Volkmar Völzke's BLOG


How to create momentum for 2020 – right now!

leadership sales Dec 12, 2019

Slowly, the year is coming to an end – again. Every year, the same old story!

Let's talk about business (Christmas cookies have to wait): What can you still do this year for 2020, even if you only have a few days left? Quite a lot!

Because now is not only the ideal time to contact customers, business partners and colleagues that you have neglected for too long, but above all to get the coming year going.

Yes, exactly: It is now that your performance in the first quarter of 2020 that will be decided.

Here are three very concrete ideas about what you should absolutely do in the next two weeks to start 2020 in pole position:
  1. Great ambition. Define your ambition for 2020 right now: What great result do you want to achieve in the coming year that you have not achieved so far; that has absolutely nothing to do with your current position. When it comes to sales, you can set a goal of doubling your numbers. In leadership, your ambition can be to develop your team in such a way that...
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Your mediocre thinking

leadership mindset Dec 05, 2019

In my "Winning Team Workshops," I challenge the participants, again and again, from all directions. Of course, this is intentional, even if it is exhausting for most of them.

I'm talking about a mental challenge here. One of them is how, in our mindset, we deal with extremely successful people.

The differences between the teams are enormous: While some are inspired by controversial people, such as Elon Musk or Steve Jobs, and see them as role models in most ways of thinking, others are cynical and try to find negative characteristics.

I don't need to tell you which teams and companies are generally more successful when it comes to strong growth and innovation.

Whether you like it or not, your beliefs about extreme success directly determine your actual success in life and business. And if you lead teams (or even an entire company), you have a strong multiplier effect: I have never seen a team hungry for success with a hesitant team leader.

Important: This is not about maintaining...

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Are you like Mozart?

leadership mindset Nov 28, 2019

Did you know what Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart did shortly after the death of his first son? He composed a symphony – within only 3 days!

I had the pleasure of listening to this symphony last weekend and found it incredible how one could create such a masterpiece in such a short time.

Before you think, "Yes, Mozart was just a genius," take a closer look at what I just described: What exactly is so ingenious about it that you couldn't do it in your field?

You may not compose symphonies, but you have other things that only you can do so well (and if not, it is time you acquire the necessary expertise).

Most of the successes of such outstanding people as Mozart do not come from "genius" (whatever that may be) but from ways of thinking and behaving, as well as habits that anyone can acquire. Here are three of them:
  1. Momentum. People like Mozart don't fool around long with analyses of how it can and can't be. Instead, they go ahead and produce. Take a look around at outstanding...
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No fantasy!

culture leadership Nov 21, 2019

When I interview a client's executives at the beginning of a collaboration, I almost always ask an intriguing question: "If you had a magic wand and could immediately change something here, what would it be?"

The interesting thing is that almost everyone finds it extremely difficult to answer this question. Not because they don't have enough things to complain about. I've always heard enough of that before.

The problem is different - and that can be very relevant for you and your team: Most of us have forgotten how to think in limitless possibilities. Instead, we are constantly focused on solving problems - also in leadership.

The result: lack of imagination in the design of a strong vision, in the development of strategic possibilities, in positioning in the market and so on.

The imagination of your people (and your own) means an enormous competitive advantage.

What does it take to awaken this imagination? Three things above all:

  1. Decision. You must consciously decide to change the...
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How productive is your leadership?

leadership productivity Nov 14, 2019

My latest (German-language) magazine article deals with the (often) insufficient productivity in management and the considerable damage it causes.

I took up the topic for a good reason: The waste of resources is enormous, in 3 dimensions:

  1. Direct costs without corresponding results. For managers, these costs are usually considerable, but still low compared to the following two points.
  2. Opportunity costs. These are significantly higher, because leaders in particular should have an enormous leverage for results when they spend their time on the most value-creating activities. Every minute in an unproductive meeting becomes a significant waste.
  3. Role model function. If you are not highly productive as a leader, how can you expect it from your team? Don't delude yourself: People are very good at feeling whether or not the management team is productive. And they will behave accordingly.

How can you significantly increase productivity in leadership - with fun and...

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How good are you as your own boss?

leadership Nov 07, 2019

Here is an important reminder: You have a boss who's someone else than you probably think right now. First and foremost, you are not working for someone else – you are working for yourself.

The truth is this: You are both the president and team of your own life enterprise at the same time - and thus, also, your own boss.

And in the role of president, you - like every good top leader - must above all ensure that you use your strengths in the best possible and targeted way - and that you can (and want to) fully perform and thrive tomorrow.

The question, after all is: how good are you as your own boss? Do you take care of your own team (i.e. yourself) as you would expect from an outstanding business leader?

Here comes the crucial truth: You can't lead other people better than yourself - at least not sustainably.

So, how should you ideally lead yourself? Here are three important cornerstones for self-leadership:
  1. Goal-orientation. If you "go to work" every day to only do what is...
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Do You Hear Noises or Music?

leadership productivity Oct 31, 2019

When you study the science of productivity (and I’ve been doing so for years), you learn two things: first, it never stops, and second, you decide your level of productivity at any given time.

If you know people who complain that they never really do what’s most important, then they’ve made the decision not to be productive. It sounds harsh, yes, but it’s true.

Here’s the proof: there are always those who manage to generate significantly more results than the average person (and probably you as well) despite all the adversities.

The secret to their high productivity? Extreme awareness of what is important and delegation or omission of everything else. In other words, it’s all about suppressing all the noise so that you can hear the music.

Here are three practical tips on how to stop hearing the noise and start hearing the music:
  1. Practice mindfulness. Become aware of what is really happening in your conscious mind. The brain is simply not designed...
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Your Wrong Priorities (and the Devastating Consequences)


Do you and your team always have your priorities fully under control and never externally controlled? Do you always achieve what you want? Then you don’t need to read on.

All others (approx. 99.9 percent of you) who are repeatedly absorbed by the urgent things before the important things and who spend too much time on reactive activities should definitely take a look at the following. It could change your life.

The brain is a fascinating organ. Simply put, you can program your subconscious mind with your consciousness through strong emotions and continuous repetition. This programming is important because the subconscious mind is responsible for over 99 percent of our daily decisions. This mechanism causes you to do increasingly more of what you have done in the past, and this realization is crucial for your success.

Here’s an example: if you are used to spending most of your time as a leader solving urgent problems and extinguishing allegorical fires, then you will get...

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That’s Not Who We Are! Or Are We?

leadership mindset Oct 17, 2019

“You know, our people are not born salespeople,” said a CEO in a conversation about increasing sales.

You’ve probably heard such carelessly dropped sentences in your own environment—or even said them yourself: “I’m not like that!” or “We’ve never been good at that.”

The problem is that you are not defining the situation but rather your expectations for the future. If you believe that your team cannot sell, then that will be the case regardless of the people’s actual abilities.

Here’s the big thing: your identity, your team’s identity, and your entire company’s identity have been created over time, and what’s been created can be recreated and changed. But you have to work on it consistently. 

Here are three important steps to change your identity:
  1. Find insight. You have to give yourself and your team the insight that we all create our paradigms and beliefs. Nobody is just “that...
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