Mike Zwell

Michael Zwell, Ph.D., is an executive coach and Professor of Transformational Coaching, co-founder, and Chancellor of the Wright Graduate University for the Realization of Human Potential.

He is also a globally recognized Competency and Talent Management expert who has helped hundreds of leaders and organizations achieve their potential and fulfill their mission by developing systems, processes and people. He has worked on both sides of the table, having founded and built several companies himself in addition to implementing solutions in other organizations.


Dr. Zwell has coached and worked with executives for over twenty years to facilitate their professional success and their leadership. Whether working with CEOs or high potential professionals earlier in their career, he focuses on them realizing their potential and maximizing their influence, satisfaction, and effectiveness.Dr. Zwell received a B.A. from the University of Chicago with honors in 1970. A Woodrow Wilson Fellow, he received an M.Phil. (1972) and a Ph.D. from Yale University (1974), both in anthropology. Throughout his professional career he has used his anthropological perspective to analyze how organizations function and help them maximize their potential and their mission.After teaching at Rutgers University, consulting, and writing a book, Dr. Zwell began a career in executive search in 1980. He founded his own firm, Zwell International, in 1982, initially focusing on executive search in financial services. In 1989, however, realizing that the traditional executive search process did a mediocre job of predicting performance, he began to study the research on factors predicting job success. In the next few years Dr. Zwell developed groundbreaking tools for assessing leadership competencies and evaluating developing leaders. The use of these technologies catapulted him to the top of the profession, and by the mid-1990’s he was filling CEO and board positions as well as consulting for organizations on their human capital processes and systems. He continued developing and installing competency-based selection, performance management, and competency development systems in organizations and in 1998 founded Exxceed Inc. to automate those processes on the web. Exxceed was sold in 2006.Dr. Zwell has culled academic research to develop the functional knowledge and skills that make him uniquely suited to help executives, management teams, and sales teams, and organizations optimize their performance and results. Clients include JP Morgan Chase; Lenovo; Lehman Brothers; the Chicago Public School System; SkillSoft; Robert Half International; JB Hunt; American Capital Strategies; Sanofi Aventis; and many more.

Dr. Zwell has written and spoken extensively on topics related to getting the best and the most from your human capital. In 2000 he published the highly acclaimed Creating a Culture of Competence (John Wiley & Sons) on how to create high-performing organizations. Boards & Directors published his article, “How to Hire the Right CEO”, in 1998, and recently reprinted portions of it in their 30th anniversary issue. His third book, Six Figure Salary Negotiation, was published by Platinum Press in early 2008.