Small Wars Journal

Michael D. Shaler


Mike Shaler is the President of the Steamboat Leadership Institute, a leadership consulting organization he established in Steamboat Springs, Colorado in October 1992.  He has been at the forefront in the design and implementation of leader development programs for leaders and managers at all levels in organizations.  He has been involved in the design & development of executive development programs for the world's largest financial services organization, and served for 6 years on their executive development faculty.  He additionally serves as an executive coach for senior executives in corporate, governmental, and non-profit organizations; has facilitated several groups of senior executives in strategic planning sessions and corporate-level solutions efforts; and has developed and implemented a series of 360 Degree assessment programs. Mike directed the US Army’s Strategic Leadership Development Program for eight years, and was a Strategic Advisor to the Army Chief of Staff for eight years.

The Steamboat Leadership Institute originated a comprehensive program for enhancing leader performance through the delivery of focused and structured feedback to leaders while they performed their assigned jobs, resulting in rapid growth and development of leadership skills.  Mike has also pioneered in the development of focused programs to help organizations develop their skills as learning organizations.  Through the use of After-Action Reviews, Mike has guided organizations through the process of reaping the benefits of individual learning combined with the power of organizational learning.  These efforts also include a ‘train the trainer’ component which helps individual leaders develop their skills in conducting After-Action Reviews.

Prior to establishing the Steamboat Leadership Institute in 1992, Mike served for 30 years in the US Army where he was a leader at every level from Second Lieutenant through Colonel.  When not in direct leadership positions, he was engaged in leadership research, teaching leadership, and in the design of leader development programs.  These assignments included teaching leadership at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York; leading the Army’s personnel, leadership, and training research laboratory where he was in charge of the Army’s people research program and was the leader of 240 PhD research scientists around the globe; and an assignment as Senior Army Research Fellow, conducting in-depth research of innovative training and development programs for senior defense executives.

Mike earned his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and his BA in Psychology from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. He is a graduate of the National Defense University and the Army War College, and served as a member member of the Army Science Board for 8 years.  He and his wife, Sheila have lived in Steamboat Springs, Colorado for 29 years and have 4 adult children. 

Michael D. Shaler

Post Office Box 775490

Steamboat Springs, Colorado 80477

Telephone: (970) 879-0536   E-mail:

Articles by this Author