Michael Bergdahl’s Bio

Michael Bergdahl onstage in Lima, Peru

Michael Bergdahl onstage in Lima, Peru


World Renowned Professional Speaker on 6 Continents, Best Selling, Internationally-Read Author,
& Authority On the Best Leadership Practices of Walmart & Sam Walton.

His Background

Bergdahl has 25 years of Human Resources experience working for Fortune 1000 Companies, including Walmart (#1), HQ Director of People; PepsiCo (#44), Group HR Manager; American Eagle Outfitters (#703), VPHR; and Waste Management (#217), VPHR. One of the people he managed at Waste Management wrote the following about Bergdahl when asked to cite examples of effective leadership:

Describe and give examples of the leadership style and philosophy of the best / most effective leader you have worked for.

I have had the good fortune to work for a variety of wonderful managers, but the best leader that comes to mind is Michael Bergdahl, the Market Area VPHR at Waste Management. He was passionate about our mission and encouraged all of us to be integrally involved in our company’s business. He monitored HR’s success, traveled extensively and invested time in the field to assure that HR was making the impact and providing the level of service he desired and required. He was constantly coming up with new ideas for HR service and would always ask for input from his HR Team before introducing his ideas to the business. Once he decided to implement a new idea, he would require all of the Field HR Directors to commit to its success. On one occasion, for example, he asked us all to sign a “poster” symbolizing the new HR initiative, and he suggested we all hang the poster in our office as a continuous reminder of our commitment to that initiative. Bergdahl had a flair for the dramatic, and he appreciated fine nuance.  Michael Bergdahl was a supportive and caring boss. On one occasion he needed to terminate a direct report that had violated company ethics. He could have been upset with the direct report, but instead he was saddened by the termination decision he had to make. During his tenure as VPHR, the organization’s leaders and employees were motivated to perform at a high level.
— Mark Bopp, New York State, Field HR Director, Waste Management, Inc.


Bergdahl also worked as a Plant HR & Safety Manager at J.M. Huber, a privately owned $2 billion manufacturing company. He 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. He is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology / Behavioral Science.

Walmart/ Sam Walton Authority

Michael Bergdahl on "Closing Bell"

Michael Bergdahl on CNBC’s “Closing Bell”

Michael Bergdahl is considered an authority on the best leadership practices of Walmart & Sam Walton.

He has been 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 Michael Bergdahl, as well as articles that others have written about him, have been published in business newspapers and magazines around the world. Click here to visit Bergdahl’s Articles & Reviews page.

Bergdahl 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 groups have a combined membership of 15,600 worldwide members and 4500 followers including retailers, FMCG/CPG product manufacturers/suppliers, HR professionals, & SC professionals.

Author of Six Books

Bergdahl's books are available all over the world

Bergdahl’s books are available in many languages all over the world

He 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 second 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). Note: Rob Walton, the current Chairman of the Board of Walmart, and the son of Sam Walton, wrote the foreword for “The 10 Rules” book. 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.

His third book is a 50th Walmart Anniversary Commemorative Edition titled The Sam Walton Way (Brighton Publishing 2012). His fourth book, is titled, HEATKTE: High Expectations Are The Key To Everything (Motivational Press 2014. His fifth book is titled, Putting Employees First! (To be published in 2017).

Professional International Speaker

Michael Bergdahl receives consulting award in DuBai, UAE

Michael Bergdahl receives consulting award in DuBai, United Arab Emirates

Bergdahl has spoken professionally in cities on six continents, including:
* Brisbane, Australia * Beijing, China * Melbourne, Australia * Vancouver, British Columbia * Jeddah, Saudi Arabia * Quito, Ecuador * Toronto, Ontario * Caracas, Venezuela * Bogotá, Colombia * Panama City, Panama * Cologne, Germany * Istanbul, Turkey * Malaga, Spain * Moscow, Russia * Port Douglas, Australia * Santiago, Chile * Durban, South Africa * Kiev, Ukraine * Mont Tremblant, Quebec * Valladolid, Spain * Skopje, Macedonia * Belgrade, Serbia * Port of Jiddah, Saudi, Arabia * Dubai, United Arab Emirates * Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia * Cape Town, South Africa * Guayaquil, Ecuador * Cancun, Mexico * Oslo, Norway * St. Thomas, Virgin Islands * Sydney, Australia * Stockholm, Sweden * Antalya, Turkey * Prague, Czech Republic * Lima, Peru.

Bergdahl has also spoken in cities across the USA, including New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Scottsdale, Baltimore, Houston, Fort Lauderdale, San Antonio, Columbus, St Louis, New Orleans, Nashville, Squaw Valley, Las Vegas, San Diego, Phoenix, Boston, Dallas, Orlando, Etc *. Note: To see Bergdahl in action, check out the video clips page.

Speeches, Master Classes, & Workshops

Michael Bergdahl leads Master Class in Kuala Lumpur

Michael Bergdahl leads Master Class in Kuala Lumpur

Michael Bergdahl is a professional international business speaker with substance; he is one part solid business content, one part inspiration, and one part storyteller. He presents keynote speeches, breakout sessions, half day programs, and full day Master Classes. He tailors his speeches to fit the conference theme, and his Full Day Master Classes are designed to teach others the best leadership practices of Walmart.

In his speech, “Picking Walmart’s POCKETS”, Bergdahl 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.”

He also presents an inspiring keynote speech about “Bringing Out the Best in You” based on his newest book, HEATKTE: High Expectations Are The Key To Everything. Click here for Michael Bergdahl’s Speech Videos

His Audiences

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 successfully in a Walmart “big box” world!

“We were much impressed by the Walmart machine, delighted with your energetic delivery, and enjoyed your very motivational way of getting the messages and insights across. . . . an excellent master class!”
CEO, COOP Grocers, Stockholm, Sweden

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