Like Father, Like Daughter: When Board Service Runs in the Family

Episode Summary

They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, which occasionally also proves true when it comes to board service. In this episode, Host TK Kerstetter sits down with two very experienced and well-respected board members, who also happen to be father and daughter (serving on separate boards).

Ann Harlan shares the many life lessons she learned from her father, Steve Harlan, over the years and explains how those family values guided her when blazing her own trail as a board member.

The other thing I’d say about [my] Dad is that he had EQ (i.e., “Emotional Quotient” or Emotional Intelligence) before EQ was even a word—and before all those business consultants understood the importance of listening, communicating, knowing your strengths, motivating others. He really understood that, and he understood the business application for that… It was a tone around our dinner table: What are you doing? How are you doing it? What are the risks?
— Ann Harlan, Lead Director, Gorman-Rupp Company

In this light-hearted episode, Kerstetter uncovers the nuances of this father-daughter relationship to explore whether there is a transfer of board knowledge from one generation to the next. The questions we cover:

  • (To Steve) What lessons have you taught your daughter about board service and career success?
  • (To Ann) Looking back over your board career, which family/life lessons have served you best?
  • During the time you were both serving on boards, how did you support each other?