I’m Dr. Mike Patterson, a lifelong learner dedicated to helping leaders and teams get stuff done—and have more fun in the process.  Since leadership and teamwork are both rooted in relationship, I tend to focus on how these human connections work and what gets in the way. That means I often speak and write about communication, collaboration, conflict management, and coaching.


The “Dr.” in front of my name means that I went to school for a long time—a very long time in fact. I’ll list the degrees a little later, but the more practical part of my education came from working with a wide array of people as an Army officer; a sales, marketing, and training leader in a large pharmaceutical company; and more recently, as a principal at Core Strengths, a global talent development company where I had the chance to work with leaders and teams from many of the world’s top organizations.


I teach in the doctoral programs at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology and California Baptist University. I like working with doctoral students because they are always incredibly bright and driven, so I have to push myself to keep up. My students also inspire me to see things from different perspectives, continue learning, and remain optimistic about the future.


The consulting firm I founded is called Ambassador Associates. Our goal is to help clients bridge the gap that sometimes exists between people and performance. We do this through active interventions that include team building, training, and skill development, as well as more broadly assisting with talent development strategy. Fortunately, I’m joined in this effort by a number of incredibly talented friends who I can call on when needed. They bring different experiences and areas of expertise, so we can capably address a wide range of needs.


Back to the educational achievements…I attended Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL on a 4-year Army ROTC scholarship. I was a Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG) and earned a BA with honors in social science. While on active duty in Germany, I earned a MPA from Troy University. A few years into my business career, I earned a MA in organizational leadership with high honors from Biola University in La Mirada, CA, followed by a Certificate in Biblical Studies from Biola’s Talbot School of Theology. Finally, I completed my doctoral work at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology. My dissertation, An Examination of the Factors Affecting Training Transfer in a Sales Organization, was designated one of three “Distinguished Dissertations” by the International Society for Performance Improvement in 2011.  Along with all of this academic work, I’m certified in a variety of popular commercial training programs.


My most important roles are husband, father of five adult children, and Papi to an ever-growing group of grandchildren. I love them all deeply and consider it the greatest of blessings to have them in my life. My wife, Eunice, is the most loving, nurturing, and encouraging person I’ve ever known, so some of the practical lessons I share come through her example.  


I hope you enjoy my website. It’s where I share my thoughts on a variety of topics through my blogs and videos. I’ll do my best to give you something immediately useful in every post, so you’ll want to come back for more.


Please contact me if I can be of service.



Better business results, stronger teams, and more successful careers usually boil down to one thing — better relationships.


"Dictionaries define words. People give words meaning."


"Learn to meet people where they are without sacrificing who you are."



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"There is often no right or wrong, better or best way to do something. There are, however, always implications."

The Definitive Guide to Balancing People and Performance

Mission First, People Always

Have a Nice Conflict

How to Find Success and Satisfaction in the Most Unlikely Places



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Learning strategy, curriculum design, and leadership development programming are integral components of talent development in organizations. However, many organizations don’t have staff that can dedicate themselves to this work. Put my experience and scholarly perspective to work to develop a strategy, establish a curriculum, and plan the execution.


Whether keynoting your conference or sales meeting, or leading a more focused breakout session, allow me to bring my entertaining perspective on a variety of topics like:


  • The A-B-Cs of Better Relationships

  • Have a Nice Conflict: The Five Keys

  • Creating a Culture of Commitment

  • Harnessing the Power of Cognitive Diversity

  • Bring the Right Tool for the Job: A Strengths-Based Approach to Work

  • Relationship Intelligence: The Bridge Between People and Performance


I have designed and delivered a wide range of training programs based on the needs of the audience. No matter what the course content, my role is to facilitate learning. In other words, I create an environment where learning can happen. That means make it safe, focus on real-world issues, and provide opportunities for people to learn from others in the class with plenty of activities and discussion. 


There’s nothing worse than a know-it-all professor that lectures on topics that aren’t relevant to the people in the class. That’s not me.


My most requested class is Core Strengths: Results through Relationships. It’s designed to crack the code on different communication styles while revealing what it takes to build high-performing, collaborative teams. It’s interactive, fun, and a great way for teams to develop trust and a culture that appreciates differences.

Assessments to Understand Self and Others

My psychometric assessment of choice is the SDI 2.0. It is the only assessment that measures motives under two conditions (when things are going well and when there is conflict), strengths, and overdone strengths. In other words, it provides four perspectives on personality in one, valid and reliable assessment, and helps us understand how best to relate to others.


I believe in the SDI 2.0 so much that I spent 10 years of my life as an employee and owner of the company that publishes it. I’ve used the assessment with thousands of learners in a dozen countries around the world—always with excellent results.


Of course, there are other good assessments on the market. I choose to use the SDI 2.0 because it is especially useful to people who want to become better communicators, collaborators, coaches, and conflict managers.



"A leader’s primary responsibility is to bring out the best in those around them."

With over 20 years of leadership development experience, I’ve used the best tools and training techniques available. I know what works, what makes a lasting impact, and what people enjoy. Everything I do with my clients is relevant, practical, and actionable—and delivered with a focus on activities, discussion, and opportunities for immediate application.


I always make it fun as well. If people are laughing, they’re probably learning.

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Understanding how you impact others is something every emotionally intelligent leader needs to know.


From time to time, I'll share a more personal take on issues and ideas via video. To stay up to date, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel. 

A Few Past Clients