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Michael Bergdahl

Michael Bergdahl is an international business speaker with substance. He is one part solid business content, one part inspiration, and one part storyteller author and turnaround specialist. He worked for Walmart, as the Director of “People” and worked directly with Walmart’s founder Sam Walton. He is considered an authority on the best leadership practices of Walmart & Sam Walton, and speaks at events around the world.


About Michael Bergdahl

Michael Bergdahl speaks at association conferences, public events, customer conferences, public & private companies, college/university symposiums, and at graduation commencement ceremonies. He speaks to Retailers, Non-Retailers, Manufacturers, Suppliers, B2B and College Students. He has spoken at events for Walmart’s current suppliers, and its direct competitors, who are interested in improving their ability to compete, survive, and thrive, the global challenges presented by “big box” retailers and online competition in a Walmart World!


Michael Bergdahl started his career in his family’s Houston, TX based publishing business as HR Director. He is a turnaround specialist who participated in two successful business turnarounds at public companies. He received the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) lifetime certification from SHRM. A  graduate of the Pennsylvania State University he left with a  Bachelor Degree in Behavioral Science.

In the USA Michael is regularly interviewed on CNN, CNBC, CNN FN, MSNBC, CNN International, Univision, CBS National Radio, and Bloomberg TV. He has participated in internationally televised news debates on “Power Lunch”, “On the Money”, “Morning Call”, and “Closing Bell”. Articles written by him, and articles written by others about him, have been published in business newspapers and magazines around the world.

Michael is the moderator of two LinkedIn discussion groups. The first is “Walmart’s Best Leadership Practices” and the second is “Sam Walton’s Best Leadership Practices”. His LinkedIn groups have a combined membership of 16,000 worldwide members including: Retailers, FMCG/CPG Product Manufacturers/Suppliers, HR Professionals, & Supply Chain Professionals.

The author of 5 books Michael Bergdahl wrote his first book about “The Strategies of the World’s Largest Company”, titled: What I Learned from Sam Walton: How to Compete and Thrive in a Walmart World (2004). His 2nd book is written about “The Tactics of the World’s Richest Man”, titled, The 10 Rules of Sam Walton: Success Secrets for Remarkable Results (2007). Both of these books were published and distributed internationally by John Wiley & Sons, in English, in both hard cover and paperback versions.   Translated versions of his books are available in Russian, Thai, Indonesian, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, and Spanish. Three of his books have been published in India.

Michael’s 3rd book is a 50th Walmart Anniversary Commemorative Edition titled The Sam Walton Way (Brighton Publishing 2012). His 4th book, HEATKTE: High Expectations Are The Key To Everything was published by Motivational Press in 2014. His 5th book Putting Your Employees First! Will be published by Sourcebooks Publishing, Simple Truths Imprint un early 2018.

As an international speaker Michael Bergdahl has spoken in Australia, China, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Germany, Turkey, Spain, Russia, Chile, South Africa, Ukraine, Macedonia, Serbia, UAE, Malaysia, Ecuador, Mexico, Norway, Virgin Islands, Sweden, Czech Republic, Peru and across the USA.

Speech Topics

Michael presents Keynote Speeches, breakout sessions, half day programs, and full day Master Classes. He tailors his speeches to fit the conference theme. His Full Day Master Classes are designed to teach others the Best Leadership Practices of Walmart.

“Picking Walmart’s POCKETS”
Michael unveils the best practices of Walmart, and the success secrets of Sam Walton. Audience members will learn the “Tactics of the World’s Richest Man, Sam Walton”, and the “Strategies of Walmart, the World’s Largest Company.”

“DISRUPT YOU: Bringing Out the Best in You”
This speech is based on Michael’s book, HEATKTE: High Expectations Are The Key To Everything.

Booking Information


"I must once again congratulate you on your truly outstanding presentation. I have been to many motivational presentations but yours certainly ranks amongst the best ever. Congratulations and well done!"

F.M.Hirsch, Chairman, Freddy Hirsch Group Ltd., South Africa

"Thank you very much for you contributions to the Axess Brand meeting. Your presentation was very enlightening. The top retailers in Turkey did certainly enjoy listening to the ‘Bird Dawg’ of Sam Walton Fame. We learned a lot from his experiences at Wal-Mart."

Hakan Binbasgil, Executive Vice President Akbank/Axess, Istanbul, Turkey

"Your insight on the Wal Mart business case is inspirational, a good story in discipline, minimizing waste and setting a gold standard on supply chain excellence. However, sharing your story on how you converted your personal family situation into an opportunity and wrote your first book is even more inspiring."

Ashok Bhaseen, M.Pharm, MBA – Director, National Accounts Ims Health Canada

"I want to thank you for your time and your presentation here in Venezuela about how to compete & thrive in a Wal-Mart World. Most of the messages about Sam Walton’s legacy are very applicable in this part of the world, especially his focus on Wal-Mart’s customers, his six rules of success directed to employees/people and his view of suppliers as valued partners. The thought that “high expectations are the key to everything” is something we need to have in mind every day."

Eduardo Benatuil, President, Heinz-Venezuela

"The Leading Edge Conference in Mont Tremblant (Quebec, Canada) was a fantastic event. The feedback we received from the attendees on-site and post conference was overwhelmingly positive! Thank you for sharing your insight and expertise. I look forward to working with you again in the future!"

Lorraine Mazza, VP, International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

"On behalf of the Texas Bankers Association, thank you for your great presentation at the 123rd Annual Convention & Exposition. Our attendees gained valuable information and insight from your presentation. Your topic, How to Compete and Thrive in a Wal-Mart World was of huge importance and interest to all of the bankers. I look forward to working with you again!"

Kimberly Pargin, Professional Development Specialist, Texas Bankers Association

"Many thanks for a sensational session, you brought the conference home in a way that only someone of your caliber and experience could. All of our members and suppliers did enjoy your talk and got a lot out of it. My members, suppliers and staff are pumped up and filled with optimism for the future, and I am extremely pleased as your comments validated the strategy we have developed for these Pharmacies."

John J Koot, Executive Director, Chemmart Pharmacies®, Australia

"Michael Bergdahl provides a glimpse into the “Wal-Mart Big Box” that only an insider could provide. He has written a great book around the acronym P.O.C.K.E.T.S which unveils the detailed secrets behind Wal-Mart’s competitive strategies and tactics. In his speech, his stories about Sam Walton and the Wal-Mart culture provided Tesco’s leaders and our top suppliers with competitive ideas we can implement in our businesses in Ireland. Bergdahl is a ‘Wal-Mart Authority’ who is open and honest about what it takes to compete, survive and thrive in direct competition with Wal-Mart or any other aggressive competitor. He took the time to meet with our attendees and even conducted an extensive Q&A session at a luncheon following his speech. I highly recommend him as an International speaker to other retailers, non-retailers manufacturers and suppliers who are looking for a competitive edge."

Paul Slevin, Director of Food & Impulse, TESCO Ireland

"Your Message is Powerful!"

Edward Ray, Head of National Sales – Coca-Cola Russia

"Michael Bergdahl’s speech was a big hit during our annual conference. He was very effective in communicating how Walmart’s mission and vision applied to our own mission and vision. His strategic insights, style, examples, and energy were instrumental in getting the point across. We are very happy and honoured to have had Michael as a keynote speaker."

Ruben Cors, Corporate Director of Strategy, Casas GEO, Mexico

"Michael’s full day master class in Kuala Lumpur was a blend of solid content, great stories, and humor. Bergdahl’s dynamic presentation skills held everyone’s attention through four 90 minute sessions! During the breaks he even walked around and spoke with audience members, and answered individual questions! Many of those who attended asked to have their picture taken with him at the end of the day! I highly recommend Michael Bergdahl as a world class presenter!"

Amin Rais, Conference Producer – Malaysia

"Michael Bergdahl’s master class was definitely the most successful out of all of the events we have organised in the Balkans in the past few years! His master class about “Wal-Mart’s Best Practices” attracted an audience from different industries and different profiles: marketers, sales people, HR professionals, retailers, and executives. The audience stayed engaged throughout his day long presentation listening to his vivid, practical, and inspiring presentation. We received tons of thankful e-mails and compliments from our events’ guests, and we could not have been happier for having Michael over."

Dusko Ugrinostki, Triple S Learning – Serbia & Macedonia

"Michael is a true professional and very easy to work with. He is very committed and provides you with all the information you need in front of a conference – articles, photos, etc. to help marketing. When giving a speech he is energetic, extremely interesting to listen to, takes time to answer questions, and he really gives of himself to the audience. He will absolutely make every audience happy!"

Jennie Heidenfors, Exhibition Manager, easyFairs, Sweden

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