Volkmar Völzke's BLOG


Why don't you just start?

leadership productivity Jun 28, 2018

You probably know this: the longer you deal with a topic, the clearer the most important drivers for success become. This applies to cooking and programming, coaching and so on: at some point – with experience– you know the decisive moves.

I experience the same with my core subject, the maximization of success. In my various conversations, there is always a reason that prevents people and teams from seizing opportunities and becoming more successful.

And this reason is very simple: most never start. In other words: "On your mark, get set, ... Stop!"

The reasons for this are mostly known and lie in the mindset and there above all in the fears we all have somewhere. This can be excellently addressed through coaching.

Here are three ideas on getting yourself and your team ready to get started:

  1. Input. Let yourself be inspired by examples where the start of initiatives and the courageous approach has led to success. Read more and give your team more to read. Audio programs...
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And again, a World Cup!


Why is soccer so popular in many parts of the world? Here are three ideas and one conclusion for your business or team:

  1. Strong identification. In principle, anyone can play or at least imagine playing soccer. That's why everyone can sympathize if something works or not.
  2. Fighting spirit. At least in good games, we feel the fighting spirit of the team and the will to win. In good teams, there is no discussion about fighting for victory.
  3. Clear goals and simple rules. Every player on the field and every spectator knows the simple rules (except the offside rule perhaps) and above all the clear goals: Whoever has more goals after 90 minutes wins.

So, now the question: How good is your team or company in each of the three success factors?

First, do you offer your team members and customers a strong sense of identification? Do you make your products or services simply "experienceable"? 

Second, does your team have the fighting spirit to win? Do all members have the corresponding...

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Forget Change Management!

leadership Jun 15, 2018

It is often important which words you attach to topics. Do you speak in conditional or indicative? Do you say "we will" or "we want"? Do you choose superlatives (e.g. "the shortest delivery time") or do you talk indefinitely ("a short delivery time")?

I had discussed the meaning of language elsewhere. Today, I am concerned with the misleading term "change management”. Here is what I mean:

When you "manage" change, it means you are reactive. Management is not shaping, but controlling. You control and optimize what happens anyway. An important function in companies, but not for change!

Change must be initiated, shaped and guided. This has nothing to do with management, but with leadership.

So if you want change (which is doubtful with most change projects, by the way), then do the following:

  1. Lead the change instead of "managing" it. Define a bold vision and try to achieve it.
  2. Work on the mindset of the people who should work with you on the change. Unsuitable mindset is the...
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About QWERTY and Vinyl Records

It is a remarkable fact that we stick to habits even when the original reason has long since disappeared.

Examples: The keys on your computer are arranged in the way they are ("QWERTY"), so the hammers of the mechanical typewriter get caught as little as possible when writing quickly (which is why frequently used letters are as far apart as possible). The "album" of a musician has about 12 classical pieces of music. This is because vinyl records simply couldn’t fit more than 20-30 minutes per side. 

There are dozens of such examples. How many of these do you have in your own team and company? Often, it doesn't bother any more. However, significant increases in success are almost always only achieved when these old braids are questioned and replaced by something fundamentally new. But first, you must be aware of them. 

Here are three areas in which "gold" typically lies when you question old habits:

  1. Meetings, reports and documents. It's a classic recommendation: just...
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Are you a role model?

culture leadership Jun 01, 2018

We are all leaders, whether we like it or not. The question is how well we lead. Here is what I'm talking about:

You have certainly heard that what you say is far less decisive than how you behave: In every direct interaction with other people, we automatically see which of their behaviour seems threatening to us, which we can trust and which we should copy. This runs fully automatically. 

The consequence: The more you consciously choose your behaviour, the more you can be exemplary for others and thus a good leader.  

How do you become a better role model? Three ideas:

  1. Define three characteristics for which you want to be regarded as exemplary. How would you ideally like to affect your environment? Examples: Inspiring, positive, energetic, wise, balancing, calming, etc. There are hundreds of possible traits.
  2. Set up an alarm three times a day on your smartphone with one of your three characteristics displayed, e.g. "Inspire!" or "Be positive!". You may think it's...
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Right now!


At the moment, many companies are running like clockwork: Sales are growing, production and delivery capacities are running at full speed, and the outlook for this year at least is very good.

And this is precisely the trap for sustainable success maximization: This good situation is largely caused by external influences, at least in most companies. This means that these companies are going down just as quickly as demand is dropping.

Here is the recipe for success of sustainably outstanding companies and teams: they invest in their strategies and tactics to maximize success exactly when no one really needs it and no one has time for it. That's why they keep on rising even when the others are shrinking.

Here are three topics you should invest in, especially when things are going well: 

  1. Sales. "I sell more than we can deliver," I often hear from salespeople in booming times. However, as soon as things get worse, they usually sell less "than we can deliver". Therefore: invest in...
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The power of videos


Today is a somewhat unusual post: You get access to over 40 short videos to increase your success, for free!

That's what it's all about: My new YouTube channel is live, with over 40 videos right from the start. Click here to subscribe to the channel.

Why are videos important?

Well, I keep recommending to my clients the increased use of personal videos (with them in front of the camera) for internal and external communication, mainly for three reasons:

  1. Clarity. If you want to communicate a message to others via video, you must first be clear about what should stick with the viewer. "What are my three learning points?" could be your question before the recording, for example. My recommendation: record videos with your smartphone, even if you don't use them afterward. It forces you to organize your thoughts.
  2. Conveying emotions. The only thing that motivates people to act is emotions. There is no better medium than video (besides the live performance of course). When you record...
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It's all a matter of scale

leadership mindset May 03, 2018

"If everyone else drives at 300 km/h, you won't even notice the speed," said world-class motorcycle racer Tom Lüthi in a recent interview. The question was how to keep your bike under control at this speed and in tight corners.

I assume that you probably rarely race with a motorcycle at 300 km/h on the roads. However, there may be areas in your life where others think you are traveling very "fast" and don't even feel that way. 

My point is this: many companies and teams drive with such low ambitions in many areas, metaphorically, that they hardly move from their place. How would it be if instead you increased your “speed of ambition" so that you are incredibly "fast" for most, but at eye-level with the best of the best?

Three examples of increasing your "ambition speed" to 300 km/h:

  1. Sales. Become world class in sales! Learn from those organizations that have proven to be extremely successful in their sales. This includes many aspects such as mindset, structure,...
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The 7 most obstructive beliefs for your success

leadership mindset Apr 26, 2018

In my workshops - especially when it comes to winning team culture - I always teach and train the importance of one's own beliefs for success and a fulfilled life. Both go hand in hand.

Again and again, I encounter the same beliefs that prevent people from succeeding and generally stand in their way of achieving something meaningful. Most people are not even aware of this… how could they be if they have never dealt with the subject matter before?

So here is my hit list of the seven most obstructive beliefs for success:

  1. "I have no talent!" One of the worst statements ever. This gives us the justification that we cannot change anything.
  2. "I'm employed!" What a word! No one is "employed". We are all the presidents of our own lives.
  3. "I don't have time!" Of course, we all have the same 24 hours a day. "No time" always means "no priority."
  4. "Others are to blame!" No, you yourself are responsible for all your decisions - even how you react to the stupidity of others.
  5. "The successful...
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Leadership lessons from skiing

leadership mindset Apr 19, 2018

Some days ago, I was skiing for the last time this season (in Tignes/France), in full sun and with a lot of snow. I myself am a passionate skier who "comes down" pretty much every slope – the black steep moguls - with a bit more fight and less elegance.

During one of the descents, an analogy with corporate culture came to my mind: it's just that most skiers master blue slopes (the easy ones) with great safety and routine. With red ones (for advanced skiers), you usually have to concentrate a little, and the black steep mogul slope (for expert skiers) sometimes demands everything from you.

Isn't it the same in companies? They have various people who easily descend the blue slopes day in and day out, while some people take the red one. But the challenge of a black runway comes to few people's minds: it's exhausting, pushes you to your limits, and carries a certain risk with it.

My thesis: most companies have far too many "blue slope drivers" and far too few who regularly tackle...

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