Michael Sonbert

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Michael Sonbert is an author, speaker, performance coach, educator, endurance athlete, autistim dad, workplace culture evangelist, host of the podcast, The Inspiration Accelerator, and the founder and CEO of Skyrocket Education and Rebel Culture. He’s turned his passion for urban educational reform into a global call to action for corporate leadership transformation. Using his own story of overcoming addiction, Michael reclaimed his life and is committed to radically shifting the work experience for millions of employees around the globe. 


But it wasn’t always like this… In his youth, Michael suffered from sudden and debilitating panic attacks, the origin of which was unknown. For years, he felt trapped, not only inside his home but inside himself. Michael began numbing himself with any drug he could find–anything that would help him avoid reality and escape the fear. This lifestyle caused him to be flat broke, with no prospects, and no education. Following the death of his mother and with the help of a coach and a supportive community, he ended the cycle. Since that day, he's had an unwavering commitment to taking responsibility for his future, his life, and the impact he would have on the world. 


The next step? He became a teacher in Philadelphia. A job he still describes as “the best and most difficult job” he’s ever had. Soon, he became a teacher coach, training other teachers around the city. This scratched the itch for a while, but he still had a strong desire for impact on a larger scale. He then became the director of strategic partnerships for the district, working with thousands of leaders and teachers around the world, supporting hundreds of thousands of students. 


Happy, but with a growing desire to increase his impact, Michael started Skyrocket Education— the culmination of his years of experience in education—and never looked back. 


Skyrocket has coached educational leaders from 8 countries and over 100 cities around the world, impacting students all over the globe. He’s grown the company, along with his brilliant team, into a multi-million dollar entity. 


Obsessed with both personal and professional development, Michael has dedicated the last 20 years to coaching, partnering with, and researching leaders across many fields, including aviation, pharmaceuticals, fashion, healthcare, insurance, technology, and of course, education. He’s committed to helping business leaders get uncomfortable so that, together with their teams, they can grow thriving, impactful, purposeful organizations. 


With a maniacal focus on practice, execution, and CULTURE OVER EVERYTHING, his new company Rebel Culture helps leaders turn theory into action so they can achieve the results they, their partners, and their employees deserve. 


Currently living in New York with his wife and three children, including his son Teddy who has autism, Michael is committed to ensuring that all children with disabilities are accepted for who they are and have the same opportunities as their neuro-typical and able-bodied peers. He sits on the board of the autism non-profit organization, Families for Inclusion. 


Michael also engages in yearlong fitness challenges (two years ago he did 100K push-ups and ran 2021 miles. Last year he ran 100 10Ks, the Philadelphia Marathon, and completed his first long-distance swim. This year it’s 3650 miles, running and biking), Intermittent Fasting, cold plunges in the North Atlantic in the middle of winter, getting tattoos pretty much everywhere, writing the Amazon #1 Education book, Skyrocket Your Teacher Coaching, and singing in the bands The Never Enders and Disco Thieves.

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Michael is one of the most passionate and dynamic presenters we've ever worked with. I have yet to encounter anyone who is both more compelling or actionable in terms of helping school leaders improve.

Gregory O'Donnell - Director, University of Notre Dame

Those of us on a mastery journey to become better leaders need someone to rattle our cages, call us out when we've gotten lazy and off track, and truly challenge us to go deeper. For me, Michael Sonbert does that.

Winn Claybaugh - Co-founder, Paul Mitchell Schools

Michael really captured our audience's attention and interest. What I personally appreciated the most was the time he took to understand our audience and what key messages we were looking for in our event. What Michael stands for is partnership and collaboration.

Brianne Lanza - Director, Northwell Health

Michael is one of those rare leaders who excels as both a presenter and a practitioner. He made me and my team better coaches in just one session.

Matt Troha - Chief Operations Officer, Mastery Charter Schools

Michael is one of the most persuasive and compelling speakers. Anyone who gets the opportunity to hear Michael will be enlightened and have their perspective expanded.

Alicia Vaz - CEO, DareDream