Bob Buford Tribute2018-07-09T09:43:07+00:00
Bob Buford 1939 to 2018
Those who loved him, admired him,
worshiped alongside him and learned
from him knew — He Finished Well.

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…

As for me, I have decided that just about all that will be left of me when I leave this earth is what I can let go of to invest in the lives of others. The fruit of my life and my work will grow on other people’s trees.

Bob’s Early Years and Personal Life

Bob Buford was born in 1939, the firstborn of Pat and Lucille Buford. He was born in Okulgee, Oklahoma, where he spent many of his childhood years. After the birth of his twin brothers, Geoffrey (Jeff) and Gerald (Jerry) the family moved to Texas, where Bob spent most of his life. Bob enjoyed backyard Bible stories with his family and played high school football.

Bob married the love of his life, Linda in 1961 and they had one son, Ross Buford.

Bob’s mother, Lucille Buford, founded their family business, Buford Television, Inc., but her untimely death (when Bob was just thirty-two years old) came as quite a shock and an adjustment for the family and the business. Bob says of that time, “As a young man, the full weight of managing a family business had descended on my shoulders in my early thirties… My objective, starting from a small base, was to outgrow in percentage terms all the public companies in this business.” And he did! Bob recalls, “Beginning in 1971, the year of my mother’s death, our company’s market value grew 25 percent annually for a dozen years – very heady times for a young CEO.” 

“When I think about heaven, that’s where I’m going…that’s where Ross is, that’s where my mom is…so many wonderful people…And it is going to be fabulous. We will be together for all of eternity.”

The Halftime Institute

In 1980 Bob Buford was serving as the Chairman and CEO of Buford Television, Inc., a successful, thriving cable television business in Tyler, Texas. He was 41 years old and had not only achieved but had exceeded the personal and financial goals he had set for himself. And then…Bob felt God calling him to something different.

As Bob has always done when facing tough business decisions, he began asking advice from close friends and advisors. Bob went to see Mike Kami, a strategic business consultant. Mike asked Bob one simple question, “What’s in the box?” He explained that before he could help Bob set the course for the second half of his life, Mike needed to know what was absolutely the most important thing in Bob’s life. He asked Bob to draw a box on a piece of paper. “I’ve been listening to you for two hours, and I can’t help you unless you put one thing in the box. It is either money or Jesus Christ.” One symbol, one passion – Bob had to choose. When Bob placed that little cross in the middle of the box, he felt he was saying to God, “I’m yours. From now on, nothing will be as important to me as You.” That decision launched Bob into his parallel career.

In 1995, Buford wrote Halftime, a best-selling book that came out of his mind and heart on how to find fulfillment in the second half of life.

We are wired for purposeful human engagement and contribution, and without it, we wither.”

Leadership Network: Equipping Churches for 21st Century Leadership

In 1984 Bob Buford founded  Leadership Network, which equips, connects, and resources leaders of innovative churches to even greater Kingdom effectiveness. Bob knew that the emerging new paradigm of the 21st century church called for the development of new tools and resources as well as the equipping of a new type of 21st century church leader, both clergy and laity. Leadership Network serves the leadership teams of large churches, as well as leaders in the areas of lay mobilization, denominational leadership at the middle and regional judicatory level and the next generation of emerging young leaders.

I have a vision to transform the latent energy in American Christianity into active energy.”

Bob’s Ongoing Influence

Bob Buford influenced the culture of the organizations he founded until his dying day. His favorite question, “What can we do to be more useful to you?” remains an oft-asked question and one reason why both the Halftime Institute and Leadership Network are still growing after all these years.

Bob was an incredibly devoted and focused philanthropist, investing all his philanthropic support in his vision of “transforming the latent energy of American Christianity into active energy.” He invested in Leadership Network to mobilize innovative church leadership toward this end, and he invested in the Halftime Institute to transform and mobilize individual Christian leaders to impact the Kingdom. Bob’s desire was never to completely fund the Halftime Institute or Leadership Network, rather his investments in these organizations served as the seed capital to build the two thriving nonprofit organizations. Bob gave generously and sacrificially, holding nothing back, desiring that his “last check would bounce.” His example of humble, focused, and sacrificial giving is an example to all. To invest in the Halftime Institute and extend Bob’s legacy, click here.

Lloyd Reeb, a mentee of Bob Buford and the Halftime Institute’s Primary Spokesperson, shares, “Bob Buford took his business expertise, innovative thinking and entrepreneurial talent to address two of the most leveraged opportunities in our culture for real transformation.

“The essential ingredient for success is a steady stream of innovation.”

Bob’s Books and Publications
Halftime: From Success to Significance (20th Anniversary Edition) – Click here to purchase on Amazon.com 

Are you ready to move into the second half of your life? Bob Buford believes the second half of your life can be better than the first. Much better. But first, you need time to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life. In Halftime, Buford focuses on this important time of transition—the time when, as he says, a person moves beyond the first half of the game of life. It’s halftime, a time of revitalization and for catching a new vision for living the second half, the half where life can be lived at its most rewarding.

Finishing Well – Click here to purchase on Amazon.com 

Bob Buford called them “code breakers.” They are people age 40 and older who have pioneered the art of finishing well in these modern times, and who can teach us to do the same, starting today. Buford sought out 60 of these trailblazers―including Peter Drucker, Roger Staubach, Jim Collins, Ken Blanchard, and Dallas Willard―and has recorded their lively conversations in these pages so that they can serve as “mentors in print” for all of us.

Drucker & MeClick here to purchase on Amazon.com 

The inspiring true story of two giants who would change the world. In the tradition of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Last Lecture, this is the inspiring true story of two men who decided to make a significant difference—and did. As Bob Buford and Peter Drucker discovered, when people share a common and compelling vision, anything can happen.

Beyond HalftimeClick here to purchase on Amazon.com

“This book is the result of fifteen years of answering questions about halftime,” writes Buford. “I’ve focused on the areas that seem to come up most from those who contact me, and I’ve answered them in much the same way I would answer you if we sat down together over coffee. So in a very real sense, this book allows me to be your companion as you negotiate the ups and downs of the whole halftime experience.” Beyond Halftime invites you to slow down and take time to listen—really listen—to the voice of your heart and the rhythms of your life. The discoveries you’re about to make during this vital phase of your life can’t be rushed. Enjoy this wise guidance on the things that matter most in moving from gaining success to leaving a legacy. Your most rewarding years lie ahead of you.

Game Plan – Click here to purchase on Amazon.com

In Game Plan, Buford gives you a practical way to move from success to significance and create an individual strategy that can get you where you want to be five . . . ten . . . twenty . . . thirty . . . or more years from now. If you sense it’s time for a positive change in your life, Game Plan gives you the tools to uncover your best self, aim for your highest dreams, and make your career and personal life more meaningful and fulfilling than ever.

Stuck In HalftimeClick here to purchase on Amazon.com

Stuck in Halftime coaches readers how to get past the barriers that stand in their way to maturity and fulfillment. It outlines eight “myths of halftime” and explains the new set of rules for this second half of life’s journey. Combining practical guidance with personal stories of people who have become “unstuck,” Stuck in Halftime renews the vision and determination of those who heard the “still, small voice of God” calling them to a life of significance.

Word’s of Wisdom from Bob



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I read Halftime for the first time when I was 21 years old. I decided I didn't want to wait until my forties to live with a strong sense of purpose guiding my life. Through his book, Bob showed me some of the questions to ask and perspectives to consider to have a greater impact. Over a decade later, I'm so grateful for the influence he's had in my life through his writing. Also, the Halftime Institute is great!

I wrote him a letter this morning and came here for the address to send it. I never met Bob, but his influence on my life the last 20 years has been large. I read Halftime at age 25 to see how those that thrive later in life do it right. I have his Top 10 Values by my desk here to live by and his example of how he lived his life through success and failure and pain to have as example when I lost my own brother suddenly. Thanks for being real and yourself Bob. Your influence is through people like me down to the next generation after me. So grateful for the life and faithfulness of Bob Buford.

Bob was an incredible mentor to my father, and I’m grateful for the impact his faith has had on our family. It’s truly amazing to look back on the many ways God equipped and worked through Bob to reach and transform a demographic and generation. He served selflessly, gave of himself generously, and led by example. Well done, Bob! While you will be missed here on earth, I hope you enjoy the party in Heaven.

I worked at BTI Corporate from 1979-2002. As a financial analyst, I was involved with the strategic planning at a critical time for corporate management. Bob had pressures to keep the success rolling. Not all decisions turn out as planned or better. God blessed Bob with wisdom. After knowing Bob I felt the need to make a mark on young people early in life. I switched directions and became a Christian Elementary School Principal, turning a failing school around. Thank you Bob and the Lord. What a life!!

I had the privilege of meeting and getting to know Bob when I was on the staff and then later as a volunteer at Willow Creek Community Church. I will always remember how Bob would spend time with me over coffee and I always walked away from our time together feeling very valued by him and inspired that he thought I was making a contribution in the ministry I was involved in. One time I was attending a leadership retreat in Milwaukee Wisc and had been retired from staff for 7 years. That evening they had a video on the large screen at the opening session. To my surprise, Bob was in that video and spoke about what a key role I had played in the small group ministry - I felt so honored - but that was the kind of guy Bob was. I will miss him!

One day at the Halftime Institute offices in Dallas while grappling with a mission statement, Bob came alongside me and in his amazing way clarified my thinking and encouraged me while also pointing out the risks associated. He was such an gracious man.