Volkmar Völzke's BLOG


The other way

leadership mindset Aug 29, 2019

A few weeks ago, I went hiking again on the Grand Saint Bernard; one of the most beautiful alpine passes in Switzerland.

This time I changed an important parameter: I took the train and the bus instead of the car. Although I've been there several times by car, this time the experience was different. For instance, we drove through a pretty village that you usually miss. I also finished the hike at a different place than at the beginning. And so on.

My point is this: we see other things, act differently and produce different results if we simply change the routes and means.

In many companies, I see too many routines far too fixed. The same results are produced over and over again. Just average. Outstanding things rarely happen when everything happens the same way each time.

Here are three simple ideas to push your team or the whole company out of the habitual track:
  1. Habits. I've suggested it more than once: do something different every day. Examples: Take another route or other means...
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You always win!

leadership mindset Aug 23, 2019

There is a rather uncomfortable truth that is hard for many to digest: You have the exact life that you want and the exact level of success and failure that you want. 

Your subconscious mind will constantly make decisions for you that will bring you closer to your goals. Also, several studies show that we make about 95% of our decisions unconsciously. So we don't even notice when we make them. 

Therefore, if you do not have the success in business and life you dream of, then the reason is that you are constantly giving your subconscious mind the wrong goals. 

Don't worry: you're not alone. The connection between subconscious goals and level of success is true for every person, every team and even entire companies. 

The consequence: to be more successful and achieve different things than before, you will have to intervene in this subconscious control process. Usually, this requires intensive work, preferably with an external expert (coach, sparring partner). ...

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The eternal drama with the mindset

leadership mindset Aug 15, 2019

When I talk to CEOs and other leaders about how they can achieve more with their team, the conversation most often turns to the same topic: mindset.

"The mindset of our people is not geared towards winning." Or:
"The employees are too satisfied with the status quo. There is no pressure." And:
"How can I change the mindset of my people?"

Those are just a few of the typical statements I hear too often.

After studying dozens of companies and conducting countless research on the subject, I can tell you three certain facts, which are crucial if you want to change the mindset of your people toward a winning team culture:

  1. The key barrier. You are in your own way! Most leaders who want to create a winning team culture have to work on themselves first. Don't worry, that's perfectly normal. We ourselves are always the key to the success of a team. And that always starts with our own mindset.
  2. Lacking awareness. There is hardly any awareness about the topic of mindset. Most people will look...
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How to win against a thousand objections

leadership mindset Aug 15, 2019

Most great ideas are confronted with enormous resistance - most of which is well-founded. How do the most successful nevertheless win time and again and implement their ideas? In the video I give some ideas by means of a prominent example.

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Take it easy!

leadership mindset Aug 10, 2019

Sometimes, I honestly get the feeling from some of the companies that I have visited have been imposed with a "laughter ban". Not only that: somehow everything in the work environment, including the tasks look tedious and almost painful. 

I hear conversations like this:

The next project? "We'll never make it!"

The sales targets? "The markets won't allow that! And the customers are all restraining themselves anyway!”

To strategically advance the company? "I'd love to, but because of all the problems I don't have the time!”

Do these examples sound familiar to you?

"Energy flows where focus goes" is coaching master Tony Robbins’s old saying. In other words, he means: If you only ever discuss the problems, as negatively as possible (and in some companies, it almost seems to be a competition), you will get more and more of them.

My suggestion: loosening up! How? Here are three ideas:
  1. More questions. Instead of seeing a problem in everything, ask strong questions....
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Why should you fly to the moon?

leadership strategy Aug 01, 2019

About 50 years ago, we were on the moon for the first time (and about 47 years ago we were on the moon for the last time). Click here to watch a short video related to this event.

Many people ask the question "Why should we go to the moon at all?" And: "Aren't there more urgent problems to solve?

Such questions reveal the precise problem: they kill ambition in the first place and focus on the urgent instead of the magnificent.

Of course, this is not about the moon, but about the fact that most leaders have forgotten to think big and to believe in extraordinary goals. 

"Don't dare too much" is the motto. In that case, it is better to first optimize the processes or start the next employee survey, for instance. Also, many managers prefer to spend their days discussing the problems they face.

I miss the big visions, in politics and especially in business.

Here are three suggestions if you want to get out of the comfort zone a little bit:
  1. New questions. Don't ask "why", but " why...
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A winning team culture in 3 stages

culture leadership Jul 25, 2019

It is difficult to turn an average company (or business area) into a sustainably outstanding one. 

That's exactly why the best coaches are called upon in sport when it comes to advancing to the next league (or to the Champions League finals). Also, leadership is extremely important in business for the same reason.

What does a top coach (or even what I do with my clients regarding the above question) actually do?

If you study the topic (and especially the successes), it's always these three steps with which you can turn an average team into an outstanding winning team:

  1. Basics. The reasons for more or less success can be found in very simple traits with each individual, which were often only completely forgotten: Full responsibility, ambition, perseverance, and some other things are very simple principles of every winning team, which most people violate daily. That's why we first have to work systematically on these principles.
  2. Clarity. For each significant change, it needs...
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Put the pedal to the metal!

leadership sales Jul 19, 2019

Is it the same for you? As soon as the New Year celebrations have faded away, the first half of the year is already over. You don't even have six months to reach your annual goals.

Maybe you're on the right track, or or maybe you’re behind schedule (at least that's what I hear from various companies). What's important is that the most successful companies never adjust their targets downwards. Instead, successful companies consider how they can still make good progress now to exceed even the most demanding targets.

Do you say you can't do that because of the global threat of trade war, lack of demand, the difficult situation or other external factors? The brutal truth is: with this mentality you and your team return to the mental comfort zone.

I challenge you: Now is the time to go even further out of your comfort zone and into the performance zone and let it really rumble in the second half of the year. How? Well, here are three ideas to implement:
  1. Calibration. Don't allow...
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How do you feel about the summer?

culture leadership Jul 11, 2019

What do you think of this summer? Too hot? Or rather, wasn't it too cold until a few days ago?

My point is this: no matter what you think, there will be many people who see the whole thing differently than you do. Although that's actually a trivial insight, but it's always overlooked in everyday life.

Sometimes I jokingly say that as a leadership coach I am at times also an expensive reminder. So, with this point:

Your internal story about this summer has a massive influence on your behavior and your actions (for remembrance: Thinking Behavior Action Results).

If someone has a different story about it (i.e. thinks differently), he or she will behave differently. Thus, they will achieve different results. But it gets even harder: the other person will interpret your behavior from his or her viewpoint. They might also react "strangely" in your view.

Now, here comes the transition to business: we not only think differently only about the summer weather but about everything. It also...

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Delete these words from your life

leadership mindset Jul 04, 2019

I have often written about the importance of language for your success: The words and expressions you use repeatedly influence not only your own success but also your environment.

An example: If you constantly react with "yes but" to suggestions, you send your own brain in search of reasons not to look at the suggestion in the first place. And sure enough, you will find these reasons!

Besides these language patterns, there are also very simple words and incredibly widespread phrases and send a message that can hamper success:

  1. "Employees". If you want to have a winning team culture, i.e. more commitment, fun, and productivity, then you don't need people who are "employed". Or have you ever heard of "employees" in top-class sporting teams? What you need are "team members" who devote everything, have fun, and achieve results.
  2. I have no time.” We all have the same amount of time. So why is it then that some people get done massively more than the average? The truth is you...
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