By: Dr. Rhonda Kehlbeck, Vice President of Admissions at Halftime Institute 

“Who is our customer? What does the customer consider value? What is our business?”

-Bob Buford (1939-2018)

Why do these questions hold so much weight?

In order to stay focused on your mission, it’s important to take time to regularly return to these musings originally posed by Peter Drucker. When Bob Buford was with us, he would continually bring us back to these simple, but very significant questions.

The reason? To make sure that we were on target to effectively living out our mission.

These questions act as guardrails to keep any organization or individual from wandering to the wayside.

We want to invite you to reflect on 2020 with us, in hopes of encouraging and equipping you to pause and evaluate your mission before embarking on new adventures in 2021.

Three Questions to Reflect and Refocus 

For our purposes, let’s define “customer” as any individual or group for whom you can provide service, assistance, investment, aid, etc.

1. Who is our customer? 

When you think about the next season of your life and how you want to make your time and resources count, who comes to mind? Have you stopped for long enough to really consider: Who is my “customer”?

We invite you to pause and think or journal through some of these questions to help: 

  • Who do your skills and passions best equip you to serve? 
  • Do you have the network you need to get started?
  • What obstacles are standing in the way of pressing go? 
  • Are there any limiting fears that you need to leave behind?

When it comes to our team, many ask, “Who exactly do you serve at Halftime?”

At the core, our clients – “halftimers” – are diverse leaders (ranging from mid-30s to mid-70s in age and crossing all industries, ethnicities, and genders) who have a desire to actively pursue purpose in a variety of ways, each unique to their individual experiences and skills. Regardless of background, halftimers are seeking clarity on how they can use their God-given talents and resources to make an impact. Some are passionate about investing in their own communities, while others tackle challenges around the globe.

Contrary to popular belief, the large majority don’t “retire” in the traditional sense before pursuing their mission – instead, they continue on, leveraging the influence and experience they have gained throughout their life with a renewed vision and purpose.

Prior to starting their halftime journey of discovery, many people “checking out” Halftime sense that God is nudging them to make a change, although their next mission may not be crystal clear yet. We call this, “smoldering discontent.”

Can you relate to any of these comments?

“I feel stuck and know I need help to figure this out. For me, this is not a DIY type of process.”

-Prospective Client


“I have always felt that I’m in the wrong place. I want to figure out what God has in mind for me.”

-Prospective Client


“A lot of people ask me why I’m leaving the military at the height of his career. I’m leaving because my mission is somewhere else; it’s scary but true.”

-Current Fellow 

Another common theme among prospective halftimers? Fear. The journey to discover the right fit is scary and the unknowns can often feel like a roadblock. This is where our team of Halftime Certified™ Coaches come into play. Our programs are customized to help you discover your sweet spot and dive in to living it out with the support of a strong network of leaders like you.

2. What does the customer consider value? 

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Tesla Inc. CEO, Elon Musk, noted “A company has no value in and of itself. It only has value to the degree that it is an effective allocator of resources to create goods and services of great value…and innovation often doesn’t come through one breakthrough idea but a relentless focus on continuous improvement.”

Now that you’ve considered who your customer is, do you have clarity around how you uniquely add value to their lives? If not, take a moment and work through the below questions to get started:

  • What feedback systems do you have in place for continuous growth and innovation both personally and organizationally? 
  • How can you leverage your strengths to provide the greatest value? 
  • Do you have a team to lean on along the way? 
  • How could including others on the journey help?

To ensure halftimers are gaining the highest possible value through our programs, we continually ask for feedback and adjust our strategy in real-time to best serve our clients. We often joke that no two experiences are ever the same, as a result. But here’s what a few halftimers have recently shared as a testament to the process we’ve curated over the last 20+ years: 

“Because of my background, I don’t trust easily; but I trust my Cohort.  This process has been the greatest investment of my life.” 

-US Army Senior Officer


“Before I started the Fellows Program, my ego, title, and job were my priority. This Cohort was a big part of me learning how to get out of my own way so I could re-prioritize.”

-Corporate Executive


“This year, I stopped making excuses and started saying ‘yes’ to God. Even though my first year in the Fellows Program is ending, I feel like my journey has just begun.”

-Financial Advisor  

We love knowing that our programs are making a difference. We hear from halftimers that they value the personal attention and genuine listening they experience. While each individual gains a unique takeaway, it often boils down to these four areas of impact that can be expected when you go all in:

PROVEN PLAN & PROCESS: For life-changing transformation – not only for you but for your entire family.

PERSONAL & SPIRITUAL GROWTH: Be closer than ever before to God, your spouse, and your family.

GREATER CLARITY: On your purpose and passions so your second half can be even better than your first.

EXPOSURE & CONNECTIONS: Access to the network of Halftime Institute alumni, leaders making a difference in your areas of interest.

3. What is our business?

For many, this year came with a forced pause.

We took advantage of this opportunity to really consider: How do we best position our organization to have the most impact globally and for decades to come? Our first two decades of working with leaders has been incredible! But what about the next 20 years?

As we reflect on 2020, we are encouraged to know that our Team made every effort to maximize this unique season for the future and we are grateful to celebrate all that God has done in the midst of this unexpected year.

We invite you to take a moment and reflect on these questions:

  • What wins are worth celebrating this year? 
  • What will it look like for you to maximize the growing pains of 2020 for greater purpose in the year to come?
  • Are you on track for fulfilling your business (or mission)? Do you know what it is?

One final question to consider…

How might we bring value to you in the days ahead?

At Halftime we are in the business of life transformation. We help leaders like you overcome the obstacles of fear, confusion, and lack of margin by providing a proven process to get clear, get free, and get going on a life of increased impact and joy. It is our mission to leverage our influence for God’s purposes.

The result?  

Check out this snapshot of how a few Fellows Alumni are making a difference this year…

Tana G., Halftime Program Alumna 

Tana is an entrepreneur who has employed thousands of temporary workers in the warehouse and supply chain arena. Since joining us on an alumni webinar, Tana asked God to help her “connect displaced workers with supply chains needing help.” The creation of a new app is just the beginning of God working through MyWorkChoice, the company she and her husband founded, to make a difference. 

Kurt K., Fellows 2015 Alum

Kurt feels his calling is to live a Barnabas life. The name “Barnabas” means “son of encouragement.” Kurt seeks to encourage and equip early stage company entrepreneurs… but he also gets involved. He uses his business background plus his passion for entrepreneurial endeavors to help other leaders. Currently, Kurt is invested in 20 companies and helps 8 organizations in their day-to-day operation.

Jon W., Current Fellow

Jon is the CFO for an LLC that owns 14 different companies. In the face of the global challenges that COVID-19 presented this year, three of their manufacturing plants transitioned to producing ventilator parts in an effort to meet a pressing need.

This is why we do what we do: story after story of halftimers living out their mission with confidence and changing the world as they partner with God and others to leverage their capacity for Kingdom impact.

If any of the reflection questions above gave you pause or prompted you to dig in deeper, would you take the next step by connecting with our team to explore how a Halftime Coach or Cohort could help you maximize your impact in 2021?

We believe that God is doing new things, breathing new life and energy into our world and into our organization. We truly believe the best days are ahead.

It would be our joy to serve you in the New Year. Our Halftime Certified™ Coaches are here to act as a sounding board, thought partner, and encourager as you process and prepare for the season ahead. We’d love to talk about how our customized programs could serve you well on your journey.

Maybe you’re a halftimer reading this and reflecting on your own experience…

Maybe you’re a friend of Halftime, and though you haven’t personally participated in a program, you’d love to partner with us to keep serving leaders who have the capacity and influence to deeply impact our world…

Would you join us in the life transformation that occurs in and through our global fellowship of friends, by contributing to our 2020 Year-End Fundraising Goal?

We look forward with eager anticipation to see how God will continue to bless and multiply these resources for His glory in the days ahead.

BOB BUFORD is known for being the voice of a generation, a prolific author, speaker, and philanthropist whose immense and widespread contribution to business leadership, personal transformation, and the growth of the modern church cannot be measured. Bob’s book Halftime began a movement of an entire generation of successful business professionals transitioning to a LIFE OF EVEN GREATER SIGNIFICANCE and eventually to the creation of the Halftime Institute. Join us as we honor his legacy by exploring Bob Buford’s Top Ten Values over the course of the year.

Rhonda Kehlbeck
Rhonda spent her first half in education; her own (a Bachelors and Masters from Baylor and a PhD from Fordham University) and helping others with theirs as speaker, lecturer, teacher, and Professor at Dallas Baptist University. She is also an author of a book for parents that encourages reading and writing with children.

The Pittsburg, Texas native met her husband at church where he drew her name from a pool of 500 women to become her secret Valentine. More than 2 decades later, she and Keith have two daughters who are currently attending Oklahoma University.

As our Vice President of Admissions, many find their Halftime journey begins by interacting with Rhonda. Her nurturing and caring spirit helps people get enrolled into the Halftime Institute.

She is a 2013 Halftime Institute alumna and considers Psalm 86:11 her favorite verse: “Lord, tell me where you want me to go and I will go there. With all my heart, I will praise you.”

"I first read Bob Buford's book several years ago, but my Halftime really began when my youngest left for college. I knew then I didn't just want another job, but wanted to give back to God by making a significant impact for His kingdom.”

Read Rhonda’s Biz Journals article co-written with Bob Buford