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Perhaps because it isn’t an especially comfortable subject, relative stature among directors rarely comes up in discussion. But the issue can have a significant impact on board performance. Author Simon Wong's discussions with chairmen, as well as direct observations of boardroom dynamics, have revealed that CEOs often disregard the views of outside directors whom they perceive to be less qualified than they are. Correspondingly, non-executive directors who are in awe of, or intimidated by, a CEO can be too deferential to management.