A Principal in the World of Leadership Principles

John E. Michel

John combines his extensive personal and professional experience with a deep commitment to helping others—producing truly exceptional and successful outcomes.

About John

John E. Michel is a widely recognized expert in culture, strategy & individual and organizational change. An accomplished unconventional leader and proven status quo buster, he has successfully led several multi-billion dollar transformation efforts and his award-winning work has been featured in a wide variety of articles and journals, including the Harvard Business Review. Having retired from serving our nation as a General Officer in the United States Air Force, John now enjoys helping people learn to walk differently in the world so they can become the best version of themselves possible. He is blessed to be married to the most patient person on the planet and together, they have two amazing sons. John is a certified as an instructor in Emotional Intelligence, Appreciative Inquiry, and Conflict Dynamics Coaching as well as a graduate of the Harvard Program on Negotiation.


John has led a host of diverse teams in accomplishing everything from the ordinary to the extraordinary. A decorated combat leader, he routinely transformed good to great.

From leading talented aviation personnel in projecting power and preserving peace on continents throughout the planet, to overseeing special operations mission’s teams in complex international environments, John doesn’t just talk leadership, he lives it…daily.


When one of the Air Force’s largest organizations, a $2.7B operation in North Dakota, was experiencing the most challenging conditions of its 50+ year history, John was handpicked to turn the organization around.

In 16-short months, the wing transformed itself from ”Worst to First,” establishing a foundation of sustainable success that has since transformed not just the base, but the entire state, into a national leader in the field of unmanned aviation operations, technology and manufacturing.


In 2013, John was again handpicked by our national leadership to bring his unparalleled ability to think and inspire to one of the most daunting assignments to date: leading NATO’s 14-nation effort to build the $6.7B Afghan Air Force…in an active war zone.

Despite the fact nothing of this magnitude had been previously attempted, John led his team to develop a comprehensive strategy (while concurrently supporting combat flight operations) that in 12 short months, resulted in an over 200% increase in mission effectiveness, accelerated growth by over two years, while simultaneously reducing costs by $2.1B

Awards and Accolades

Designated the Top Social Media Leader in the US Air Force for 2014.

Recognized by Switch & Shift as one of the Top 75 Human Business Champions.

Huffington Post’s Top 70 Most Social U.S. Federal Technology Pros on Twitter.

Featured By

Fast Company

Quotes about John's Speaking

"General John Michel embodies an inspiring brand of leadership that values and empowers others, is fiercely focused on building results, and casts a positive and enduring light."
Doug Conant
Chairman, Avon Products; Chairman, Kellogg Executive Leadership Institute and Founder and CEO, ConantLeadership; Former CEO, Campbell Soup
"John is undoubtably one of the finest leaders in the wo9rld. His passion for people and unparalleled experience leading several complex, multi-billion change efforts to extraordinary results confirm he is the real deal. If you want to learn how to succeed in taking your organization to the next level, General Michel is your man."
Harrison Bernstein
Former NFL Coach and Founder, Soldiers to Sidelines

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I invite you to explore my site and see how I can help you and your organization elevate performance, enhance satisfaction and achieve sustainable success.

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