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Volkmar Völzke's BLOG


Do they understand you?

leadership Jul 03, 2020

Many leaders have a hard time getting their people to engage and act. The key is an element in your communication which I explain in the video and which is crucial for your impact on others.

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Does Your Business Suffer From the Department Store Effect?

leadership strategy Jul 02, 2020

Note: The following article has nothing to do with department stores, but very much with the future of your business, regardless of the industry.

The other day, I stumbled across a nice statistic that clearly shows how the retail market has changed in recent years: fewer and fewer people go to department stores anymore.

This is nothing new. We have known about this trend for years. But here is my point: how many department stores have managed to profitably implement their mission (creating shopping experiences) in other ways? You know the answer: none or hardly any.

The astonishing thing is that every business school and dozens of manager books teach that we have to constantly question our business model in order to remain successful tomorrow. What drove big money into the company’s pockets yesterday may be irrelevant tomorrow. So why don’t the management teams of many companies put this simple insight into practice?

Here are three reasons for sticking with old...
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A psychology crash course for managers

leadership Jun 30, 2020

One key differentiator between extremely successful managers and average ones is their knowledge and practice of basic psychological concepts.

The point is this: you don’t need a comprehensive study in psychology to be ahead of 90 percent of people. 

The benefits for you as a leader are more engaged people, higher productivity, faster change, more control, and –yes– more joy and happiness. 

Here are the three ideas I have found most useful for going from average to outstanding success: 
  1. Success is less about WHAT we achieve, but WHO we become. This is powerful because it shifts the perspective from the “external” thing we want to get to our “internal” side, our personality. First, we become a person of success, then we attract success. Never the other way round!
  2. Don’t wish it were easier, but wish you were better. This statement addresses the issue that too many people – including leaders – see the...
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Save an hour each day!

productivity Jun 28, 2020

I while ago, I performed a seminar for the association Executives International in Switzerland. The topic: “How to double your results – in half of the time!” The feedback was outstanding.

Since many people find this topic one of the most important of all (who has too much time?), I’d like to give you three ideas you can apply today to get more done in less time:

  1. Clarify your key result areas. At which subject areas do you create the most value? You can answer this question for your private and your professional life. Then, schedule your tasks in a way that you spend 80 percent of your time on these activities. This requires some habit changes.
  2. Reduce time thieves. These are people, meetings, and events which do not or only contribute a little to the achievement of your goals in the key result areas. As a rule of thumb, most executives can reduce their time in meetings by half. You should at least spend 50 percent of your time under own control.
  3. Work in...
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Strategy: Are You Asking the Right Questions?

leadership strategy Jun 25, 2020

For many companies, things have changed with COVID-19 and the lockdown. It is only logical to look at whether the strategy still fits and where adjustments are needed, right? Wrong!

If you had a robust strategy, then very little will need to change. But if your strategy was on thin ice, then it is more than appropriate to rework the strategy anyway. The past few weeks have been just the stumbling block that provided the necessary impetus.

Even if you think that you have a strong and robust strategy, I still see three issues that receive far too little attention when it comes to successfully shaping the future. It would be best for your company or your division to look at them immediately. Time is pressing!

Here are the three decisive and mostly underexposed questions for strong strategies:
  1. Who do we want to become? This question is hardly ever asked seriously, but it is at the beginning of everything. How can we combine our strengths and strive together to reach outstanding goals...
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The laws of the success universe

leadership mindset Jun 25, 2020

It’s an interesting thought: All of your failures and your reasons you don’t unleash your true potential come from ignorance of universal success laws. Sounds weird? Let me explain it with an analogy: 

You are consistently exposed to the law of gravity. The universe doesn’t care if you like it, if you agree to it, or if you ignore it. It simply works. When you let your smartphone slip through your fingers, it will inevitably fall. No protests help change this reality. 

Well, also for any success – and for happiness – there are universal laws at play. Their violation leads to mediocre results or even to massive failure. And that’s what happens to almost all businesses, teams, and people: They wonder why they are stressed and don’t achieve more (like others do). They take action here and there. However, if they don’t act more consistently to the universal laws, they will always remain below their potential. 

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The power of consistent action

leadership productivity Jun 23, 2020

Consistent steps in the right direction almost always outperform the big moves once in a while. Intellectually, most people know this simple truth. What most people and businesses fail is acting accordingly. 

The key reason is that it can become boring and even demotivating to constantly work in small steps towards a distant goal. And so most people give up (often only in their mind) before they even come close to success.

That’s why progress becomes slow, teams fail, and strategies never get truly executed. 

Here is the good news: This can be changed! You (and your team) can become dramatically more successful, reduce negative stress, generate more “free” time, and achieve substantially bigger goals by applying a simple yet extremely powerful system for 100 days. The science behind is that we are talking about habit changes. And we change habits by practicing new habits over a certain period. 

You need to practice new ways of thinking and...
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How to get through uncertain times

leadership Jun 21, 2020

After dinner with the Chairman of an international organisation (one of my clients) and his leadership team, an interesting question came up: How can we give people certainty in uncertain times? 

The answer is rather simple, yet unexpected for many. However, let me first build some foundations: 

  1. Uncertain times are a perception. First, I’ve been on this planet long enough to confirm there has hardly ever been a period of more than a couple of months that was not uncertain. And secondly, uncertainty depends on your mindset: what for one is completely safe, is for the other shaking ground.
  2. We need uncertainty. Yes, right, uncertainty causes variety, which is a fundamental human drive. This is why we create uncertainty subconsciously when things get too smooth. When everything is just fine. Not for long: Soon, we will add variety because our subconscious mind longs for it.
  3. Uncertainty is often a reflection of fear projected into the future. Lots of...
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Why All This?

leadership mindset Jun 18, 2020

Everything is quite easy to understand—if you boil it down to the essential correlations. It’s usually only the implementation in daily life that is difficult.

If you ask parents what they wish for their children when they’re grown up, the answer is almost always, “Be happy!” That is how it works for each of us. In the end, we just want to be happy.

But what does that mean, exactly? Why do we often find it so difficult, and what does that have to do with you as a business leader?

The answer to these questions not only makes you a better leader but also helps you generate your own happiness.

Answer 1: If reduced to the essential, being happy means that we have peace of mind, which, in turn, comes from living in congruence with our inner drives (which are manifold) and from personal development (mental stagnation is unhappiness).

Answer 2: What stands in the way of our happiness are essentially our fears in various forms (because our inner drives...

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Where will you be in 100 days?

mindset productivity Jun 18, 2020

Hey, you can achieve something great in the next 100 days! No, don’t play small:

You, your team, and your organization truly can achieve more than you might currently think is possible. 

I know this is true because I’ve studied success psychology and success methods long enough to tell you: It works! The process is simple. However, the execution is not easy. Big difference. And that’s exactly why most people and business do not even start. 

To help you, I created the unique online program “100 Day Success Challenge”

Here is what you need to do to make the next 100 days the best days ever (even if you don’t purchase my program): 
  1. Accept the fact that you need to change your approaches. When you haven’t achieved substantial progress in the last 100 days (or even longer), the chances are your approach is not working well enough. So, get a new one!
  2. Prepare your mind to be disciplined to advance in small, yet frequent...
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