Michael Bergdahl Biography

Michael Bergdahl is a full-time motivational speaker, author and writer. Bergdahl worked in Bentonville, Arkansas for Wal-Mart, as the Director of “People” for the headquarters office, where he worked directly with Sam Walton. It was Sam Walton who gave Bergdahl the nickname, “Bird Dawg”!

When Sam Walton died, Bergdahl left Wal-Mart and went to work as a member of an executive turnaround team at American Eagle Outfitters (AE). The AE leadership team turned the company around and took it public. The stock subsequently split 4 times while he was there! He then joined the turnaround team at Waste Management.

Bergdahl has appeared on CNN, CNBC, CNN FN, CBS National Radio and Bloomberg TV. He is considered an authority on Wal-Mart. The giant retailer’s own Public Relations Department has referred Bergdahl to interviewers interested in gaining insights into the company. He is a columnist for VNU Publications and his articles have appeared in Retail Merchandiser, Investor’s Business Daily, Convenience Store News, Progressive Grocer, Convenience Store Decisions Magazine, the Grocery Manufacturer Association’s FORUM Magazine, the National Community Pharmacists Association’s America’s Pharmacist Magazine, American Management Association’s MWorld Magazine and the National Association of Convenience Stores Magazine.

He wrote a book about his experiences working for the World’s largest retailer entitled: What I Learned from Sam Walton: How to Compete and Thrive in a Wal-Mart World, which was published in the USA and Internationally by John Wiley in August 2004. His book is being translated into versions in Chinese, Thai, Korean, Russian, Japanese and Spanish. He wrote his book to help Wal-Mart’s domestic and international competitors develop proactive success strategies. Interestingly, his book is sold on both the Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club web sites.

He recently completed his second book entitled, Sam Walton’s Golden Rules for Success: 10 Ways to Prosper Personally and Professionally in Today’s Wal-Mart World, which will be published in early 2006.

Michael Bergdahl is a motivational speaker who is one part business, one part inspirational, one part storyteller and one part entertainment. He has spoken at association and business conferences domestically and internationally to groups who are interested in improving their ability to compete successfully.

He wrote his book to help Wal-Mart’s domestic and international competitors compete, survive and thrive in the shadow of the retail giant. He designed the book around the acronym “P.O.C.K.E.T.S.” based on the fact that to succeed in a Wal-Mart World you have to carve out a “niche” or “business pocket” in order to be successful. Each of the letters in the acronym represents a chapter in the book as follows: P. – Price, O. – Operations, C. – Culture, K. – Key Item Promotion/Product, E. – Expenses, T. – Talent, S. – Service. In each chapter he addresses some of the inside strategies and tactics utilized by Sam Walton and Wal-Mart that make competition with them so difficult. Retailers, non-retailers, manufacturers and suppliers will gain competitive knowledge of the strategies and tactics necessary to compete, survive and thrive in a Wal-Mart World!

He and his wife, Sheryl, live in Pittsburgh, PA with their two children, Heather 17 & Paul 13.

Speech Topics

Building Bench--Attract/Retain & Upgrade

What is your standard for staffing talent in your organization? How do your people compare to those of your competitors? Are you selective in choosing very bright, high potential people for your business or do you settle for whoever walks through the door and applies? Are you getting your share of “A” Players? The selection and retention of quality employees is the foundation upon which every one of your other strategies is based. Staffing should be one of your most important competitive advantages. In this speech Bergdahl will challenge your staffing paradigms. He will share with you “World Class” Staffing strategies and tactics from his experiences working for PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay Division. He will review the methods of creating a “human inventory” or “bench strength” analysis for your organization to help you improve your ability to compete. In the competitive world we live and work in the companies with the best talent…WIN!

F.I.R.S.T.--Secrets of Outperforming the Pack

From his experiences working for World Class “Best Practice” Companies like Pepsico’s Frito-Lay Division and Wal-Mart, Michael Bergdahl shares with you some of the secrets of their success. As a turnaround team member at American Eagle Outfitters and Waste Management, learned what it takes to turn a failing company around. He shares the secrets of outperforming the pack in this speech using the acronym F.I.R.S.T. which stands for; Focus on the Customer, Inspirational Leadership, Results through People, Succession Planning/Bench-Building & Tactics for Driving the Business. Combining energy, storytelling and humor with his practical experience working with executives like Sam Walton, Bergdahl will entertain and provide practical and actionable business ideas to those in attendance.

Sam Walton's Goden Rules for Personal & Professional Success

Do you want to achieve greater levels of success in your personal and professional life? The answer of course is everyone does. In Michael Bergdahl's forthcoming book called, Sam Walton's Golden Rules For $ucce$$: Ten Ways to Prosper Personally & Professionally in Today's Wal-Mart World, he shares the success secrets of the world's most successful entrepreneur. In this speech, he will discuss Sam Walton's self professed ten rules for success which Mr. Sam embraced as he grew Wal-Mart from a single site to a 5000 store global enterprise. Audience members will take away success strategies they can use in both their personal and professional life.

What I Learned from Sam Walton--How to Compete and Thrive in a Wal-Mart World

Horror stories abound about Wal-Mart’s entry into new markets and the subsequent destruction of competitors and downtown areas. In this speech, using the acronym, “ P.O.C.K.E.T.S.”, which stands for Price, Operations, Culture, Key Item Promotion, Expenses, Talent and Service, Michael Bergdahl describes several effective strategies competitors can and have used to counteract the inevitable pressure created by “big box” retailers. Finding Your niche in the market or “POCKET” is the key to Your survival! The key is to avoid the temptation to compete on price. You’ve got to make the commitment to differentiate yourself by looking for “POCKETS”! You will learn some secrets other companies have used to compete with Wal-Mart and survive”!

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Michael Bergdahl Videos

Michael Bergdahl - Keynote Speaker
Michael Bergdahl - Former Wal-Mart Executive & Business Specialist
Michael Bergdahl: Author: What I Learned From Sam Walton ...

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Michael Bergdahl is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Michael Bergdahl for your event is $10,000 - $30,000. Michael Bergdahl generally travels from Pittsburgh, PA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Viola Davis, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Rashida Jones and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Michael Bergdahl for an upcoming event.

Michael Bergdahl Videos

Michael Bergdahl - Keynote Speaker
Michael Bergdahl - Former Wal-Mart Executive & Business Specialist
Michael Bergdahl: Author: What I Learned From Sam Walton ...
Michael Bergdahl | Lessons Learned - YouTube
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