244: Krister Ungerböck: Learning The Language Of Leadership


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Krister Ungerböck (unger-bahk) is a keynote speaker, CEO Coach, and global expert in The Language of Leadership. Prior to retiring at age 42, Krister was the award-winning CEO of one of the largest family-owned software companies in the world. His expertise in the Language of Leadership is based upon his unique experience as a global CEO, leading teams in three languages while observing and doing business with executives in over 40 countries, building businesses in six and living in three. As a corporate keynote speaker, Krister is passionate about sharing the secrets that his team used to win 5 consecutive Top Workplace awards and achieve remarkable employee engagement levels of 99.3%.

On stage, Krister is a keynote speaker, but when he works one-on-one with CEOs and their highest potential executives, he’s more like a speech writer. Krister helps great leaders craft the words they use in high-stakes conversations, the million-dollar conversations that can make their year or their career, as well as the countless other conversations those leaders have every day.

His upcoming book, The Language of Leadership: Words to Transform How We Lead, Live and Love, provides leaders a practical, fill-in-the-blanks approach to learning a powerful new language of leadership that helps leaders speak in a more impactful, emotionally intelligent way and maximize employee engagement, productivity and employee retention.

In his candid conversation with us, Krister shares his defining moment in life and how it reshaped his view of leadership going forward. We explore the use of specific words and phrases and how they can either break trust or foster connection. Krister further explains the language of expertise and why top performers hate it.

Want to transform your business and personal relationships and be a more influential and effective leader? Listen as Krister teaches us the language of leadership.

Key Takeaways

  1. The number one destructor of business value is broken relationships.
  2. Fear shuts down creativity.
  3. Drop the “you should” or at least replace it with “consider”.
  4. Let your words match the intention of your heart.
  5. In order to get an enthusiastic YES you have to give people permission to say NO.
  6. We listen for people’s needs, not their words.
  7. Top performers hate to be lead with the language of expertise.
  8. Are you leading with questions or following with answers?
  9. Build employee engagement by building better bosses.



  • The Language of Leadership: Words to Transform How We Lead, Live and Love (October 2019)
  • Download deleted chapters in advance of book release
  • Become a beta-reader and provide feedback for the book

Connect With Krister Ungerböck

271 episodes available. A new episode about every 5 days averaging 38 mins duration .