Volkmar Völzke's BLOG


How to overcome resistance

leadership Jun 10, 2021

You can twist and turn it however you like: Any real change will cause resistance.

Or vice versa: If the change you are aiming for does not cause any resistance, it is probably not a real change (but a minor adjustment at best).

Every strategy implementation requires change in the form of significant alterations of processes as well as work on the corporate or team culture.

If too many people don't buy into the transformation you're trying to achieve, it's like they're standing on the brakes while you and others are stepping on the gas at the same time. The result is smoke, fire and collapse of acceleration.

In other words: the topic is extremely relevant, and that's why I'm always asked by leaders, "How can I overcome the resistance of my people?"

There are many facets to this. Here are what I see as the three most important levers to overcome resistance and drive change faster:
  1. Your people's story. Few people resist by default. For most, it's a reaction out of fear, insecurity,...
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Why you need a vision

leadership strategy Jun 02, 2021

There are insights in leadership and success science that are not devalued by the fact that they are sometimes overused. On the contrary, these levers of success remain true and effective, no matter how often they are applied.

"Empowerment" is one of them, as is "vision." Today, we're talking about the latter. Vision is your clear picture of the ideal future you want to create.

The longer I coach top leaders and support teams on their path to top performance, the more I see the importance of a clear vision. Often, however, it is completely missing or designed in a way that defeats its purpose. 

Here are the top three reasons why you always need a strong vision:
  1. Focus of Energy. A large part of outstanding success comes from using your energy - and that of your team - in the most focused way possible. But that focus can only be established if you know exactly where you want to go. Without a clear vision, energy is directed at too many different issues and gets wasted.
  2. Clarity...
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600 weeks of personal growth

Every week I send out an issue of the Friday Noon Memo to ambitious people - and I've been doing it for 600 weeks!

That's an impressive number. And it confirms one of my principles for success: Consistency and follow-through are an essential foundation for success.

Here are three of the memos from the past years. Enjoy reading, watching and applying!

Is your company exciting or perfect?

One of the thought models I use with leadership teams is the typical business development curve between the two dimensions “Enthusiasm” and “Perfection”. The typical life cycle of any business starts out with high enthusiasm and high imperfection of anything they do. Read more

Among friends

Do you feel like being among friends at work? Otherwise success potentials will be neglected!  Read more



The amazing differences

Most people never look beyond their own beliefs and experiences. Here are three ideas about what you can do for you and your team to...

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Sales is Leadership is Sales

Some ask me how I manage to help teams and individuals advance in both leadership and sales. "Aren't those two very different subjects?"

The answer: no, these two areas are very similar. And the longer I spend working on them, the more similar they become.

Ultimately, sales is a different form of leadership. What do I mean by that? Here are three key insights to apply to your sales team:
  1. Full accountability. I see too many salespeople (and even sales managers) blaming the lack of success outside of their own area: the market, customers, IT, and all sorts of things make selling difficult. Even if these influences exist, blaming them doesn't do us any good: as soon as we let the responsibility for our success out of our hands, we are helpless. One of the first principles for top leadership is "full responsibility." The same is true in sales.

  2. In the driver's seat. One of the most important rules for success in sales is that you, the salesperson, are in the driver's seat. That means...
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Why we should be more ambitious

In my workshops and also in coaching, I hear this objection time and again: "Why should I even want to achieve more? I'm satisfied as it is!"

Now, of course, there is little to be said against someone being satisfied. But many people confuse satisfaction with happiness and fulfillment. The problem is that you almost always notice the difference only after a long delay:

What makes me "satisfied" today makes me unhappy and, above all, unfulfilled in the long run.

There are studies on what people wish most, shortly before they die, if they could have changed something in their lives: They often wish they had dared and tried more, but never that they had had a calmer and more satisfied life.

If that's not enough for you to question your contentment, here are three more rational reasons why you should definitely be more ambitious:
  1. Standing still is an illusion. There's the famous saying "stagnation is regression". This is absolutely true: there is no "standing still" in nature or in...
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How to squander your influence

leadership May 07, 2021

Why do I keep talking and writing about the topic of influence? Well, it’s quite simple: because you cannot lead without influence.

Often, it helps us to be aware of what we are doing wrong and how we are reducing our influence as a result. Because if we then turn these points around, we increase our influence and thus the quality of our leadership.

It is best to think of a situation in which you did not achieve with others what you actually wanted. Maybe they didn't really listen to you or didn't really understand you. Or they didn't see what you really wanted.

Whatever the case, there can be many reasons for a lack of influence. Here are three of the top ones you're messing up your influence with:
  1. Not seeing what others are already influenced by. It's an old adage that you can only influence others with what already influences them. It's the same with yourself: if someone else tries to get you to do something that doesn't exist in your mind's breadth at that moment, you...
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How to reduce your productivity

productivity Apr 29, 2021

Few things are as critical to your personal success as your productivity. You can have brilliant ideas and be great at convincing people. However, if you don't put the famous "horsepower to the road," it will all peter out.

If you're wondering how to increase your productivity (and hopefully you do on an ongoing basis), you'll probably fall back on tactical tips like goal setting, avoiding distractions, and more, as most do.

These tips are important, too, but they often come to naught if some foundations aren't in place. What do I mean by that? 

Well, applying measures to increase productivity almost always requires a change in existing habits. And these habit changes are always difficult if the foundations I mentioned above are not strong enough.

So without these foundations, you are deliberately lowering your productivity. Here are the three typical "suspects":
  1. Too little sleep. It's a simple truth, proven many times over by science, that if we don't get 7 to 8 hours of good...
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3 steps for more influence as a leader

leadership Apr 22, 2021

I get asked all the time in my coaching programs and outside of them, "How can I increase my influence as a leader?" Or as a variation of that, "How can I get my people to do this or that?"

The question is more than legitimate because ultimately, leadership is nothing other than influence. Leadership without influence is inconceivable, and using influence always means leading.

Instead of covering the technical aspects of influence (we do that in other videos and in my coaching), here I address three important foundations that are often not considered enough.

Here are the 3 foundations that make more of a difference in your influence as a leader than many other things:
  1. Clarity. Clarity about who you want to influence with what and about your goals is essential, but often overlooked. I see leaders diminish their influence time and time again by not being completely clear on these fundamentals.
  2. Sensing the target group. You cannot effectively influence others until you know what is...
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What are your personal constraints?

You're probably familiar with the Theory of Constraints, which is all about uncovering and removing the biggest bottlenecks to greater success.

Behind this is the unproductive habit that we often improve those things that have little notable impact on results. Conversely, we care too little about what is really the bottleneck to our success.

Why is this so? Two reasons:
  • Lack of awareness. Many people are not even aware of what their biggest bottlenecks are in life and work. A coach helps to identify them.
  • Avoidance. Eliminating our biggest chokepoints is often uncomfortable. Namely, it is our dear habits that stand in our way. Here, too, a coach helps.
To make it a little more concrete, here are three typical bottlenecks for you as a leader that get in the way of your success:
  1. Hanging on instead of letting go. After all, it's good to reinforce what makes us successful. The only thing is that over time, the parameters change so that the very thing that made us successful now...
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What will you make of your gift?

leadership productivity Apr 08, 2021

The first quarter of the year ended a few days ago, and you have been given another 91 days. The crucial question is: are you making the most of them?

Both fulfillment and success also come very much from being aware of the finite amount of available time you have in life. That doesn't mean panicking at all. But it does mean that great things are usually only achieved when there is a certain urgency attached to them.

Otherwise, we all too easily postpone the necessary and sometimes unpleasant actions to the never-never day.

You know that, of course. The only thing is: I see far too few leaders (and people in general) who, for example, choose clear and challenging goals for the next quarter when one ends.

If that doesn't happen, you and your team are unlikely to reach your full potential in the future. That's unfortunate and dangerous.

Here are three ideas for what you should do this week:
  1. Situation assessment. Where exactly are you compared to last year and your previous goals? By...
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