Hays UK jobs and employment blog


5 character traits which lead to the boardroom

By Hays Experts


Why do aspiring senior professionals covet board level positions? The money is one factor, board members are among the top earners at their organisations, but board members also have the unique opportunity to make a real difference in their organisations - and can help steer the impact that their organisation has.

Aspiring directors who want to take on the privilege and responsibility of a C-suite level position, need to appreciate that the fate of a company and its employees all lie on their decisions, and must have the right character traits to make the most of the privilege and responsibility of joining a board.

Some of these top traits include:

Emotional intelligence

There’s a ceiling for any managers who fail to demonstrate emotional intelligence. Without empathy, understanding and a grounding in the needs of their team and the wider needs of the organisation’s employees, a board member could not be trusted to make decisions in their best interests.


The boardroom is less of a battleground and more of an open forum. Teamwork, compromise, negotiation, are all vital components to board membership. If you’re not a team player, or you’re too much of a maverick – you won’t last long on a board.


Astuteness and acumen are part of any senior professional’s arsenal and being able to confidently make decisions for the good of the company are vital to your bid for board membership. If successful, you’ll need both the good judgement and the confidence of conviction to call out C-suite professionals.


Asking questions is a vital part of a senior manager’s toolkit, but at board level, knowing which questions to ask and who to ask is of utmost importance. Your strategic decisions could send shockwaves throughout your organisation, so to make them properly, you must do whatever it takes to be properly informed.


Board members need to be relied on to stick with their organisation even if times are tough. You need to be trustworthy and demonstrate times where you’ve earned the trust of others in your organisation. If you develop a reputation for disloyalty or untrustworthiness, your chances of being invited to a board will dwindle.

If you believe your future belongs in the boardroom and want to find a new role with a fast-track to board, get in touch with your local recruiting expert to discuss your aspirations.

About this author

Beginning life in 1968 with just a handful of employees, Hays how has over 7,800 recruiting specialists worldwide, including 1,800 in the UK. Our consultants are experts in their field, helping professionals advance their careers, and organisations find the right talent.


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