Urs Koenig PhD, MBA

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About Urs Koenig

“Energizing, insightful,” “no BS,” “real-life take-aways” – these are just a few voices from the audience of Urs’ speeches.

Competitor, commander, and coach, Urs brings all the ingredients that you look for in an inspiring keynote speaker: energy, interaction, highly relevant content, no-nonsense pragmatism, and rich lessons your audience can carry away.

With plenty of engaging personal-leadership stories, Urs commands and holds the attention of your audience, producing lasting transformation in how they lead in business and in life.

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Characteristics of a Leader: businessman, solider, teacher, athlete

Speaking Topics

  1. Extreme Leadership for high-performing teams: Lessons in from ultra-endurance competition and military peacekeeping
  2. Take it Personally: Helping good leaders become great
  3. Leading with Story: How to engage and inspire your people with storytelling
  4. Bounce back…higher: How to come back stronger from adversity

Book Urs

International Keynote Speaker

International Keynote Speaker

Urs Koenig right in the middle of giving a leadership speach.

You are looking for a speaker who:

  1. Provides your audience with valuable content, new insights and tangible, no BS-leadership takeaways; and
  2. Energizes your people to take action when back in the office.

Urs delivers on both!

Drawing on his experience as an ultra-endurance athlete, commander of NATO military peacekeepers, and coach with more than 20 years in leadership development, Urs makes a compelling case: leadership principles from extreme ultra competition and highly volatile military peacekeeping operations also apply to today’s turbulent and uber-competitive world of business.

Hear how stories of struggle and triumph – from healing war zones to hard-fought finish lines – make Urs’ leadership lessons come alive, transforming how audiences lead in business and in life. He offers tangible leadership lessons for audience members, helping them to answer the question: What should I do differently on Monday morning?

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Clients Say It Best

Military Peacekeeper

Military Peacekeeper

Your audience will be inspired by Urs’ stories serving as a military peacekeeping officer commanding a team of peacekeepers and local staff in a large, multinational NATO operation in former Yugoslavia in 2017. Your group will walk away with tangible boots-on-the-ground leadership lessons they can implement immediately.

  • Consistently high final reviews
  • Highly trusted key member of the senior leadership team of the 250+ strong Swiss Armed Forces contingent
  • Built a strong, cohesive team of officers, soldiers and local interpreters that fulfilled its mission to the fullest satisfaction of the commanders
  • Led his team with zero in incidents or accidents during the time of deployment

United Nations

Urs practicing as a peacekeeper.

Urs plans to deploy on his next UN military peace keeping mission to the middle East or Africa in 2020

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Ultra Endurance Athlete

Ultra Endurance Athlete


Recent athletic achievements include:


  • 2nd place: 3,000-mile Race Across America (4-person team)
  • 1st place and course record: 750-mile Cascade 1,200
  • 1st place and course record: Ring of Fire 24-hour race
  • 1st place and course record: 2-person, 535-mile Race Across Oregon
  • 2nd place: Hoodoo 500-mile race
  • 2nd place: 750-mile race Boston-Montreal Boston

Cross-Country Skiing

  • Won three podium places at Swiss cross-country skiing championships
  • Won more than 20 international university cross country skiing championship titles in Austria, Australia, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland
  • Won numerous races in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.A.


  • 1st place overall in multi-sport event ‘Big Hurt’
  • 2nd place overall in multi-sport event ‘Ridge to River’
  • 2nd place overall in ‘Methow Valley Winter Triathlon’

As a highly accomplished ultra-endurance competitor, Urs knows a thing or two about setting goals and overcoming adversity and the mental strength required to keep going when all you want to do is quit.

Your audience will be inspired by stories of hard-fought finish lines and real life, no-nonsense leadership lessons learned the hard way over more than 35 years of winning titles and top rankings in long distance endurance events. Ultra-marathons, adventure races, long-distance ski races, ultra-cycling events, and Ironman triathlons – every challenge Urs has taken on has added to a rich stock of lessons learned.

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Latest in Blog

Posted on May 19, 2017 at 3:16 pm

Peacekeeping training is over; one month into the mission in Kosovo

Lots has happened since I first reported for my peacekeeping training in Stans/Switzerland at the beginning of January.

Time for a quick update. I will dig deeper into my experience once I have a bit more peace 🙂 and quiet.

Most importantly, this upfront: The transition to military life has been remarkably smooth. Not something I necessarily expected after almost 20 years out of the service. I have no trouble with some of the formalities and indeed find myself insisting on some of them when my younger fellow officers are more lenient.

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