Bob Buford and Peter Drucker


Based on research by Susan Conway



The Leadership Network was started by Buford in 1984.  Later he encouraged Drucker to set up the Drucker Foundation, and was the founding chairman of the Drucker Foundation which was started in 1990.


I do not know when the two men met.  I would guess that it was long before Leadership Network was started, at least in the early 1980s or most likely in the 1970s…perhaps as a result of Buford’s involvement with the Young Presidents’ Organization.

Bob Buford served as Chairman of the Board and CEO of Buford Television, Inc. until the sale of his company in July 1999. He is the author of several popular books and the founder of his own nonprofit organization.

His business success came from turning a family owned business with a single ABC affiliate in Tyler, Texas, into a network of cable systems across the country.

In 1995, he wrote "Halftime", a book about how to find meaning and fulfillment in the second half of our lives. "Game Plan" was published in 1997 and his third book, "Stuck in Halftime: Reinvesting Your One and Only Life", was released in April 2001.

Mr. Buford founded Leadership Network in 1984 as a resource broker that supplies information to and connects leaders of innovative churches. The emerging new paradigm of the 21st century church calls 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.

The Leadership Training Network (LTN) was created in 1995, with the goal of identifying, training and providing an ongoing peer-coaching network for leaders of lay mobilization in local congregations. Through its training programs, materials and consultations, LTN is making a distinct contribution to the emerging 21st century church.

In 1988, Dick Schubert, Frances Hesselbein and Bob Buford convinced management guru Peter Drucker to lend his name and time to a foundation designed to lead social sector organizations toward excellence in performance. Mr. Buford serves as the Founding Chairman of the Board of Governors. Through its conferences, publications and partnerships, The Drucker Foundation is helping social sector organizations focus on their mission, achieve true accountability, leverage innovation and develop productive partnerships. Mr. Buford is serving as co-chairman of the board for the newly created Drucker Archives and Institute.

In 1998, Mr. Buford launched Halftime (initially named FaithWorks) to mobilize and equip high-capacity business/professional leaders to convert their faith into action and effective results. The mission of Halftime is to develop strategy and resources to equip business/professional leaders to achieve maximum leverage and return on the investment of their time and resources measured in changed lives and healthier communities.

He has played active roles in Young Presidents’ Organization and World Presidents’ Organization and serves on the board of the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard.

What is Leadership Training Network (LTN)?
LTN is a partner with Leadership Network, a private foundation created in 1984 by Bob Buford. Leadership Network identifies the innovation leaders in strategic areas of the church and connects them with each other so they can learn from each other. LTN focuses on influencing and educating innovative church leaders who are seeking to develop and strengthen equipping ministry in their local church. They offer a full line of seminars, workshops, Institutes and national events, including integrated training materials for the local church setting.

What is the mission of LTN?
The mission of LTN is to influence and resource innovative church leaders to equip people for biblical, gift-based team ministry.

Leadership Network is a private, operating foundation created in 1984 by social entrepreneur Bob Buford for the original purpose of identifying, networking and providing resources for the senior ministers and staff of large congregations (1,000 + in weekend worship attendance) in the United States. Churches served by Leadership Network represent a wide variety of primarily Protestant faith traditions, ranging from mainline to evangelical to independent, and are characterized by their culture of innovation, desire to be on the leading edge of ministry, and entrepreneurial leadership.

Our mission is to accelerate the emergence of effective churches. Effective churches develop leadership teams; equip and deploy the people of God for service; understand and engage the culture; build authentic community; and achieve missional impact.

Each of these books features a blue-chip lineup of contributors. Leading Beyond the Walls has the likes of Jim Collins, Peter Senge and Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas Gandhi. The Community of the Future includes Drucker, Stephen R. Covey, Lester Thurow and an afterword by Elie Wiesel. The book also includes a chapter, "How Boomers, Churches and Entrepreneurs Can Transform Society," by Bob Buford, a Texas broadcasting businessman turned social/religious entrepreneur. Buford has long been associated with Drucker. He is one of the people Drucker interviewed in his 1990 book Managing the Nonprofit Organization: Practices and Principles and he helped found the Drucker Foundation that same year. Drucker has also written the foreword for two of Buford's spiritually oriented, self-help books.

The Leader to Leader Institute has its roots in the social sector and its predecessor, the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, which in January 2003 transferred its ongoing activities to the new identity.

The Leader to Leader Institute furthers its mission "to strengthen the leadership of the social sector" by providing educational opportunities and resources to leaders.

Continuing the work of the Institute since its founding in 1990, the Leader to Leader Institute serves as a broker of intellectual capital, bringing together the finest thought leaders, consultants, and authors in the world with the leaders of social sector voluntary organizations. By providing intellectual resources to leaders in the business, government, and social sectors, and by fostering partnerships across these sectors, the Leader to Leader Institute works to strengthen social sector leaders of the United States and of nations around the globe.