Bringing endurance to work

Urs in the midst of one of his ultra endurance races

Urs in the midst of one of his ultra endurance races

 

Urs Koenig is not normal. He attempts incredible feats, pushing his stamina to the absolute limit. And he’s no slouch in the world of business either. As you’ll hear, he values variety in his life and whether on stage as an international speaker or on the ground as an international peacekeeper, he knows how to operate at his best.

I had the pleasure of spending time with Urs when he lived in Sydney a few years ago and recently talked with him from his current base in Seattle. He’s always struck me as someone who wouldn’t let much get in the way of where he was headed. That’s not to say I ever sensed a streak of the out and out ruthless, rather that he sees obstacles as challenges to be overcome and never appears to entertain any doubt that they could indeed be conquered.

Tell me why I shouldn’t be doing it
— The question Urs regularly asks his inner circle

In our conversation, I was interested to hear the extent to which his father shaped his approach to life and I admire how his seemingly disruptive ideas are always grounded in just enough realism. He may well turn things upside down on a regular basis, but I sense he’s always got his metaphorical Swiss Army Knife close to hand.

Urs has his mind set on the TED stage as a milestone for his professional speaking career and I for one will not be in the least bit surprised when he gets there. He will get there. Take a look at his website and I expect you’ll see what I mean, urskoenigspeaker.com

As a footnote, Urs and I spent an afternoon kayaking on Sydney harbour 20 odd years ago and I’m pretty sure I beat him in a paddling sprint. That’s how I remember it anyway.

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Robert Gerrish