Michael Bergdahl


About Michael Bergdahl - Former Wal-Mart executive, author, and speaker on sales:

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. It was Sam Walton who gave Bergdahl the nickname, “Bird Dawg!” Previous to Walmart he worked in the FMCG Industry for PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay Division in the sales organization and headquarters staff assignments. He is a turnaround specialist who participated in two successful business turnarounds as VP of HR at both American Eagle Outfitters and Waste Management. Bergdahl has more than 25 years of HR experience, and he has 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.

Michael Bergdahl is considered to be an authority on the best 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.  He has written articles for Hardware Retailer Magazine (NRHA), Progressive Grocer Magazine, Sweden’s Butikstrender Magazine, and the Retailer Association of India: STOrai Magazine.  Bergdahl is the moderator of two LinkedIn discussion groups called, “Walmart’s Best Leadership Practices” and “Sam Walton’s Best Leadership Practices” with a combined membership of 14,000 worldwide members including:  Retailers, FMCG/CPG Product Manufacturers/Suppliers, HR Professionals, Supply Chain Professionals.  He has more than 3000 followers on LinkedIn.

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). His third book is a 50th Walmart Anniversary Commemorative Edition titled The Sam Walton Way (Brighton Publishing 2012).  His fourth book, High Expectations Are The Key To Everything was published by Jaico Books in India in September 2013, and it was published by Motivational Press in the USA in 2014.

Michael Bergdahl is a speaker with substance, who is one part business, 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.  His Full Day Master Classes are designed to teach others the Best 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, High Expectations Are The Key To Everything.

Michael has spoken at association conferences, public events, customer conferences, and private company meetings in the USA and Internationally to Retailers, Non-Retailers, Manufacturers, Suppliers, and B2B.  He speaks to a wide variety of audiences including Sales, Customer Service, IT, Supply Chain/Logistics, Franchisees, Financial Services, Real Estate Developers, Property Managers, Leasing Agents, Retail Managers, Brand/Marketing Professionals, Loss Prevention Specialists, Human Resources, Plant Managers, Engineers, DC Managers, Operations Managers, Product Manufacturers / Suppliers / Buyers, Pharmacists, Bankers, Credit Union Directors, Presidents, Entrepreneurs, College Professors, College Students & College Commencement, CEO’s, CIO’s, CTO’s, and CFO’s.  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! 

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What Michael Bergdahl Talks About:

Michael Bergdahl is a dynamic speaker, who is one part business, one part inspiration, one part storyteller and one part entertainer. He has spoken at association and business conferences domestically and internationally to retailers, non-retailers, manufacturers and suppliers who are interested in improving their ability to compete successfully in a Wal-Mart World! Experience, insight, and a powerful, personable presence combine to make Michael Bergdahl a must-have speaker for any business that’s serious about competing in today’s market. With an upbeat, high-energy style that entertains as it teaches, Bergdahl makes complex business strategies and tactics easy to understand and apply.

The Sam Walton Way: What Would Sam Do?
Wouldn’t it be great to learn Sam Walton’s success strategies? Now you can! In this speech, Michael Bergdahl will review Sam Walton’s best practices, his 7 core strategies, and his 10 self-professed leadership rules. You might say, this speech is one stop shopping for everything you ever wanted to know about The Sam Walton Way!

Picking Wal-Mart’s POCKETS: Strategies of the World’s Largest Company

Bergdahl 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!

In this speech he explains the key to each of Wal-Mart’s seven strategies, and the Best Practices, that have made Wal-Mart the World’s Largest Company. More importantly, Bergdahl will discuss specific strategies that audience members can take away from The Wal-Mart 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 Wal-Mart World! Bergdahl also reviews a checklist of success strategies and tactics audience members can implement in their businesses immediately upon return.

The 10 Rules of Sam Walton

In this speech, Bergdahl discusses Sam Walton’s 10 self-professed rules for success, which Walton embraced as he grew Wal-Mart from a single store to a 7000+ 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 self-professed rules for entrepreneurial success. Sam Walton credited these 10 rules as the reason he became the World’s Richest Man.

Your conference participants will gain actionable ideas, from the tactics followed by Sam Walton, which they can adapt, and utilize in their businesses and personal lives. In this speech, Bergdahl uses great stories only an insider can tell about Sam Walton’s unique brand of leadership!

Growing Your Business The Sam Walton & Wal-Mart Way

Audience members will learn the success secrets of the world’s most successful merchant, Sam Walton, and the best practices of the world’s largest company, Wal-Mart. The focus of this program is to help audience members transfer the knowledge gained into action to grow their own businesses, through innovation, risk taking, and thinking outside the box The Sam Walton & Wal-Mart Way.

The fact is that competition is more difficult than ever before. Those who are used to simply picking up the fruit of their labors right off the ground or from the branches within closest reach are finding that success today requires that people stretch and even climb up into the branches to gather the highest hanging fruit to succeed. Unfortunately, Change is always hard for people, which adds to the Challenge faced by organizations forced to make the Choice to reinvent their business in order to compete, survive and thrive in this complex and competitive world. In this speech, Change/Challenge/Choice, Bergdahl will discuss the following strategies:


  • Get Efficient – you’re going to need to produce more with less people.
  • Benchmark Best Practices – seek out the ideas used by other manufacturers
  • Innovate – grow revenue by getting creative with products, services and service enhancements, technology, strategy and tactics. Brainstorm new ideas new markets, services, bundling products, delivery, in-sourcing.


  • Continuously Improve – empower people to improve every area of your operation
  • Increase Productivity – improve internal and external customer service
  • Control Expenses – teach everyone in your organization to manage costs


  • Continuously Learn – learn from and imitate the success of others
  • Leverage People – tap into the creativity of your own people and change the way they think, focus everyone on your brand and a common agenda – Your people make the difference.
  • Focus on your Competencies – play to your strengths and shore up your weaknesses
  • Customer Partnerships – become the supplier of choice, by asking your customers what kind of products and services they need, when they need them and what you can do to partner with them.

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 Recent Publications

Michael Bergdahl provides a glimpse into the "Wal-Mart Big Box" that only an insider could provide.

TESCO Ireland

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