Dr. Mike Zwell

Mike is a Professor, Co-Founder and Chancellor of the Wright Graduate University.

He leads and manages Wright’s advanced personal growth groups and oversees the coaching staff. Mike also serves as managing director of Wright’s consulting arm.

Background

A globally recognized Competency and Talent Management expert, Mike has helped hundreds of 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.

After teaching at Rutgers University, consulting, and writing a book, Mike 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 the next few years, Mike developed groundbreaking tools for assessing leadership competencies and evaluating corporate culture and fit in executive searches. 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.

Mike 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; RLI; MedSolutions; Fiserv; and many more.

Mike 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 2008.

Mike has a Ph.D. and master’s in Anthropology from Yale University, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago.

One thing people wouldn’t know about you is:

“I love writing lyrics to songs.”

What is your favorite quotation?

“Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.  They want rain without thunder and lightning.  They want the ocean without the awful roar of its waters.  This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.  Power concedes nothing without a demand.  It never did, and it never will.  Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.  The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” – Frederick Douglas, August 4, 1857

Have any good tips for people who want to work at Wright?

“Be committed to learning, growing, self awareness, truth, and connection.”