The Drucker Institute announced that former cable TV executive, author and leading social entrepreneur Bob Buford has been appointed chairman of its Board of Advisors.
“Bob Buford is an extraordinary man–a wise, visionary and effective leader–who had the good fortune of being one of Peter Drucker’s closest friends,” said Rick Wartzman, the director of the Institute, which is a campus-wide resource of Claremont Graduate University. “The entire staff here is looking forward to working closely with Bob in his new role as we seek to carry out our mission: stimulating effective management and ethical leadership across all sectors of society.”
CGU President Robert Klitgaard called Buford “an exemplar of carrying forward the Drucker legacy.”
“Bob is fascinated by ideas, passionate about results, ready to learn anything anytime, and committed to sharing hard-earned insights with the next generation,” Klitgaard said.
Added Ira Jackson, dean of CGU’s Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management: “Bob Buford combines a passion for promoting Peter Drucker with a commitment to helping others move from success to significance. He has the courage to ask, as Peter did: ‘What do you want to be remembered for?’ All of us are grateful that part of Bob’s own answer is to preserve and promote Peter Drucker’s principles and practices, and to bring them to new audiences in new ways. As a social entrepreneur, Bob walks the talk, and his chairmanship of the Drucker Institute will help us to not only promote Drucker effectively, but also to practice and model Peter’s principles as an organization.”
Buford leads an extraordinary group of board members, who, besides Klitgaard and Jackson, include: John Bachmann, senior partner at the investment firm Edward Jones; John Byrne, the editor-in-chief ofBusinessWeek.com; attorney Cecily Drucker, daughter of the late Peter Drucker; author, inventor and entrepreneur Doris Drucker, wife of the late Peter Drucker; Allison Graff-Weisner, executive director of City Year Los Angeles; Nobuhiro Iijima, president of Tokyo-based Yamazaki Baking Co.; KH Moon, former chief executive of Yuhan-Kimberly Ltd. of South Korea; C. William Pollard, former chairman and CEO of ServiceMaster Co. and author; Minglo Shao, founder of Bright China Holding Ltd. and head of the Peter F. Drucker Academy, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to teaching Drucker’s principles and practices in China; and Craig Wynett, general manager of Future Growth Initiatives at Procter & Gamble Co.
“For the last 20 years of his life, it was my privilege to visit face to face several times a year with Peter Drucker,” Buford said. “Peter was the man I most admired on this earth. To me, Peter was to the 20th Century what the French aristocrat, Alex De Tocqueville, was to the 19th Century. More than anyone else, Peter understood the times he lived in. There’s only one like him every century or so.”
Buford noted that before he met Drucker, he had become very familiar with his writings. “As a young man, the full weight of managing a family business had descended on my shoulders at age 32,” Buford recalled. “My mother, the founding pioneer of a television broadcast company, had met an untimely death in a hotel fire in Dallas. My admiration for Peter Drucker rested entirely on his ideas. As a young and naive manager, I read everything I could get my hands on. Much of it seemed superficial and trendy to me. Here today, gone tomorrow ideas.
“Peter Drucker was something different, whole orders of magnitude different,” Buford continued. “The minute I began reading Peter, I was home. Peter spoke to the idealistic and the ethical side of me, as well as the pragmatic, get-things-done side. What Peter said had authority. It had gravity. He was moral, but not moralistic. His approach was founded on universal ideas, but he wasn’t ideological. Most of all, Peter understood the human side of enterprise. It seems like we’ve lost touch of that lately.”
Buford is chairman of the board of The Buford Foundation/Leadership Network and, until the sale of his company in July 1999, served as chairman and CEO of Buford Television Inc., a family-owned business that started with a single ABC affiliate in Tyler, Texas, in the early 1950s and grew to a network of cable systems across the country. A classic entrepreneur, Buford has authored four books–Half Time, Game Plan, Stuck in Halftime and Finishing Well. Buford was the founder and initial chairman of the board of The Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, now called the Leader to Leader Institute. He and his wife, Linda, make their home in Dallas. Buford’s official website can be found at www.activeenergy.net.
“I am delighted that Bob Buford has agreed to be the chairman of the Drucker Institute’s Board of Advisors,” said Doris Drucker. “Peter and I first met Bob about 25 years ago when he was a member of the Young Presidents Association. He has been an endearing friend ever since. Intellectually and conceptually he and Peter thought along parallel lines. I am convinced that Bob will guide our board to make decisions which, in Peter’s spirit, will lead to the establishment of a civil society in which both for-profit and non-profit organizations find their right place in our environment.”