Chief Influencer

Chris Ullman is the Founder and President of Ullman Communications, LLC. Chris is also the author of two books, Find Your Whistle and his newest publication, Four Billionaires and a Parking Attendant. Chris joins guest Host, Robert Krueger, the Executive Director of The Communications Board, to discuss the importance of humanizing communication, understanding different perspectives, and finding inspiration in your personal and professional life.

  • Whether you’re working in public office or private equity, you need to know your audience and what matters to them. That way, you can simplify messages down to what they must know. That is a sign of effective communication.
  • Humanizing communication involves considering the audience receiving the message so they can understand it. A great example comes from the SEC initiative to make complex mutual fund documents easier to understand for everyday people.
  • Speaking in plain English is a crucial way for leaders to provide clarity of thought and language to their audience. Using plain English reduces the chance of a message being miscommunicated or misinterpreted.
  • For leaders trying to build influence and gain advocates within an organization, empathy and understanding different audiences are imperative. Whether working in the public and private sectors, you need to build bridges with stakeholders with different opinions or interests. Empathy allows for effective communication and collaboration with diverse groups.
  • Find sources of inspiration that uplift and push you to be your best self. For example, the incredible composer Beethoven is a great source of inspiration because he overcame personal challenges and created powerful music.

Quote of the Show:
  • “Humanizing my communications has been such an important theme in the work I've done.” - Chris Ullman


Shout Outs:
  • Chuck Schumer - Current U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader
  • John Kasich - Former Governor of Ohio
  • Ted Leonsis - Owner of the Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards 
  • Lou Gerstner - Former CEO of IBM
  • Glenn Youngkin - Current Governor of Virginia
  • Mitch Daniels - Former Governor of Indiana
  • Adena Friedman - President of Nasdaq, Inc.
  • David Rubenstein - Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of The Carlyle Group
  • Bill Conway - Philanthropist

Creators & Guests

Anthony Shop
Anthony Shop believes in the power of people-centered branding and marketing to create a bright future. He chairs the National Digital Roundtable, the premier convener of digital innovators, leaders and policy shapers. Anthony also is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Social Driver, a digital services firm that helps companies and non-profits establish winning strategies with social media, websites, creative, and advertising. An enthusiastic presenter and teacher, he has led executive-level training for Amazon, PepsiCo, NASA, The British Embassy and the Bipartisan Policy Center. He has been recognized as an “OUTstanding LGBT Role Model” by The Financial Times, “40 Under 40” by The Washington Business Journal, and Business Leader of the Year by the DC Chamber of Commerce. A former newspaper reporter, Anthony was the first new media professional elected to the National Press Club’s Board of Governors. He currently serves on the boards of Leadership Greater Washington and LearnServe International. He earned his MBA from The George Washington University School of Business, where he teaches as an adjunct lecturer.
Chris Ullman
Chris Ullman is the Founder and President of Ullman Communications, LLC. Chris is also the author of two books, Find Your Whistle and his newest publication, Four Billionaires and a Parking Attendant.
Robert Krueger
Robert is an Executive Director for The Communications Board, an organization with the mission of providing high-quality professional development for every communicator in every location. He is also the Global Lead for Partnership Communications at Gensler, the world’s largest architecture and design firm. Prior to his current role, he performed executive and CEO communications for Gensler, and was the senior director of public relations and social media at the Urban Land Institute. He obtained an MA in Communications and an MA in History from George Mason University. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia. In addition, Robert has taught communications at universities including George Mason University, West Virginia University, and the University of Florida. Robert currently serves as Immediate-Past President for the Public Relations Society of America’s National Capital Chapter (PRSA-NCC) -- the nonprofit’s largest chapter.

What is Chief Influencer?

Chief Influencer is a podcast that explores how today’s successful leaders inspire and influence others to make an impact in the world. They aren’t just Chief Executives, they’re “Chief Influencers.” We interview a range of leaders and uncover how they build authentic connections - both inside their organizations and beyond. Your next breakthrough idea may come from a Chief Influencer facing similar challenges in a completely different sector.