Episode 22

GCs in the Boardroom: Lisa Harrington, Board Director, Consultant, and CLO

Episode summary

Introduction: 1:28

  • Introducing Lisa Harrington, Board Director at Slam Corp and Iron Horse Acquisitions, consultant, and CLO. 
  • Discussing holiday travel recommendations.

Comparing and contrasting GC roles at public and private companies: 4:24

  • Valuing your experience as corporate secretary and working at VC-backed start-ups.
  • Developing skills by spending time in the boardroom and working as an executive.
  • Studying your colleagues’ work habits to see which traits you want to model.

Finding opportunities on to take on board directorships or take on board seats: 8:48

  • Taking on board roles to expand your skill set and meet lots of cool people.
  • Building your network at non-profit committees as you make your way up to public boards.

Setting yourself up to get recruited for board membership: 15:01

  • Pulling together a board bio, elevator pitch, and other value propositions.
  • Growing your legal toolbox to provide companies with the skill set they are looking for.

Describing the ongoing obligations of a board member or director: 21:39

  • Taking on a manageable amount of responsibilities and attending both virtual and in-person meetings.
  • Knowing when and how to ask questions.

Factors to consider for GCs looking to join a board: 25:08

  • Considering what skills you have to offer and what skills you want to learn.
  • Jumping in and helping regardless of the situation.

Non-legal-related advice for drafting your board agreement: 28:17

  • Knowing when your agreement puts you at personal risk.
  • Understanding the value of great D&O coverage.
  • Being transparent about what you will and will not do.

Making strong connections with operators: 31:53

  • Getting to know key decision makers so you can offer the best advice.
  • Making sure everyone sees you as a board member and not a lawyer.
  • Safeguarding your time and avoiding overextending yourself.

Going through the IPO process with Iron Horse: 37:49

  • Advising through the pandemic from a board standpoint.

Participating on a board during an acquisition at Slam Corp: 41:37

  • Furthering your skill set as a lawyer, a human, and a director.
  • Enduring a difficult process to confirm that you’re where you want to be in your career.

Leaving a board role with grace: 44:45

  • Deciding whether or not to renew your board seat at the end of your term.
  • Being honest about whether you are able to commit time and energy to your role.

Advice to younger self: 47:10

  • Developing business skills and earning an MBA early in your career.
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Tyler Finn
Head of Community & Growth, SpotDraft
Lisa Harrington
Board Director, Consultant, and CLO

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