Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance

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Overview

You're at the top of your game professionally. But the thrill is gone.
Now what?

Halftime, that's what.

Time to pause and take an inventory of the first half of your life in order to chart an even more fruitful and satisfying second half.

'My passion is to inspire business and professional leaders to embrace God's calling and move from ...

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Halftime: Changing Your Game Plan from Success to Significance

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Overview

You're at the top of your game professionally. But the thrill is gone.
Now what?

Halftime, that's what.

Time to pause and take an inventory of the first half of your life in order to chart an even more fruitful and satisfying second half.

'My passion is to inspire business and professional leaders to embrace God's calling and move from success to significance,' writes Bob Buford.

New content—including an interview with Bob Buford on the success of Halftime, and Bob's essay on 'The Wisdom of Peter Drucker'.

Expanded and updated for today's new leaders, Buford's award-winning classic will help you think deeply and move forward effectively. With timely examples, questions for reflection, and practical assignments, Halftime helps you set in motion the concepts that have helped thousands of men and women discover their second-half missions.

Get ready—the best years of your life lie ahead.

Bob Buford tells men how they can make their middle years a time of transformation toward a more satisfying life. Buford guides readers through times of reflection and re-evaluation, to help clarify values and establish goals for a more intentional and more significant life. Features a foreword by Peter Drucker.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
An insightful book that will help you build a rich and meaningful second half. -- Peter F. Drucker

Bob Buford is one of those rare individuals who has made the transition from focusing on success to focusing on significance. This book will show you how to make the rest of your life the best of your life. I want every man in my congregation to read this inspiring story! -- Dr. Rick Warren, Pastor, Saddleback Valley Community Church

Bob's approach really hits squarely at the feelings and emotions in a way that possibly only a fellow Christian businessman, like Bob, can do. -- Steven S. Reinemund, Retired Chairman and CEO, Pepsico, Inc.

According to Bob Buford, the first half of life is a quest for success, the second is a quest for significance. Bob should know; he has achieved the first and is showing us the latter. You'll find this book to be unique, inspiring, and practical. Read it and finish strong! -- Max Lucado, Senior Pastor, Oak Hills Church

This is the book I am giving to my children. -- Max DePree, Retired Chairman, Herman Miller, Inc. Author of Leadership Jazz and Leadership Is an Art

This inspiring book comes out of the mind and heart of a truly remarkable individual and addresses an enormous need in our society---how to find meaning and fulfillment in the second half of our lives. In short, how to move from success to significance! -- Stephen R. Covey, Covey Leadership Center

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310289586
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 12/28/2008
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Bob Buford is an entrepreneur that grew a successful cable television company in the first half of his life. In his second half, Buford founded Halftime, an organization designed to inspire business and professional leaders to embrace God's calling and move from success to significance. For outstanding resources, self-assessment tools, stories, events and experiences to help you on your Halftime journey from success to significance visit www.Halftime.org.

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Read an Excerpt


Halftime

Changing your game plan from success to significance


By Bob Buford
Zondervan
Copyright © 2008

The Leadership Network, Inc.
All right reserved.



ISBN: 978-0-310-28424-6



Chapter One Listening to the Gentle Whisper

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:11-12

I have not always paid attention to my life. To be honest, I only began paying close attention when I reached my early forties and found myself in a success panic. I was the president and CEO of a tremendously successful cable television company. I was fully engaged in a good and growing marriage. We had a son who was - there's no more appropriate way to say it - a prize.

And, of course, there was something gnawing at me. How was it that I could be so successful, so fortunate, and yet so frustratingly unfulfilled?

I knew perfectly well what I believed about business strategies and practices, family relationships, and the importance of friends. But I had not decided how I was going to reconcile all of these competing interests. And, as for the most important issue of all, my faith life, I knew what I believed, but I didn't really know what I planned to do about what I believed.

It was then that I started to wrestle with what I wanted out of the second half of my life. I was gripped with an unformed but very compelling idea that I should make my life truly productive, not merely profitable. Making a lot of money has its benefits, but what was I leaving behind that would make a difference in the world? Something was telling me that there was more to life than money. I began to reckon with the implications of the seasons of my life and to listen for the sound of the gentle stillness that breaks forth, unexpectedly, after the fire.

I began asking myself questions like these:

Am I listening for the still, small voice? Is my work still the center of my life and identity? Do I have an eternal perspective as a prism through which I view my life? What is my truest purpose? My life work? My destiny? What does it really mean to "have it all"? What do I want to be remembered for? What would my life look like if it really turned out well?

In the Scriptures, Jesus Christ taught that he had come to earth so that his followers might have abundant life, life to the fullest. That's a wonderful sentiment. And I think its point is missed by many people who think that religion is restrictive and forbidding, who think that Jesus came to scowl and scold and say, "No!" The Jesus I had come to know and love was leading me to the paths of a large life, not a small or narrow one. He was asking me to say a loud "Yes!" to a life packed with significance.

But I did not hear his yes in my first half because I was too busy to listen.

The issue for me was not belief. I was given the gift of belief in God at an early age. But for most of my first half, I was, to use a sports metaphor, stranded on second base. Consider the diagram on the next page, the concept of which first came to me from pastor and author Rick Warren.

First base is taking the simple, childlike step of belief, which is all that is required to become a member of God's family. For me it was a simple acceptance that what Jesus said about himself in the Bible was true. This step involves what Kierkegaard called "a leap of faith." Faith doesn't deny reason, but it is different than reason. It accepts, as a gift from God, a different set of capacities. Without faith we are spectators to affairs of the heart and soul. With faith we can go on to engage the other two capacities, our rational and emotional senses, on the journey of personal growth to second base.

For me the journey to second base was entirely about belief. It first engaged the heart and then the head. Rounding second base involved a shift from being what the Bible calls a "hearer of the Word" to being a "doer of the Word" - a shift from viewing faith as an internally held belief system to faith expressed in the form of loving behavior.

Like the majority of people who attend church and express a belief in God, I was comfortable standing on second base, making sure I believed the right things. I went to church on Sunday, listened to a sermon to strengthen my beliefs, and any "doing" was pretty much limited to putting some money in the offering plate and volunteering to teach a Sunday school class.

There is nothing wrong with belief. It's really the only thing God requires of us to receive his gift of eternal life. But God desires so much more for us than just right thinking. Faith expressed in behavior is "the most excellent way." Paul speaks of this in his great chapter on love, 1 Corinthians 13, which ends, "Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." The Greek word for love, agape, is exactly the same as the word for charity. Charity is the expression of love. It is as if faith and hope were acquired on the journey to second base in order to equip us for the second-half journey toward home base.

Third base involves becoming a follower by expressing our faith in the form of concrete action, usually in a religious setting, either a church or a parachurch organization. And then we are finally on the last stretch, the journey to home base. This stage involves making ourselves what Gordon MacDonald has called "kingdom builders." This means finding the mission in the world that has been specifically designed by God for each of us to do. It is what the Greeks called "destiny," what poet John Donne referred to when he said, "No man is an island, entire of itself."

The second half of the baseball diamond is about good works. It is not at all separate from the first half, which is about belief, but grows out of that belief and gives it integrity. Paraphrasing James's famous line, "Faith without works is dead," I would put it this way: "Faith without works dies." The life of faith must become a life of individual responsibility. The legs and hands must follow the heart and the head, or the body is not whole.

While God would like to see all of us hit a home run, most Christians never get beyond belief. A 2007 Gallup poll reported that 82 percent of Americans declare themselves to be Christians, which ought to be enough to infuse solid biblical values into all areas of culture. I do not doubt Gallup's findings, but I must tell you I do not see nearly that much evidence of Christian faith in our society. I believe that is because most of us are stuck somewhere between first and second base.

In the first half of life, there is barely enough time to go beyond second base. We are hunter-gatherers, doing our best to provide for our families, to advance our careers, and to pass our beliefs and values on to our children. In addition, for most men, and certainly a growing number of women, the first half finds us in our warrior mode. We need to prove to ourselves and others that we can accomplish something big, and the best way to do that is to become increasingly focused and intense.

I think of the first half as a season in which to develop faith and learn more about the unique way the Bible approaches life. The second half, when the pressure lets up, seems to be more the time when most people round second base and begin to do something about the faith they have developed. That's how it was for me.

In The Odyssey, the epic telling of the life of Odysseus, two great forces are pulling at Odysseus: work and home. He yearns to get home, yet he enjoys the battles along the way. Do you feel a kinship to him? During the first half, we too are pulled between the desire to be with our families and the adventure of trying to make it in our careers. Is it any wonder we do not hear that still, small voice calling us to something better?

The first half of life has to do with achieving and gaining, learning and earning. The majority do this in the most ordinary of ways: getting an education, entering the workforce, starting a family, buying a house, earning enough money to provide for needs as well as a few wants, setting goals, and climbing toward them. Some chase the prize in a more spectacular, aggressive fashion: closing a major deal, winning the big case, acquiring through leveraged buyouts and mergers, doing whatever it takes to make it to the top. Either way, few leave time in the first half for listening to God. If we have any spiritual interests, they usually take their form in typical first-half fashion: serving on the church building committee, teaching a Sunday school class, or organizing the annual stewardship campaign.

The second half is riskier because it has to do with living beyond the immediate. It is about releasing the seed of creativity and energy that has been implanted within us, watering and cultivating it so that we may be abundantly fruitful. It involves investing our gifts in ser vice to others - and receiving the personal joy that comes as a result of that spending. This is the kind of risk for which entrepreneurs earn excellent returns much of the time.

True entrepreneurship is not foolhardy; nor does it require particular courage. It merely seeks to gather and examine as many of the facts as possible about the market and the environment that might impact a decision. And then a decision must quickly be made. Likewise, for the second half of life to be better than the first, you must make the choice to step outside of the safety of living on autopilot. You must wrestle with who you are, why you believe what you profess to believe about your life, and what you do to provide meaning and structure to your daily activities and relationships.

There is a risk in this decision: in tossing aside the security blanket that keeps you safe and warm in your cautiously controlled zone of comfort, you may have to set aside familiar markers and reference points. You may feel, at least at first, that you are losing control of your life.

To that I say, "Good for you."

It really is good for you to surrender control and, in the process, come more fully to your senses - those senses that enable you to be aware of life's adventures and rewards.

Your future, particularly in turbulent times such as these, is in great measure beyond your control, no matter how hard you try to nail it down or plan it out. This is true whatever season of life you find yourself passing through. Yet perhaps it is most resonant for those who are approaching their middle years, as I did when I was in my forties.

For me the transition into the afternoon of life was a time for reordering my time and my treasure, for reconfiguring my values and my vision of what life could be. It represented more than a renewal; it was a new beginning. It was more than a reality check; it was a fresh and leisurely look into the holiest chamber of my own heart, affording me, at last, an opportunity to respond to my soul's deepest longings.

And it was, as it turned out, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away. It has been the most important time in my life.

So far.

Writer and director Norman Corwin, now in his nineties, recalled his transition into middle age in the book The Ageless Spirit: "I remember now that the toughest birthday I ever faced was my fortieth. It was a big symbol because it said good-bye, good-bye, and good-bye to youth. But I think that when one has passed through that age it's like breaking the sound barrier."

For it surely is a time to discover, as George Bernard Shaw had some years before, a taste of the "true joy" of life. He described it this way:

This is the true joy in life - the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I've got ahold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

In the introduction, I asked you to write your own epitaph to help you begin to think about your second half. Here's a question that will help you with the same goal: If your life were absolutely perfect, how would it look to you?

That's something worth mulling over for a good while, because the picture that will emerge is a snapshot that will help you find your bliss, your blessedness. But it will be an accurate picture only to the extent that you listen to the still, small voice within.

(Continues...)




Excerpted from Halftime by Bob Buford Copyright © 2008 by The Leadership Network, Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents Preface....................11
Foreword....................13
Foreword to First Edition....................18
Introduction: Opening the Heart's Holiest Chamber....................24
PART 1 THE FIRST HALF 1. Listening to the Gentle Whisper....................31
2. The Hour of Reverse Conversion....................39
3. A Season of Searching and Self-Help....................44
4. Success Panic....................49
5. Locating the Mainspring....................52
6. "Adios, Ross"....................57
PART 2 HALFTIME 7. Taking Stock....................65
8. What Do You Believe?....................74
9. Finding Your One Thing....................78
10. From Success to Significance....................83
11. Finding the Center and Staying There....................90
12. Staying in the Game but Adjusting the Plan....................96
13. Overlapping Curves....................105
14. Leaping into the Abyss....................110
PART 3 THE SECOND HALF 15. Life Mission....................117
16. Regaining Control....................123
17. Healthy Individualism....................133
18. Lifelong Learning....................140
19. Respect for Externals....................148
20. Playing for All You're Worth....................153
21. The Money Question....................156
22. A 50/50 Proposition....................164
Frequently Asked Questions....................169
Questions for Reflection and Discussion....................173
The Wisdom of Peter Drucker....................196
An Interview with BobBuford....................202
Acknowledgments....................211
Notes....................214
Selected Bibliography....................216
Epilogue....................218
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First Chapter

INTRODUCTION: Opening the Heart's Holiest Chamber Then he told them many things in parables, saying: 'A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop---a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.' Matthew 13:3--9 None of us knows when we will die. But any one of us, if we wish, may select our own epitaph. I have chosen mine. It is, I should confess, a somewhat haunting thing to think about your gravestone while you are vitally alive. Yet there it is, a vivid image in my mind and heart, standing as both a glorious inspiration and an epic challenge to me: 100X It means 100 times. I have taken it for myself from the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. I'm an entrepreneur, and I want to be remembered as the seed that was planted in good soil and multiplied a hundred fold. It is how I wish to live. It is how I attempt to express my passions and my core commitments. It is how I envision my own legacy. I want to be a symbol of higher yield, in life and in death. Saint Augustine said that asking yourself the question of your own legacy---What do I wish to be remembered for?---is the beginning of adulthood. That is what I have done by writing my own epitaph. After all, an epitaph should be something more than a wispy, wishful, self-selected motto. If it's honest, it says something about who you are at the essence of your personality and your soul. The stuff that stirs within the heart's holiest chamber is, I believe, a gift given to us all by our Creator. It's one way of expressing a conviction that human beings are more than animals or machines. It is a confession that we are spiritual beings with a purpose---and a destiny. It's a divine reminder that we are miraculously and wonderfully made in the image of God. You may call my 100X epitaph wishful thinking, and surely that is part of what it is. But when you select an epitaph as an expression of gratitude for your singular talent---and as a goal to which you are committed until you rest, at last, beneath the gravestone---you identify yourself as someone with a purpose and a passion that has been encoded in you for life. The parable of the sower gets to the center of my dreams and to the kernel of my experiences. It is the driving force behind this book. My passion is to multiply all that God has given me and, in the process, give it back. And I would like to incite you to do the same. I do not want you to be the seed that fell along the path, or that was scattered in rocky places, or that was choked by weeds. Such seed held potential to become fruitful, but circumstances prevented it. My own circumstances provided a moist and fertile soil in which I could grow. It was a fortunate environment, and that has been a critical factor in my story. My own tale is not that of the self-made man, nor is it a rags-to-riches account or a Horatio Alger fantasy. I was given far more opportunity for growth, personal development, and financial rewards than most Americans. On the one hand you might say that I have been lucky, for indeed I have been given much with which to work. But if you believe, as I do, that 'to whom much is given much is also required,' you will begin to see how daunting my epitaph is. What about your epitaph? What have you been given, and what will you do with it the rest of your life? Recently I have begun looking at my own life through the metaphor of a football game (actually, any sport that divides its action into two halves will do). Up until my thirty-fifth year, I was in the first half. Then, circumstances intervened that sent me into halftime. Now I am playing the second half, and it's turning into a great game. Along the way, I have come to the conclusion that the second half of our lives should be the best half---that it can be, in fact, a personal renaissance. During the first half of your life, if you are like me, you probably did not have time to think about how you would spend the rest of your life. You probably rushed through college, fell in love, married, embarked on a career, climbed upward, and acquired many things to help make the journey comfortable. You played a hard-fought first half. You may have even been winning. But sooner or later you begin to wonder if this really is as good as it gets. Somehow, keeping score does not offer the thrill it once did. You may have taken some vicious hits. A good share of men and women never make it to halftime without pain. Serious pain. Divorce. Too much alcohol. Not enough time for your kids. Guilt. Loneliness. Like many good players, you started the half with good intentions but got blindsided along the way. Even if your pain was slight, you are smart enough to see that you cannot play the second half as you did the first. For one thing, you do not have the energy you once had. Fresh out of college, you had no problem with the fourteen-hour days and going in to the office on weekends. It was part of your first-half game plan, something almost inevitable if you hoped to succeed. But now you yearn for something more than success. Then there is the reality of the game itself: The clock is running. What once looked like an eternity ahead of you is now within reach. And while you do not fear the end of the game, you do want to make sure that you finish well, that you leave something behind no one can take away from you. If the first half was a quest for success, the second half is a journey to significance.
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Customer Reviews

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( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    May Be Your Most Important Time Out

    If I had to describe this book in one sentence, I'd have to say it's a Christian based self-help book for people entering the second half of their life to help them make the most of what time is left. If this sounds a bit pessimistic, believe me it's not, in fact its the opposite. The book is extremely optimistic and wants the second half of your life to be the best- and I believe it can be.

    The book leads you through an insightful journey to help you figure out where you want to be headed. There are many thought provoking questions and the book ends with a discussion guide, mainly intended for small groups, however I don't see why a single reader couldn't benefit from it as well.

    All-in-all it's worth the read if you're looking for a little direction for the last leg of your journey. Also recommend "Finding Happiness in a Frustrating World".

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    May Be Your Most Important Time Out

    If I had to describe this book in one sentence, I'd have to say it's a Christian based self-help book for people entering the second half of their life to help them make the most of what time is left. If this sounds a bit pessimistic, believe me it's not, in fact its the opposite. The book is extremely optimistic and wants the second half of your life to be the best- and I believe it can be.

    The book leads you through an insightful journey to help you figure out where you want to be headed. There are many thought provoking questions and the book ends with a discussion guide, mainly intended for small groups, however I don't see why a single reader couldn't benefit from it as well.

    All-in-all it's worth the read if you're looking for a little direction for the last leg of your journey. Also recommend "Finding Happiness in a Frustrating World".

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 20, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    It's really a book written by a business owner for business owne

    It's really a book written by a business owner for business owners. Concepts are applicable to everyone though since it deals with looking at one's life and considering a change in the game plan like a football coach who is winning the game but knows that adjustments have to be made to the game plan to see it through to a successful conclusion. A lot of stories to showcase the concepts (which I like).

    “Half-Time” by Bob Buford (Subtitle “Changing Your Game Plan from Success to Significance”) has a forward by my absolute favorite business author and thinker, the late Peter Drucker. Recommended by Ken Blanchard & Stephen Covey (among others), so it has some critical weight behind it.

    It’s all about the journey, right?

    Successful business owners seem to have the ability to envision the best ways to deliver value and impart that vision to their staff, customers, vendors and the community at large. “Half Time” walks business owners through the same process but with a different perspective. Not to grow a business but envision a fuller life for the business owners themselves and their families that contributes to more completing fulfilling their own life’s true purpose (which may be through the business or beyond the business).

    Chris Foley

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Must Read Before 30 Read It Again Before 40 and You Will Not Have 50 Year Old Problems

    Wow!!! If you want to see around some dark, blind corners of life before you get there, this is the book to read! And if you are already further along in life's journey, this book will become a much bigger and brighter bulb in you flashlight. I now have an understanding of how a person changes with time, and why. This book has given me insight to who I am now, what I expect out of myself later, and a path to become what I what to be.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2002

    Helps one prioritize life.

    This book deals with how we spent the first half of our life, now it's Halftime and it helps you to prioritize how you will spend the second half of your life. Written by a successful Christian businessman. At times, he sounds a little secular, but overall it is a great book with a Christian perspective

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2008

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    Posted July 14, 2011

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    Posted September 10, 2009

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    Posted October 13, 2011

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    Posted May 26, 2012

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    Posted March 10, 2010

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