Bob Buford’s tributes to Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker was the “mentor” of Bob Buford of Leadership Network. Leadership Network has played a key role in building and training a generation of pastoral “leaders” immersed in the business philosophies of Drucker. Like leaven, the thoughts and ideas of Drucker have permeated throughout the evangelical world. Buford’s role has been to add sugar to the starter, making sure that the leaven could rapidly fill the whole lump.

Below are some current Internet postings, pertaining to Drucker’s recent passing, which demonstrate the pervasiveness of Drucker’s influence, particularly through the conduit of Bob Buford. From Dallas News, November 15, 2005:

“Dallas author Bob Buford, a co-founder and the first chairman of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, has lost a beloved mentor.

“‘Like Shakespeare, Einstein and Lincoln, there’s only one of him,’ says Mr. Buford, who attended Mr. Drucker’s funeral in California on Monday. ‘Drucker came at a unique moment in history when he was most needed.’

“Mr. Buford credits his mentor with transforming management into the ‘alternative to tyranny.’ He says that’s largely responsible for “the peace and prosperity of the second half of the 20th century.’

“No small feat there. “

“‘I’ve long since ceased trying to determine what thoughts are mine and which come from Peter,’ says Mr. Buford, author of Finishing Well, a management book.” []

At the website, Bob Buford posted “a list of articles, musings and other bits about Peter.” [] Also posted at is a tribute to Peter Drucker, in which Buford proclaims:

“Peter lived in the bloodiest, most murderous century on record. He observed both its awful carnage and its colossal growth clear eyed. He did his best to point out its flaws. He provided us, those of us who remain, with an ‘Alternative to Tyranny,’ the main theme of his sixty years of hard work. He was responsible. He did not despair. He worked ceaselessly almost to the last to provide us with signposts and a path out of this dark night.” []

The Truth:

Peter Drucker was highly influenced by the esoteric German philosophies swirling around during the 1800s. He took many of these philosophies, which were antithetical to orthodox Christianity. Rather than taking the human race out of a “dark night,” these philosophies are the same ones that gave rise to the totalitarian governments of the 20th century.

The most insidious of Drucker’s ideas is the concept of “knowledge workers” based on a model of “human capital.” This idea assigns each human being an economic worth. It places demands upon humans for performance to achieve results under an onerous “system” of accountability. This is not a biblical model, nor is it compatible with orthodox Christianity. But rather it is a utilitarian model for managing people on Earth.

The effects of Drucker’s thought upon the modern evangelical church have been to create a results-oriented, purpose-driven, works-based theological structure. For more information on this topic, read “The Pied Pipers of Purpose” at .

“LORD, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him! Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.” (Psalm 144:3-4)