Michael Bergdahl

On Application

Specialty Areas

Michael Bergdahl worked in the headquarters office of Wal-Mart, side by side with Sam Walton. Throughout his career he has shown intuitiveness in marketing and business management.

When Sam Walton passed away, 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.

Michael 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.

His second book entitled, Sam Walton's Golden Rules for Success:  10 Ways to Prosper Personally and Professionally in Today's Wal-Mart World became a best seller.

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. 


Your "P.O.C.K.E.T.S." speech at our annual meeting exceeded our expectations. I heard nothing but positives from everyone who attended. One of our petroleum marketers expressed it best, saying he was "spellbound". Thanks for being so easy to work with and for your contribution to making our convention a great success!"
- Mississippi Petroleum Marketers ' Convenience Store Association

Your speaking ability coupled with your exceptional experience with great leaders gives you something that everyone who wants to succeed should hear."
- Lou Holtz , Head Football Coach, Notre Dame 1986-1996

"He's a sales and service guy who know how to motivate people to reach their full potential. Speaking from his hands on experience, he inspires people to give that extra effort that yields big results. If you haven't heard him, you've got to hear him speak!"
- Marriott International

Dynamic, exciting, no nonsense, no pie in the sky, no wishful thinking but nuts and bolts, guts and glory as to how to become successful delivering your product to the world...speaking directly to people, communicating directly to people, with a timely and important message."
- Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages

By understanding exactly what I was looking for, you provided us with an extremely informative and entertaining presentation. Thank you for your expertise"
- BASF Corporation

"Your keynote presentation met and exceeded every expectation! You were dynamic and motivational. Your expertise made a difference in the lives of many people."
- Media Credit Association

"You are eminently professional. The ideas you express and materials are cutting edge."
- County Seat Stores

Michael, what a great pleasure to hear your stories! Storytelling is a lost art, and you've brought it back to life!
- Hewlett-Packard

Michael's analysis of Wal-Mart's case is lucid and inspirational at the same time. It gave me and my top leadership a great example of how amazing and consistent results can be achieved also through focus and simplicity.
- Philips Domestic Appliances and Personal Care

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
- IMS Health Canada

Michael Bergdahl speaker

Speaker Video

Michael Bergdahl - Inspiration

Other speakers you might like:

Tim Gard

Tim’s down-to-earth style and real-life humor leaves a lasting impression that audiences will benefit from for years to come. His skillful use of ordinary items in extraordinary ways and extraordinary items in everyday ways make him one of the most popular main stage speakers on the platform today. Becoming more resilient is not about telling jokes or laughing at everything. Instead of making light of serious issues, Tim shines a light on unseen possibilities for solutions to difficult situations. He demonstrates how to be professional, yet light-hearted throughout all his programs.

John Waters

John Waters is one of Australia's most recognised and respected film and theatre actors. Son of Scottish actor Russell Waters, John’s childhood was spent around film studios and appearing in minor roles. Arriving in Australia in 1968 he was cast in the US film Adam's Woman, landed the lead role of Claude in the 1969 production of rock musical, Hair alongside Marcia Hines, and later the role of Judas in Godspell. This quickly led to a flourishing career on stage, film, and television with ABC TV's Rush in 1974 earning him a Logie Award for Best New Talent, and quickly followed by films such as End Play, Summerfield, Breaker Morant, All the Rivers Run, Nancy Wake and Alice to Nowhere. From 1972 he hosted the children’s ABC program Play School for a decade, and regularly appeared until 1991, endearing him to generations.

Murray Altham

With relentless optimism, Murray's presentations are an exhilarating mix of expertise, empathy, humour and drive. He partners with organisations to inspire fresh thinking, lift energy and bring new potential to life.

He has worked in extreme scenarios of confronting challenge and change, bringing to life an uplifting, solution focussed skillset he shares with your audience to help bring their best to the surface. Murray empowers your team to ignite their A-game and contribute that to every room they're in, at work and at home.

Toni Powell

Renowned for her hilarious story-based talks, Toni is one of the most recognised & enjoyed relationship and wellbeing speakers in Australia. She’s recently won two international business awards for thought leadership, is the author of two books and her Goalcast talk has over 15 million views.

Joni Peedie

Joni Peddie is a leading Executive Coach, Keynote Speaker and Strategic Facilitator, who helps leaders and their teams to become more energised, intrinsically -motivated and more self-aware by improving their resilience … one actionable insight at a time!

She is the Past President of the PSASA (Professional Speaking Association of Southern Africa), CEO of Bounce Forward, Resilient People and has over 33 years of experience.

Back to Top