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Specialist on Walmart's success.


Michael Bergdahl is a professional international business speaker, author and turnaround specialist. Bergdahl worked in Bentonville, Arkansas for Walmart, as the Director of “People” for the headquarters office, where he worked directly with Walmart’s founder Sam Walton. Bergdahl has 25 years of Human Resources experience working for four different Fortune 1000 Companies including: Walmart (#1), HQ Director of People, PepsiCo (#44), Group HR Manager, Waste Management (#217), VPHR, and American Eagle Outfitters (#703), VPHR. He 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.

Previous Experience:

Walmart / Sam Walton Authority: 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 him, and articles written by others about him, have been published in business newspapers and magazines around the world. 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 including: Retailers, FMCG/CPG Product manufacturers/Suppliers, HR Professionals, & Supply Chain Professionals.

Author: 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. 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). Both of these books were published and distributed internationally by John Wiley & Sons, in English, in both hard cover and paperback. His hird book is a 50th Walmart Anniversary Commemorative Edition titled The Sam Walton Way. His fourth book, is titled, HEATKTE: High Expectations Are The Key To Everything. His fifth book is titled, Putting Employees First!

Talking Points

Picking Walmart’s P.O.C.K.E.T.S.: The Seven Strategies of the World’s Largest Company

If you want to compete in today's Walmart world, what better way to improve your business than to learn from the world’s largest company? In "What I Learned from Sam Walton" (10 languages), author Michael Bergdahl uncovers and unravels the principles, culture, and secrets of Walmart's unprecedented success in a way that no one else can. As a former Director of People under Sam Walton, Bergdahl draws upon his firsthand observations of Walton, his company, and its executive team to help you adapt Walmart's best practices and principles to your own organisation. With an insider's perspective, Bergdahl peels back the cultural layers of Walmart and gives you a glimpse into the mind of the founder of the world's largest company.

THE SPEECH or MASTER CLASS: Using storytelling, humor, inspiration and his real world experience working with Sam Walton as examples, Bergdahl unveils those seven strategies. He uses the acronym, “P.O.C.K.E.T.S.”, which stands for Price, Operations, Culture, Key Item Promotion, Expenses, Talent and Service. Bergdahl believes “finding your unique niche in the marketplace or “POCKETS” is the key to success no matter what market or business you are competing in!

AUDIENCE TAKEAWAYS: In this speech or master class Bergdahl explains the key to each of Walmart’s seven strategies and reviews the Best Practices that have made Walmart the World’s Largest Company. More importantly, Bergdahl will discuss specific strategies, tactics and ideas audience members can take away from “The Walmart Way” to make their businesses even more successful. Conference participants will learn techniques other companies have used successfully to compete, survive, and thrive in a Walmart World!

Disrupt You: How to Challenge, Change & Refocus Your Personal Strategy to Bring Out the Best in You!

DISRUPT YOU is an inspirational speech designed to challenge audience members to reach their full potential and to achieve their goals in life! Following a seven-step process the agenda is loaded with content designed to reinforce the importance of “taking charge of your own life” and “controlling your own destiny”. Michael Bergdahl discusses the answers to several important questions: Why do some people always seem to land on their feet, while others fall down crippled under the weight of life’s obstacles? Why does one average person experience great success in life, while a similar average person achieves just ordinary, results. When we see our peers, who have similar capabilities, excelling in life, we often wonder why them and not us? The most important question of all is: Why not you?

Bergdahl, a seasoned corporate executive with 25 years of Human Resources experience, uses a combination of “vivid, personal, inspirational stories” and “actual work-related examples” from his career working as an HR Executive for three Fortune 500 companies (PepsiCo, Walmart & Waste Management). Based on his real-world experience, he discusses how challenging, changing and refocusing your personal strategy is the key to achieving your goals in life. This speech is based on Michael & Sheryl Bergdahl’s book, High Expectations Are The Key To Everything.

PUTTING EMPLOYEES FIRST! Why 21st Century Leaders Need to Focus on Employees 1st, Customers 2nd & Profits 3rd

To be published in February 2018 by SOURCEBOOKS’ publishing imprint SIMPLE TRUTHS. The recurring themes of this book are Effective Leadership, Putting Employees First, Employee Engagement, and Employee-Centered Culture. This book is written around the Actions, Beliefs, Competencies (ABC’s) and Values of Effective Leaders with special emphasis on the engagement of highly Diverse and Multi-Generational Employees. The book is primarily focused on leaders, leading and leadership.

“Whether you are an Entrepreneur, CEO, President, Manager, Supervisor or Corporate Staff Member, I want you to come away from reading PUTTING EMPLOYEES FIRST, with a burning desire to become a more effective Leader of People.”

In this speech, workshop or master class, Bergdahl will cover three Core Leadership Values: Respect, Trust and Support, the ABC’s of Effective Leaders: Actions, Beliefs & Competencies and specifically Ten Key Leadership Competencies: Empowerment, Mentoring, Listening, Approachability, Empathy, Integrity, Acknowledgement, Communication, High Expectations, and Leading by Example. The book, PUTTING EMPLOYEES FIRST, also has a separate workshop workbook which includes a Leadership Self-Assessment, professionally published by SIMPLE TRUTHS

The 10 Rules of Sam Walton “Tactics of the World’s Richest Man”

The 10 Rules of Sam Walton, is the story behind the self-professed tactics that Sam Walton embraced on his way to becoming the world’s richest man. Ultimately his company has become the world’s largest and his along the way his personal wealth soared to more than $100 billion!. These ten rules are the self-professed tactics for success which Mr. Sam credited for his extraordinary accomplishments and the explosive growth of Walmart. No matter what industry you are competing in, this book will provide you with competitive insights behind “The Sam Walton Way & The Walmart Way” that only a former insider can provide.

In this speech, Michael Bergdahl discusses Sam Walton's 10 self-professed rules for success, which Walton embraced as he grew Walmart from a single store to a 12,000 store global enterprise. Based on his second book, The 10 Rules of Sam Walton, Bergdahl will discuss “The Sam Walton Way” through a discussion of the tactics behind Sam Walton’s rules for entrepreneurial success.

Your conference participants will gain actionable strategies, tactics, and ideas, from the 10 rules for success of Sam Walton. In this speech, Bergdahl uses great stories based on his firsthand observations of Sam Walton’s unique brand of leadership! By bringing Michael Bergdahl to your meeting you’ll learn the secrets behind the unparalleled success of Sam Walton, the world’s richest, self-made man, who grew Walmart to become the world’s largest company.

The Sam Walton Way & The Walmart Way Leadership, People & Cultural Best Practices of Walmart

Michael Bergdahl was the HQ Director of People at Walmart in Bentonville, Arkansas. In that role he worked with and around Sam Walton. He learned Walmart’s unique leadership and people practices firsthand. One of the towering strengths of Sam Walton was his unique ability to gain the trust and support of the people around him. He called his customers “neighbors” or “guests” and he referred to the managers in his company as “coaches.” He referred to the employees of his company as Associates or business partners. Sam Walton had three basic beliefs that have remained cultural anchors at Walmart to this day: 1) Respect for People, 2) Service to Customers, 3) Strive for Excellence. These beliefs are practiced daily in interactions with customers, between store, distribution center, and home office Walmart team members. These three beliefs are also intertwined in all of Sam Walton’s leadership, people and cultural best practices. At the time of his death, Sam Walton was worth an estimated $100 billion!

In this speech, Bergdahl explains “The Sam Walton Way & The Walmart Way” with a focus on Sam Walton’s 3 core values. He discusses specific examples and actionable ideas audience members can take away from “The Sam Walton Way” and replicate to make their businesses even more successful. Conference participants will learn the actual techniques employed by Sam Walton, that are still used today, that propelled Walmart to become the World’s Largest Company!
Many thanks for a sensational session; you brought the conference home in a way that only someone of your caliber and experience could. Chemmart Pharmacies Australia

“An excellent presentation regarding the business model, management systems, and culture of Walmart, along with insights into Sam Walton’s leadership style.”

EKOS Corporation

“Michael is a true professional and very easy to work with. He is energetic, extremely interesting to listen to, takes time to answer questions, and he really gives of himself to the audience. He will make any meeting planner happy!”

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