Michael learned project management the hard way. As Michael puts it, “It was the 1980’s. There were no seminars or classes in project management back then. ‘Projects’ were limited to the large-scale government or construction industries. We had to learn things the hard way. Fortunately, I found Hank Hurtado, a semi-retired master who worked for RCA on the AEGIS project to upgrade shipboard radar systems for the Navy. Hank was fantastic, giving me just enough leeway to learn on my own”.
Michael quickly mastered project management processes and discovered he had a natural talent to develop strong, high-performance teams. As a consultant, Michael mastered how to apply those skills to all areas of management. Continuing his studies, Michael ultimately obtained his MBA specializing in project management.
Today, Michael combines his vast knowledge and experience with this three passions: speaking, writing, and education.
Michael fell into speaking by accident. A friend and colleague accidentally double-booked himself and asked Michael to step in and cover one of this seminars. The class went well, and Michael started Ally Business Developers, specializing in project management training and consulting.
Today, Michael brings his passion, enthusiasm, and energy to every speech. His ability to combine practical, every-day events with theory engages his audiences and allows them to see how to apply complex concepts in every-day life. Michael has spoken for thousands of companies and individuals around the world. His passion for the stage continues to grow as he is now acting in local theater.
I’ve included a few short clips of speeches I’ve done over the years. Click HERE to view.
With a bachelor’s degree in engineering, Michael initially struggled with writing, “My English teachers were… well, less than adequate. I was in my mid 20’s when I could finally find someone who could tell me why consonants were consonants and vowels were vowels, despite asking that questions to almost every English teach I had. Fortunately, my daughter had great English teachers. Allison and I learned how to write together.”
Today, Michael has developed a passion for writing. Completing his first book in 2004, Michael has now developed three different writing styles for beginners, advanced, and academic audiences. Michael has now authored six books and a number of white-papers and peer-reviewed articles covering all areas of management, including organizational culture, portfolio management, building high-performance teams, and many more. Starting the Ally Publishing Group, Michael now helps other writers get their books published, including a novel from a good friend. Michael recalls, “Bob (Fuller) has been a good friend and business colleague for many years. In all those years, I never considered that he could write a humorous book. ‘Half-Off Sail’ is a great text and I was proud to help him get it published.”
Like most people, Michael found some subjects were easy to learn while others were more difficult. Michael recalls, “For years, I wondered why so many subjects were difficult to grasp. After some study, I discovered that the problem didn’t lie in the subject matter, but rather the way it was taught. Too many educators start out with the theory and then try to apply it. That’s backwards, the theory tends to confuse some people so application becomes difficult. Starting with the practical side, then building into the theory works much better for most people”.
With over 20 years as an educator, Michael as developed advanced adult education techniques that work. Michael’s passion for education continues to grow. Recently, he started The Fatwood Group (www,FatwoodGroup.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to researching advanced learning and teaching techniques. The group recently finished their first major study of the application of Socratic Method in the adult continuing education environment. The group plans further studies focusing on cultural change in the global environment.