Leadership sought out Dr. Mike early in life. As he entered his sophomore year, the faculty of his high school chose him to head the school's largest student organization. From there he went on to lead a variety of campus organizations and to serve as student body president in both high school and college. In addition, he won state championships in forensic speaking, again at both the high school and collegiate. These experiences launched him on a path of leadership and public speaking which continues to this day.
In adulthood, Dr. Mike's major leadership roles have usually centered on one of two challenges. Either standing up altogether new initiatives (often the very first of their kind). Or turning around organizations in serious trouble.
Thus, at an early age, he developed deep interest in understanding the dynamics of corporate culture and the process of effecting large-scale organizational change.
In parallel with his naval reserve service, Mike pursued dual careers in education and ministry. In his early 30s, he launched a highly successful K-9 private school. A short while later, he became a university dean and then, at age 37, one of the youngest college presidents in America. He also doubled as president of a K-12 private school affiliated with the college.
Years after leaving education administration, Dr. Mike returned to the classroom to teach MBA courses for the School of Management at Texas Woman's University.
Overlapping his time in higher education, Dr. Mike maintained long-term ministerial positions with fast-growing urban churches in Kentucky, California, and Texas. In all three states, he hosted regional television programs which used an interview format to address topics related to faith and religion.
He also chaired several multi-million dollar fund-raising campaigns for faith-based organizations and served as a strategic planning consultant for community non-profits.
Mike's passion for executive coaching developed during three decades of ministry with large churches in San Jose, Los Angeles, and Dallas. These congregations drew dozens of professionals, entrepreneurs, and managers who regularly sought his counsel on thorny organizational or leadership issues.
He found this type of work so rewarding that in 2001, he began working fulltime as an executive leadership coach and business consultant. He started by establishing Strategic Leadership Development International (SLDI) in Dallas. He has headed SLDI and its team of coaches and trainers ever since. The company's clients have ranged from mom-and-pop startups to Fortune 100 companies.
From 2005-2010, while managing SLDI, Dr. Mike doubled as the CEO of an international humanitarian organization operating in Eastern Europe and Asia. One of his principal roles was to help Russian and Ukrainian ministries of education create comprehensive character curriculum for their schools and universities following the collapse of communism.
In 2011, based on SLDI's success in the U.S. and Europe, the Rwandan government urged him to open a subsidiary in Kigali. For the next few years, he spent much of his time in East Africa, providing leadership training for governments, businesses, and NGOs. He worked primarily with top business and government officials from Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, and the People's Republic of Congo.
Dr. Mike's academic journey took him through five degree programs, with specializations ranging from math to philosophy to diplomacy to theology to history. He capped it off with a PhD in European cultural and intellectual history from UCLA. He also did post-graduate work in strategy and economics at the Naval War College.
Since early adulthood, Mike has found special fulfillment in writing. Today over two million copies of his books are in circulation, and he is 'm currently published in two-dozen languages.
His partner in everything he undertakes is his wife Fran. They have been blessed with three children and ten grandchildren. They live on a golf course just north of Dallas, where they both maintain an active interest in community and political affairs. Mike also serves on the Board of Trustees for York University in Nebraska and ran for Congress in the months following the 9-11 attack.