Against a growing background of corporate bankruptcy and mismanagement, much has recently been written to dramatize the ineffectiveness of today's boards of directors. Acknowledging this condition, this article moves behind the scenes to isolate the fundamental causes of this problem and suggests an approach for today's corporate executive officer to use in correcting it. The chief executive officer (CEO)'s need for an effective board of directors can best be characterized today as critical. Perhaps such a case could always be made for the need for this assistance, but it is especially acute now because of the increasing complexity of the business environment and the size of the stakes involved. In an effort to contribute toward both a better understanding of this critical problem and a meaningful solution to it, this article highlights recent developments that place an even greater premium on an effective contribution by boards of directors to the top management of major business enterprises and describes some of the major obstacles that make it difficult, if not impossible, for today's CEOs to realize such a contribution from their boards.