Michael Wilkinson – Bio

Michael Wilkinson, CPF CMF

Managing Director, Atlanta

Michael Wilkinson is the Managing Director of Leadership Strategies, the largest provider of professional facilitators and facilitator-related training in the U.S. He is one of the widely-recognized leaders in the facilitation industry.

Active in both the private and public sectors, Mr. Wilkinson has facilitated over 200 strategy sessions for major corporations, large government agencies, and a variety of non-profit organizations. He is a much sought-after facilitator, trainer and speaker, both in the U.S. and around the globe. He has completed international assignments in over 25 international locations including Beijing, Geneva, Hamburg, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Milan, Moscow, Riyadh, Stockholm, Sydney, Vienna, and Warsaw. Past participants have commented that his dynamic presentation style, combined with his unique insights, make for highly engaging and results-producing sessions.


  • Board member of the International Institute for Facilitation
  • Founder of the FindaFacilitator database, with over 600 facilitators under contract
  • Founder and Global Project Leader for the IAF Facilitation Impact Awards, 2013-2016
  • Author of six books: The Secrets of Facilitation, The Secrets to Masterful Meetings, The Eight Core Practices of a Facilitative Leader, The Executive Guide to Facilitating Strategy, Buying Styles and CLICK: The Virtual Meetings Book
  • Inducted into the International Facilitation Hall of Fame in 2016

Sample of Experience

  • Facilitated the strategic planning process for the government of Jamaica which included over 120 industry ministers, private sector representatives, NGO officials, and community leads.
  • Facilitated over 100 players, including architects, designers, landscapers and electricians, who were involved in the $2.5 billion development of a new hospital complex, through a two-day partnering session to gain agreement on a set of goals, success measures, and operating standards.
  • Led the culture integration and values development for the merger of two of the largest construction companies in Australian and the UK.
  • Led the strategic planning process for a corporation with nine diverse business unit to identify strategic opportunities for investment and critical internal barriers to success.
  • Served as the master facilitator for a large urban city developing a 25-year strategic vision involving ten teams of 60-100 people, each focused on a key success area (e.g., housing, transportation, public safety). meeting monthly for 12 months.

Primary Facilitation Areas

  • Strategic planning
  • Conference facilitation
  • Partnering
  • Issue resolution
  • Process improvement
  • Team building
  • Team acceleration
  • Focus groups

Sample of Industries

  • Association
  • Automotive
  • Banking
  • College and University
  • Consulting
  • Food and beverage
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Legal
  • Non-profit
  • Real estate
  • Religious
  • Retail
  • Technology

What Others Have Said

  • “Michael Wilkinson is hands down the most talented and effective facilitator with whom I have ever worked or seen. He combines his proven facilitation techniques and approaches with a keen strategic and business sense to consistently produce performance-based results.”
    Brian Gallagher, CEO, United Way Worldwide
  • “In my career, I’ve seen many, many facilitators. Michael Wilkinson is the best.”
    Len Roberts former CEO, RadioShack
  • Michael is not only one of the smartest people I know–he is one of the very best facilitators I have ever seen in action. Michael’s life’s work, the art and science of facilitation, has set a whole new standard for a domain that has traditionally suffered from a lack of definition and disconcerting range of quality. The curriculum, services and training programs he has built with his firm are the best in the industry. Finally, his energy, know-how and generous spirit contribute to the ultimate professionalism he brings to all he does.
    Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, Chief Thought Leader and Chair of the Board
    Herrmann, International, The HBDI Company

In His Own Words

“Best facilitator I’ve ever seen.” When you are told that once, you don’t take it too seriously, but you do tell your significant other about it. Yet, when you hear it from CEOs and executives from such organizations as BellSouth and Shell Oil, and again from top executives of non-profit organizations like United Way Worldwide and Junior Achievement, and from mayors of major metropolitan areas, you begin to think, “Well, maybe I’m not too bad at this.”

I certainly thank my creator for blessing me with a passion to make a difference in people’s lives. I also believe I’ve been equipped with strong communication and analytic skills to process information quickly and help people build on one another’s ideas to create new solutions to difficult issues. My clients often praise the dynamic energy I bring to a room, or the combination of warmth, humor and focus that helps keep a group engaged and productive long into the afternoon. But they tell me they hire me back because they feel confident that, with my involvement, they will achieve definitive results.