Volkmar Völzke's BLOG


And now: get off the brakes!

leadership mindset Jan 18, 2018

The new year just started 19 days ago, and here's an important tip at the beginning - take your foot off the brake!

From my observation, there are 3 groups of behaviors in the new year: 

  1. You just keep on going as before, with the result that 2018 will be worse or only marginally better than last year. That's the biggest group of people.
  2. You set big goals, inspiring yourself and others and take some action. With a bit of luck and perseverance, you can increase your success in 2018. Maybe half of the business leaders are acting this way.
  3. You do everything as in point 2, plus: you release the brakes that have kept you and your team from achieving greater success so far. That is what few people do. What do I mean by this?

Your brakes consist of mindset, habits, and fears. In other words, it's your mindsets and habits, as well as your fears (yes, we all have them!) that keep you and your colleagues from achieving outstanding results. 

If you and your people are on the brakes...

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Why you cannot get ahead


There is a common cause for both growing success and greater fulfilment and enthusiasm in life. Can you guess what it is? Yes: the speed and clarity with which you decide and then implement those decisions. 

Asked the other way around: Do you know someone who decides and implements quickly - and at the same time is unhappy and unsuccessful? Probably not! 

Conversely, the conclusion also applies: If you want to achieve more results quickly and feel happy about it, then you need to decide faster and ensure swift implementation. 

"Yeah, but ..." you may think now, "it's not always that easy!" No, it's not! Because what's in our way is our mindset.

However, we can train our decision-making speed. Here are three ideas: 

  1. Become aware that most decisions do not get better if you wait longer. On the contrary! There is an optimal point of decision, and that is almost always earlier than when most decisions are made. Try it!
  2. Become aware of your fears. Indeed, what...
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How to strengthen your good influence


Do you want to have a strong idea at the beginning of the year of how to immediately increase your good influence, increase the productivity of your team and act as a role model? 

Well, here's the solution: Answer inquiries from customers, colleagues and other people in your area quickly and clearly. If you sometimes (or often) simply procrastinate on answers (or observe this behaviour from people around you), then here is the key to how you can (and must) change this NOW! 

Let’s not fool ourselves: Bad response behaviour has substantial collateral damage, such as double work, lower productivity, frustration, lost customers, decreasing reputation and much more.

Rule of thumb: If you do not respond to normal inquiries within 24 hours (even if only with a confirmation), you have a problem - and your environment with you!

And “busyness" is not an excuse! I know extremely productive and successful people who always respond swiftly, while others do not respond even...

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Some important reminders

leadership mindset Dec 21, 2017

The Christmas Season is traditionally a time of reflection and conclusions.

In this somewhat unusual video I explain three important thoughts that we keep forgetting, but which are extremely important in order to have a positive effect on others and their success and happiness.

I also read a short text that is not just a little journey into ourselves (and our barriers), but also opens our eyes to what's really important.

I wish you and your loved ones Happy Holidays,

Volkmar Voelzke

P.S. CLICK HERE to register for the FREE LIVE ONLINE WORKSHOP on January 16th, 2012 at 5:00 pm CET "How to make 2018 your best year ever".

Places are limited! More details in the video.

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Success is not what you believe

leadership mindset Dec 14, 2017

“Your world is what you perceive it to be and how you interpret this perception." This insight was not invented by me, but verifiable psychology knowledge. 

Unfortunately, we often forget (including seasoned leaders) that the principles of success in this world do not always coincide with our perception. 

If you want to be more successful in the long term (for yourself, your team or your company), you have to change your perception and your interpretations ("stories”). If it were easier, you would already be where you want to. 

The key insight: If you want to become more successful, you MUST change your interpretation of reality and success. This is exhausting, highly uncomfortable and almost always needs external help. That is why only a few (just the outstandingly successful ones) do it. 

Study the following examples from my practice and ask yourself whether you fall into the same trap of perception: 

  1. Question: "Which is currently the most...
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This is how everyone can overcome their uncertainties (yes: you, too!)

leadership productivity Dec 01, 2017

In the last memo, I wrote about how your own uncertainties stand in the way of more success. It is especially blatant if you are a leader. Here, your uncertainty is transferred to others. 

The difficulty is that many managers are unaware of their insecurities and prefer to hide them. All (yes: all!) people have insecurities, even the most successful role models. 

The difference: the most successful ones handle it differently than the rest. 

Here are three tips on how the best leaders manage their insecurities and even capitalize on them: 

  1. Accept uncertainty! The world is uncertain and very unpredictable. However, many pretend you can create an oasis of certainty around you. Forget it! If you accept deep inside there will always be insecurity (as there is always gravity), you can relax and find ways to deal with it. This step sounds simple, but it is not, as it shakes up deeply rooted beliefs (for example, if you had a well-guarded childhood).
  2. Move ahead!...
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You hate uncertainty!

leadership productivity Nov 23, 2017

Today, I will make a personal confession to you: I'm having a lot of trouble dealing with uncertainty. Not good! Why? Because every piece of growth, every bit of progress, and every change causes uncertainty. 

The good news: I'm not alone! So, I can help others overcome the difficulties with uncertainty, because I just learned how to deal with the challenge myself. 

The bad news: I'm not alone! The more CEOs I support, the more I realize that many have the same difficulty: fear of uncertainty. 

The even worse news: As a team leader or CEO, you will sabotage your success if you're having trouble with uncertainty. 

The good news (finally!): You can work on it. However, most likely you'll need a coach for that. 

Here are three indicators for your difficulty to deal with uncertainty that you should definitely tackle:

  1. You don't trust (almost) anybody. Because trust in others causes uncertainty. The other one can abuse the trust! Right, that can happen! However,...
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Do you believe in the talent myth?

leadership mindset Nov 16, 2017

Today, the chances are that I'll push you out of your comfort zone. And that's exactly the purpose of this memo: to stimulate thought and action through emotions. 

Let’s get to the point: One of the most persistent myths is the one of “talent.” 

Science shows there is no more or less talent. There is only more or less willingness to work harder, smarter, and more sustainably on specific goals. 

Yes, I know, this takes away the excuse of many people, who prefer not to invest much effort in some tasks because they tell themselves they have "no talent." Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool have demonstrated in numerous studies – explained in their excellent book "PEAK” – that the highest achievers have one behaviour in common: deliberate practice, combined with perseverance. 

I'm not talking about the physical benefits of individuals (yes, they exist), but about all of us being able to accomplish almost everything through mental...

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How to immediately sell more

Do you believe that you or your company could sell more? 

Let’s suppose, as a manager, you would have top sellers, equipped with optimal sales methods and a winning sales mindset, as well as excellent leadership: how much more could you sell? 10%, 20%, 50%? More? 

For most companies, sales and profit could be dramatically increased by some simple sales optimization measures.

The problem: Most leaders look at the wrong symptoms and pull the wrong triggers. 

My latest article in the Swiss SME magazine ORGANISATOR (in German) explains the three main barriers to greater sales success with practical tips on what you can do right away in the coming months to see substantial improvements to your “top and bottom line “ – sustainably. 

You can either request the article as pdf in German by clicking here or get the key points explained right below: 

Sales success barrier #1: No winning mindset.

A lack of winning mindset is a key issue in most...

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Setback? Here’s how to get back on track quickly!

leadership mindset Nov 02, 2017

One of the biggest differences between particularly successful people and teams compared to the average crowd is the ability to get back on their feet quickly after setbacks. 

Here's the good news: you can train the recovery. The most successful people train this ability again and again (and much more frequently than the "normal") by provoking setbacks through more ambitious goals. 

This is like skiing: If you do not go to your limits every now and then, you will hardly get better. 

If you are used to dealing with setbacks, you can go back to normal at least ten times as fast as the rest– with the corresponding positive effects on your success. 

Here are three ideas on how to accelerate your reaction to setbacks: 

  1. Accept the failure. You cannot change the past. Most people (even in business) struggle for too long with past mistakes. The most successful people quickly make a checkmark on setbacks and move on.
  2. Take full responsibility. Only...
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