Every board is different, with its own individual personalities meshing for one common cause: to run the co-op or condo in their charge efficiently and with integrity.
Some board members come to their positions with years of experience. Others are neophytes. Some board members are reticent, thoughtful and measured in their approaches. Others are more vociferous, taking charge and moving things forward quickly and aggressively. These are all legitimate approaches to running a building, and any one of them can work well for the benefit of the community.
There are times, however, when one board member's personality or approach to the job can throw a wrench into the whole system. They're the people who try to dominate a meeting, try to push their agendas no matter what the cost, and try to bully their fellow board members into seeing things their way. They're the folks that boards and management dread.
(Mostly) Good Apples
Before things get too gloomy however, it's important to remember that the vast majority of board members approach their duties with a sense of integrity and a desire to do what is best for the fellow residents they were elected to serve. It's actually rare to see a board member really allow their self-interest get the better of them, and create difficult situations for everyone else around them. Perhaps they don't even realize they're doing it. Whatever the reason, the result is the same: both the residents and the building suffer.
There are ways to solve these problems though, and the answer is not always to simply vote these troublesome board members off the proverbial island. Finding that solution starts with finding the root of the problem and understanding that there are a number of reasons why a board member might cause trouble—whether that trouble takes the form of inappropriate aggression, passive-aggressive foot-dragging or simple ignorance.