments, engaging with challenges, and looking for opportunities to implement solutions across the business.
  • Adapting to regulatory changes, insurance issues, and other challenges by being proactive and willing to take on new tasks.
  • How general counsel roles allow lawyers to practice in multiple areas of law, providing a broad perspective and the ability to hire experts as needed.
  • Personal sacrifices Suraj made during his 20s, including financial and time investments in law school, which paved the way for his success.
  • And so much more…

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