June 25, 1955
- Known For:
Best-Selling Author and Speaker
About Michael Hyatt
Michael Hyatt is a bestselling author and host of the popular podcast Lead to Win (now Business Accelerator), which began in 2017 and continues to provide advice and guidance on living with more passion and greater focus. He is considered a leading authority in the personal development, leadership, and social media industries, having inspired many people with his practical advice on how to achieve success and fulfillment in one’s personal and professional life.
Hyatt attended Baylor University and earned a degree in philosophy. As a college senior in 1977, he began his publishing career at Word Publishing, which was a part of Thomas Nelson Publishers. Hyatt met his wife, Gail, at Baylor and the two have been married for more than 40 years. They have five daughters and nine grandchildren, and live in Nashville, Tennessee, where Hyatt serves as Deacon of St. Ignatius Orthodox Church.
In 1986, Hyatt founded his first company, Wohlgemuth & Hyatt, which was later purchased by Word Publishing. He then became a literary agent until he joined Thomas Nelson in 1998. Eventually, Hyatt advanced to CEO of Thomas Nelson, a position he kept for six years before stepping down in 2011 and becoming chairman of the board. Harper Collins acquired Thomas Nelson in 2011.
In his blog post explaining his decision to step down as CEO of Thomas Nelson, Hyatt wrote, “The reason for this transition is that I want to spend more time externally focused: writing, speaking, and pursuing other business interests . . . I love the creative life, and I was finding it increasingly difficult to give expression to my gifts while running a company the size of Thomas Nelson.”
According to the Full Focus “About” page, while serving as CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Hyatt “grew tired of the endless hustle.” Work was taking a toll on his health, relationships, and overall quality of life, so he developed a plan that would allow him to succeed at work without the need to sacrifice his personal priorities.He credits that change to his success while getting Thomas Nelson through the economic recession in 2008. In 2012, after stepping down as chairman of Thomas Nelson, Hyatt launched Full Focus, a “goal-achivement company” that provides training, coaching, courses, and resources to individuals and teams to improve their productivity.
Full Focus, originally named Michael Hyatt & Company, has scaled since its inception, growing over 60% year-over-year for the last four years.
Full Focus was named one of Inc.’s Best Workplaces for five years in a row, from 2017–2021, and appeared on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in three of the last four years.
Focus on Leadership and Personal Development
Hyatt’s leadership methods are centered around intentional living and personal responsibility. He believes that effective leaders must have a clear vision and set of values, and that they must remain accountable for their actions and decisions. Hyatt also emphasizes the importance of continuous learning and growth, encouraging leaders to embrace new ideas and change in order to experience persistent progress. He believes in achieving the “Double Win,” or succeeding at work and at home.
His company’s Full Focus System takes a practical, action-oriented approach to leadership, helping leaders to set goals, increase productivity, and build strong relationships to create a positive work environment. Full Focus offers tools (such as planners and notebooks), courses, business solutions, and free resources to customers.In 2017, Hyatt introduced the Full Focus Planner, which allows users to set clear goals and practice time management.
Since 2012, Hyatt has written six books on leadership and development that provide practical advice, inspiring stories, and actionable steps that readers can use to grow.
Books, Podcasts, and Programs
Y2K: The Day the World Shut Down was published in 1998, and written by Michael Hyatt and George Grant. It’s a fictional novel that tells the story of a society that experiences a “meltdown” at midnight on January 1, 2000.
The Y2K Personal Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Get from This Side of the Crisis to the Other was published in 1999. It serves as a guide that offers tools for preparing for a potential computer problem in the year 2000.
The Millennium Bug: How to Survive the Coming Chaos was published in 1999 and explains the potential magnitude and scope of the year 2000 crisis, and what could happen to governments, public utilities, and finance industries.
Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, published in 2012, provides guidance on crafting an effective and meaningful online platform. Readers learn how to extend their influence, monetize it, and build a sustainable career.
The Virtual Assistant Solution: Come Up for Air, Offload the Work You Hate, and Focus on What You Do Best, published in 2013, offers advice on how and why to use a virtual assistant, and identifying tasks leaders need to offload in order to maximize their productivity.
Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want was written by Hyatt and executive coach Daniel Harkavy, and published in 2016. The book serves as a guide to designing a “life plan” with proven principles.
Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals was published in 2018 and became a Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestseller. It provides a research-driven system for setting and achieving goals.
Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less, published in 2019, became a Wall Street Journal bestseller and provides a three-step system to achieve more while doing less. Hyatt discusses productivity and how it’s directly related to getting things right to achieve more in less time.
The Vision Driven Leader: 10 Questions to Focus Your Efforts, Energize Your Team, and Scale Your Business was published in 2020 and became a New York Times bestseller. It serves as a tool to help leaders create a clear and compelling vision to grow their organizations.
In 2017, Hyatt launched a podcast called Lead to Win, now called Business Accelerator, with this daughter, Megan Hyatt Miller. The duo discusses practical aspects of being a leader, including forming positive habits, building team culture, and leading through crisis.
Hyatt’s Business Accelerator Program is a virtual coaching program that features techniques for increasing revenue and scalability. It provides group and one-on-one coaching and method training for business leaders.
Michael Hyatt Quotes
“Those who feel satisfied with their personal lives are more satisfied with their careers and perform better.” —Michael Hyatt, Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want
“Having clarity on where you want to go is one of the most critical components of your life.” —Michael Hyatt, Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want
“Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination.” —Michael Hyatt, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
“For real productivity, however, we need to prioritize people. You’re a human being, not a human doing.” —Michael Hyatt, Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less
“You will never see the full path. The important thing is to do the next right thing.” —Michael Hyatt, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
Legacy and Continued Success
Today, Hyatt continues to provide resources and training for individuals and organizations seeking to achieve their goals and lead with purpose through his company Full Focus. In 2021, Hyatt stepped down as CEO of Full Focus and became the chairman. His oldest daughter, Megan Hyatt Miller, took his place as president and CEO.
Hyatt continues to host the podcast Business Accelerator with his daughter, exploring wisdoms of leadership and building success.
Leaders Media has established sourcing guidelines that rely on credible, expert-level, and primary sources for articles about people and companies. Articles are frequently edited by staff writers. Learn more about our mission, editorial ethics, and how we source references in our editorial policy.
- Leading Through Crisis | Michael Hyatt. (n.d.). https://michaelhyatt.com/leadingthroughcrisis/
- Thomas Nelson. (2021, May 27). About. https://www.thomasnelson.com/about-us/
- Thomas Nelson, Inc. (2018, June 30). “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World” Debuts on New York Times Best-Sellers List, Ranks in Top 4 on Amazon. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/platform-get-noticed-in-a-noisy-world-debuts-on-new-york-times-best-sellers-list-ranks-in-top-4-on-amazon-157178045.html
- Hyatt-Miller, M. H. &. M. (2023, January 24). Business Accelerator on. Apple Podcasts. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/business-accelerator/id1294885433
- Bolt, C. (2022, November 29). SPS 001: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World with Your First Book, with Michael Hyatt. Self Publishing School. https://self-publishingschool.com/podcast-001-michael-hyatt/
- Dn. Michael Hyatt – St Ignatius Orthodox Church Franklin. (n.d.). https://stignatiusfranklin.org/staff/dn-michael-hyatt/
- Team, T. B. (2019, May 29). Baylor grad Michael Hyatt helps people become “Free to Focus” in new book. BaylorProud. https://www2.baylor.edu/baylorproud/2019/05/baylor-grad-michael-hyatt-helps-people-become-free-to-focus-in-new-book/
- Stunned Reaction To HarperCollins Acquisition of Thomas Nelson. (n.d.). PublishersWeekly.com. https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/religion/article/49399-stunned-reaction-to-harpercollins-s-acquisition-of-thomas-nelson.html
- Bailey, S. P. (2011, April 12). Michael Hyatt Steps Down as Thomas Nelson CEO. News & Reporting. https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2011/april/michael-hyatt-steps-down-as-thomas-nelson-ceo.html
- Full Focus. (2022, February 15). Helping High Achievers Live Their Best Lives. https://fullfocus.co/about/
- Michael Hyatt | Bio | Premiere Speakers Bureau. (n.d.). https://premierespeakers.com/michael-hyatt/bio
- inc.com. (n.d.). https://www.inc.com/best-workplaces/2021
- inc.com. (n.d.-b). https://www.inc.com/inc5000/2019
- Y2K: The Day the World Shut Down. (1998). Good Reads. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5894306-y2k
- The Y2K Personal Survival Guide: Everything You Need to. . .. (n.d.). Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1753886.The_Y2K_Personal_Survival_Guide
- Google Books. (n.d.). https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Millennium_Bug.html
- Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. (2012). Good Reads. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13648043-platform
- Hyatt, M. (2013, October 31). The Virtual Assistant Solution: Come up for Air, Offload the Work You Hate, and Focus on What You Do Best. Scribd. https://www.scribd.com/book/200199697/The-Virtual-Assistant-Solution-Come-up-for-Air-Offload-the-Work-You-Hate-and-Focus-on-What-You-Do-Best
- Living Forward | A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want. (n.d.). https://livingforwardbook.com
- Full Focus. (n.d.). Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important G. https://fullfocusstore.com/products/your-best-year-ever
- Full Focus. (n.d.-a). Free to Focus: Achieve More by Doing Less. https://fullfocusstore.com/products/free-to-focus
- The Vision Driven Leader – Michael Hyatt. (2020, February 28). Vision Driven Leader. https://visiondrivenleader.com
- Full Focus. (2022b, November 21). Podcasts. https://fullfocus.co/podcasts/
Any reader who wishes to provide any additions or revisions to this article, including updating any out-of-date information, please email [email protected].