Michael Bergdahl

Former Wal-Mart Executive, Business and Consumer Trends Expert, and Best-Selling Author

In-Person Fee Range
$10,001 to $20,000
(Inquire for virtual fee)

Travels From
Texas, United States


 Former Wal-Mart Executive, Business and
Consumer Trends Expert, and Best-Selling Author

Michael Bergdahl is a professional international business speaker, author and turnaround specialist.  Bergdahl worked in Bentonville, Arkansas for Wal-Mart, as the Director of “People” for the headquarters office, where he worked directly with Wal-Mart’s founder Sam Walton.  It was Sam Walton who gave Bergdahl the nickname, “Bird Dawg!”  Previous to Wal-Mart he worked in the FMCG Industry for PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay Division in the sales organization and headquarters staff assignments.  He’s an experienced turnaround specialist who has participated in two successful business turnarounds as an HR Executive at American Eagle Outfitters and Waste Management.


Michael Bergdahl is considered an authority on Wal-Mart Competition. He has appeared 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 and his books, have appeared in business newspapers and magazines around the world.


He has written 5 books. His first book was about “The Strategies of the World’s Largest Company”, entitled:  What I Learned from Sam Walton:  How to Compete and Thrive in a Wal-Mart World.  His second book is written about “The Tactics of the World’s Richest Man”, entitled, The 10 Rules of Sam Walton:  Success Secrets for Remarkable Results.   

Keynote Speaker

Michael Bergdahl is a professional international business speaker with substance, who is one part business, one part inspiration and one part storyteller.  He customizes his speeches or workshops to fit the conference theme, and he designs them to teach others Wal-Mart’s Best Practices.  He presents keynote speeches, half day programs and full day “Master Classes”.  In his speech, “Growing Your Business the Sam Walton and Wal-Mart Way”(a.k.a. Picking Wal-Mart’s POCKETS), Bergdahl unveils the best practices of Wal-Mart, 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 Wal-Mart, “The World’s Largest Company.” 


Michael Bergdahl has spoken at association and business conferences in the USA and Internationally to Retailers, Non-Retailers, Manufacturers and Suppliers.  He speaks to a wide variety of audiences including Sales, Customer Service, IT, Supply Chain/Logistics, Franchisees, Financial Services, Marketing, Human Resources, Plant Managers, Engineers, DC Managers, Operations Managers, Retail Managers, Product Manufacturers / Suppliers / Buyers, Pharmacists, Bankers, Presidents, Entrepreneurs, College Students, CEO’s, CIO’s, CTO’s, and CFO’s.  He has spoken at events for Wal-Mart’s current suppliers, and its direct competitors, who are interested in improving their ability to compete successfully in a Wal-Mart World!  

Sam Walton's Strategies for Business Success in Tough Economic Times©

Did you know that when he died, Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, was the world’s richest man? Interestingly, when he started his business he faced adversity that almost led to failure. You see, he had an economic crisis when bankers refused to lend him money, and some of his product suppliers created a credit crisis for him when they forced him to agree to pay cash on delivery before they would ship products to his stores. It seemed everyone lacked confidence in his business strategy at a time when he needed to count on their support the most. For Sam Walton to succeed, in those early and difficult days, took a singularity of focus, passionate leadership, and a never say die attitude! He had to overcome his own fear of failure and refocus himself on what to do to succeed. In the end he overcame all of those early obstacles, his own fears, and the cynicism of all of those early naysayers, who incorrectly predicted his demise. Sam Walton had the last laugh as he grew his business from a single store to become the world’s largest company. Along the way he also became the world’s richest man! Wouldn’t it be great to learn Sam Walton’s success strategies? Now you can! In this speech, Michael Bergdahl will review not only the strategies, but the tactics followed by Sam Walton to overcome what appeared to be an insurmountable cash and credit crisis, that threatened the viability of his business. Audience members will learn his 7 core strategies and the 10 self-professed leadership rules he followed to grow his business.

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

Based on his first book, What I learned from Sam Walton: How to Compete & Thrive in a Wal-Mart World, this speech reveals “The Wal-Mart Way” through a discussion of the 7 key strategies of Wal-Mart. 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!” 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! He also reviews a checklist of success strategies and tactics audience members can implement in their businesses immediately upon return. Whether your conference participants love Wal-Mart, or hate Wal-Mart, if they are in business anywhere around the globe, they will benefit by “Picking Wal-Marts POCKETS!”

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

In Michael Bergdahl's book called, The 10 Rules of Sam Walton: Success Secrets for Remarkable Results, he unveils the tactics of the world's most successful entrepreneur. In this speech, he 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. Did you know that when he died Sam Walton was the world’s richest man? He was worth US$100 billion which at the time was almost double the wealth of Bill Gates! Conference participants really want to learn the success secrets followed by the world’s wealthiest man and now they can! Based on his second book, The 10 Rules of Sam Walton, Michael 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

When he died, Sam Walton was the wealthiest man in the world with an estate worth over US$100 billion dollars! How did he achieve such phenomenal success in just over 30 years? How does Wal-Mart focus its 2 million employees, 7100 stores and 120 massive distribution centers? What were Sam Walton’s secrets for growing Wal-Mart to become the world’s largest company? Wal-Mart’s successful growth is a result of specific strategies and tactics put in place long ago by the company founder, Sam Walton. Sam Walton had a vision, a specific game plan, and rules upon which he focused his team to grow his business. In this speech Bergdahl discusses the success strategies and tactics of “The Sam Walton and 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.”


Competition with manufacturers from countries like China is brutal. The manufacturing world as you’ve known it has changed and you and your team must be willing to Change also, if you intend to survive. The Challenge for manufacturers of products is what to do to re-level the playing field. In order to succeed you and your team must make the Choice do what’s necessary to reinvent your business, and the way people think, to remain successful. 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.

All Michael Bergdahl Books

What I Learned from Sam Walton: How to Compete and Thrive in a Wal-Mart World
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The 10 Rules of Sam Walton: Success Secrets for Remarkable Results
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Recent Books

What I Learned from Sam Walton: How to Compete and Thrive in a Wal-Mart World
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The 10 Rules of Sam Walton: Success Secrets for Remarkable Results
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