Volkmar Völzke's BLOG


Your accidental success

leadership strategy Nov 01, 2018

 "Nothing makes you more successful than success!" Perhaps you know this saying. Behind it lies the interesting phenomenon that you are often more successful when you have just had success.

Put simply, this is because of how our subconscious mind stores how success works; it repeats the same ways of thinking and behaving.

With the same mechanics, some companies and teams manage to build successes on top of each other, while others have to fight again and again for every single success. The former have success systems, while others fight for anecdotal success.

The big question now is: How do you get from anecdotal to systematic? I have just written an article about this for the business magazine Organisator (only in German; click here to request a copy).

Below are three brief ideas:

  1. Strategy. In your strategy work, pay particular attention to your business model and your unique positioning in the market. Instead of "something more and so on", I miss a radical discussion about...
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The secret of compressed time

productivity Oct 25, 2018

When was the last time you compressed your time? If you now think I'm talking about science fiction, time travel, and wormholes, then I can reassure you: 

You too have already compressed your time. Whenever you really wanted to achieve something very important in a very short time. (The key words here are "really" and "very".)

You will then have achieved results in 15 minutes for which you would otherwise need two hours. Or perhaps you have done what has been on your desk for 5 weeks in just one hour.

Here is my point: If you use what you have applied in such situations every day and for every task, you will massively increase your productivity.

The problem is that we are not aware of these factors enough. Here are three of them that you should apply every day in order to compress your time:

  1. Clarity. If you have generated above-average results in a short period of time, you have always been very clear about the results you wanted to achieve. The conclusion in reverse: if you...
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The biggest gaps

I am repeatedly asked which of all the success strategies I work on with leaders and teams are the most important. What are the ideas that will help you achieve the fastest positive results in the shortest possible time?

Well, although this depends on the individual starting position, there are "gaps" which I actually see again and again and which could be easily closed. The result: more productivity, more sales, more profit and much more.

So, if you don't know how best to start your journey to success, here are my top 3 "simple" strategies:

  1. Attitude. Improve your attitude in the morning and how you affect others. Work on radiating positive energy. Look for solutions and opportunities. It all starts with your morning routine after waking up.
  2. Growth. Make it a habit for yourself and your whole team to grow daily. At least one good book per month (better: per week), audio courses, video programs, conferences and much more are part of it. Make sure that you and your team have a...
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How to make your customers (and other people) fall in love with you

marketing & sales Oct 11, 2018

One of the critical success systems (in contrast to anecdotal success) is the principle that people - including your customers - are always keen to get involved with you.

In other words: If you get other people to come to you because they love you, you'll have less to worry about both missing customers and job applicants.

The big question is how do we attract others and keep them coming back (and buying)?

Besides many ideas, there are three crucial human drives you can take advantage of. If you "feed" these drives, everyone will be happy to deal with you.

  1. Certainty. This is an absolute basic need. If you provide your customers with exact certainty, many will prefer to buy from you. Attention: Each need for a decision creates uncertainty for the customer. The same with unclear communication. Make every interaction simple and clear. The customer will feel safe as a result.
  2. Belonging. We all want to belong to a group. If you create a community among your customers they like to...
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Your best self

success Oct 04, 2018

For most people, success, and fulfilment - in other words, a great life - is simple: just always play at the level you are at when you are at your best.

We all have periods and topics where we're almost unbeatable: Maybe it was your last presentation, your customer meeting 2 years ago, where you transformed the problematic customer into a friend with recurring sales. Or simply your day yesterday when you were incredibly productive.

Whatever applies to you, you too have successes that are truly outstanding.

What hardly anyone does, however, is to de-construct these successes and trace them back to the causes. And thus, to make them repeatable.

That works great with a coach. Here are three ideas if you try it for yourself:

  1. Attitude: If I put myself back into the success situation, what attitude did I have? Did I want to crush it or just "play on hold"? Did I want to change something or didn't I care?
  2. Self-confidence: did you believe in the success or did you have serious doubts? Were...
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Among friends

culture Sep 26, 2018

Here's what we do among friends: We have fun, we trust each other, we give honest feedback, we forgive each other, we fight together for our dreams, and we look forward to spending time together.

Above all, when we work together on goals that are important to all of us, an incredible amount of energy and passion can unfold. I don't know how you feel, but I know I can remember these times very well. 

Here's the point: Why don't we act the same way during our work? Why do we often switch to a different program as soon as we get into the office?

Of course, there are many reasons to do just that and see our work as an unfriendly environment. And will, therefore, do exactly the opposite of what we would do among friends. Here is the counter-program (how to create a friendly environment):

  1. Projection. Imagine your colleagues, your managers and your customers as long-standing friends: How would you greet them in the morning? Then do exactly that!
  2. Humour. Hours of seriousness seldom...
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The little difference

culture leadership Sep 21, 2018

With my customers (and with companies in general) there are two groups: one group achieves success quite quickly, the other group moves rather slowly, and accepting change seems to be very hard for these groups. 

What is the root cause?

Well, one group is open to new ideas, they question old concepts makes decisions and implement what they have decided. They try out new things and above all are prepared to question themselves. They believe in their own power to shape the future and in the value of external support for this. 

With the other, group, it couldn't be more different: they defend themselves, have little confidence in new things, believe in external factors that make life difficult for them, can't decide on new approaches and needs a long time to start something innovative. As a result, they are skeptical about external help, because it could push them right out of their self-built mental cage. 

The point is: You and your Leadership Team need to decide which...

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Just another 4 months!

leadership strategy Sep 14, 2018

The morning air is already a little fresher, you can feel that autumn is coming. It's always unbelievable in how fast time goes: there are less than four months left in this year! 

Which goals and dreams have you achieved so far, privately and in business, in your career? If you could rate yourself on a scale from 1 to 10, where do you stand? 

Are you fully on course, having fun and influencing other people positively? Are you helping your customers and colleagues more than ever before? Or did time pass by faster than you hoped and you are a little behind your goals? Or didn't anything not go very well this year? 

Wherever you stand, you still have all the possibility to make 2018 outstanding, for yourself and for others. Here are three ideas: 

  1. Decision. If you are not quite where you want to be (or if you still see potential), then make the decision not to accept this situation. Help your team and your colleagues to do this. Most leaders I meet are far too...
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"That's not me!"

leadership mindset Sep 06, 2018

One of the greatest hurdles that will prevent us from achieving more and resulting in us being more fulfilled by lies with the conviction is that we are "the way we are." Like someone's gonna tell us to be just like that.

I have news for you: We can turn into almost anything we want. Even then, we still remain “the ones we are.”

If you hear someone say (or you say it to yourself): "I can't do that," "that's not me" or "that's just manipulation," then this is nothing else but resistance to moving out of the comfort zone.

The problem is not only that people limit their own success, but they are also unhappier. This is like a tight cage that we build around ourselves to protect us against "dangers" from the outside. Not only that it also prevents us from growing.

Here are three ideas on how you can soften your self-built bars:

  1. Clarity. Understand that in principle you can change everything and achieve everything. The only barrier is almost always yourself. Another question...
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Are you zigzagging? Well done!

culture mindset Aug 30, 2018

I came across a funny story on the web the other day: In Berlin, a cycle path has been built to such an extent that it is almost impossible to follow the lane and avoid pedestrians (as you can see in the picture).

We find something like this funny because it doesn't fit into the perfectionism we see elsewhere, especially in Germany and Switzerland. Moreover, because it also excuses us for our own fallibilities.

However, beware: you probably have various such metaphorical cycle paths in your company (and also in yourself). Below you can find three positive ideas from this topic:

  1. Risk culture. It is positive that one has even acted at all. Otherwise, such plans can often get mouldy for years in the offices of the decision makers because some guidelines stand in the way. This can reflect a risk culture in companies: When you do something, you make mistakes. We learn from it. That is a good thing!
  2. First-hand experience. I have witnessed time and time again from those who come up with...
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