I just completed a 30 year Career as a CEO (City Manager). When I read John Carvers first book "Boards That Make a Differnce", I knew that I had to meet this man in person. In the City Manager business your board members often times come to you after running a political campaign against some one that may have already been one of your board members. There are only two requirements to run for a Mayor of City Council elected position, your age and you must live within the city for a certain period of time before you can run for office. Besides their conflicting political points of view most elected officials have very limited experience when they come to office, and find themselves responsible for governing a muli-million dollar corporation with as much diversification as a city government. Providing long term leadership for one corporation is challenging enough, but a City is like trying to manage a mulitude of very different companies all under on umbrella. The majority of board members do not have any experience much less understand what their actual "roles and responsiblities are as a new Board member". Your role as a City Manager whether you like it or not is to continually train your Board of Directors and do what ever you can to get them to make good quality decisions as a group despite their differnce in politics. I have used the "CarverGuides" for years to help my board members learn what their roles and responsibilies are. I was a member in the State Of Texas to the Texas Municiple League (TML), an association that was responsible for training Mayors and Councilmen, City Managers, and all of the heads of all of the departments within a city. We were also a stong lobbying group promoting positive legislation and defending against poor legislation. We put together Special two or three day confernces, and an annual conference to provide up to date, and state-of-the-art training, to all of our members. After meeting John I got TML to put together a 3 day Executive Level Conference for all of he Elected Officals and all of the City Mangers in the State of Texas. He was received so well that there was a demand placed on having him come back for the next few years. He is not only a good writer he is also an excellent speaker and trainer. He tells it like it is and does not pull any punches. I not only highly recommend his books but the use of his series of CarverGuides. They made my job of training my bosses a lot easier than it would have been without his materials.