As the founder of Strategic Leadership Development International, Mike knows firsthand the world of top-level decision making. In his early 30s he founded a highly successful private school in California. By 37 he was one of the youngest college presidents in the United States.
A year later he was a naval reserve commander, eventually retiring as a captain with nationwide management duties in the field of intelligence. During his 35 years of service in the naval reserve, he was decorated three times for his ground-breaking work in computerizing the naval intelligence community.
Mike began coaching as an adjunct to a long career in ministry with large churches in San Jose, Los Angeles, and Dallas. These congregations drew heavily from professional and managerial circles, and Mike became a regular consultant, confidant, and mentor to many executives and business leaders in his church. Eventually this led to his fulltime work as a leadership development specialist.
He is also a successful author in leadership and other fields, currently published in some 22 languages. His writing and coaching are marked by an astute understanding of personal behavior, organizational dynamics, and the process of cultural change.
Mike's interest in cultural transitions took him to UCLA, where he earned a doctorate in the cultural and intellectual history of Europe. He also holds a master's degree in modern diplomacy and another in theology.
With this broad knowledge of world affairs and global culture, Mike enjoys work in the international arena. For almost five years he served as CEO of an international non-profit which works in a dozen nations of Eastern Europe. Beginning in 1995 he worked for years with regional and national leaders in Russia and Ukraine to integrate character training into their schools, universities, and youth camps.
As a professional keynote speaker, Mike is in constant demand from coast to coast, as well as overseas. With an extensive background in both radio and television, he is a highly effective communicator, blessed with a resonant voice and a dynamic delivery that holds audiences in rapt attention. Since 2017, his podcast Upsize Your Leadership has been a featured program on the C-Suite Radio Network.
Mike and his wife Fran have three grown children and ten grandchildren. He presently lives just north of Dallas and maintains a national and international leadership development practice. He also takes an active interest in community and political affairs. He serves on the board of trustees for York University in Nebraska and ran for Congress in 2002.