Corporate Sweet Talk: How Flattery Can Earn Seats In The Boardroom

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Executive Summary

In the corporate world, board appointments are perceived as markers of success. However, new research from Ithai Stern suggests boardroom entrance strategies are rarely based on merit alone. According to the study, corporate leaders are more likely to win board appointments at other firms when employing subtle, but sophisticated, forms of flattery and opinion conformity within their organizations. Stern and Westphal identified seven effective forms of ingratiation most likely to help executives win board seats.

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