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6 Kinds of Board Members — and How to Influence Them

Different personalities require different approaches.

December 20, 2023

Britt Erlanson/Getty Images


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  • Boards are not monolithic. They often are composed of people with different kinds of personalities. This article describes six types: the narcissist, the data chaser, the deferential, the status hound, the unprepared, and the stakeholder champion. It offers tactics for influencing each.

    There are many players trying to influence boards. Whether they are senior executives trying to get their ideas heard, consultants looking to sell business, or activist shareholders hoping to change the direction of an organization, they are all looking to influence and persuade the board.


    • Pedro Fontes Falcão is an assistant professor in the Department of Marketing, Operations, and General Management at Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (Iscte-IUL) in Lisbon, Portugal, a researcher in its Business Research Unit  (BRU-IUL), and executive MBA director at Iscte Executive Education.


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