Volkmar Völzke's BLOG


No excuses!

All of us are interspersed with thinking barriers and paradigms.This once helped us to survive. Today, it is poison if we want to advance with our team or our company rapidly. 

Nowadays, the winners are those who restrict themselves with fewer thinking barriers than the rest. 

But beware: do not look at others in your team, but first on yourself.

Here are some uncomfortable indicators that you yourself have limited ways of thinking: 

  1. If you never change your habits, even though they may not lead to great success. These include morning rituals, meeting rituals, your communication habits, your dressing habits, your eating habits and much more.
  2. If you are caught by excuses."We can not do this in our market," "revenue doubling is not possible," "we are not born salespeople" are such excuses that uncover your barriers.
  3. If you only take small steps instead of big leaps. Do you think this is "more reasonable"? Attention: This is also a thinking barrier! Who tells you that...
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Yes, you can do this, too!

leadership Oct 13, 2017

Some time ago, at the Swiss Family Business Award in Berne / Switzerland, at an annual award ceremony for outstanding family businesses: three companies in the finals, one wins. 

You can always argue to what extent such awards really reward the best and to what extent politics plays a role. And yet, I found it remarkable that the winner (Jucker Farm) – asked about their success recipe – immediately named three decisive factors for the company's sustained success, which fit perfectly into what I am constantly trying to teach to my clients: 

  1. Quick decisions."We do not analyze endlessly, but decide quickly and then go ahead!" I see again and again that countless open decisions are paralyzing companies and their teams.
  2. Flexible in implementation."We quickly adjust our actions when we realize we are not on the right track!" Too many companies are simply too rigid when it comes to the "how". Sometimes, the goals rather than the methods are changed. In these...
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Time for reflection and acceleration!

leadership mindset Oct 05, 2017

Yes, October has begun, and with it, the last 3 months of the year. In principle, this division of time is indeed arbitrary, and yet it is helpful to see the end of the year as a kind of milestone for the route we are marching on. 

As an average-age reader of my memos, you probably have about 20 to 50 of such milestones left in your life. 

This doesn’t sound too much, so it makes sense to make the best of each one. For the next one, you have just barely 3 months left. 

Here is what I mean: 
  1. Ask the following question: What would you regret not having achieved this year? At the end of our lives, we almost always regret what we have not done, but rarely what we have tried.
  2. Accelerate. Yeah, right, double your forces! We all can reach up to 10 times more if we just want to. You know that. How about if you reach as much as in the past nine months in the coming three months? This doesn’t work? Sure it does! If you really want!
  3. Write down your top three...
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What do you live (and work) for?

leadership mindset Sep 29, 2017

I see time and again how we lose sense in the daily business routines, why we do all this. We come every morning, produce, attract customers, improve, generate ideas, execute instructions, answer emails, sit in meetings, talk with customers, and so on. But why? 

From psychology, we know that happiness comes mainly from the positive perception of the "now," from giving to others, and from personal growth.

(This also explains why so many people are unhappy or unfulfilled.) 

This is no different in a company or a team: sustainably successful companies or teams perceive themselves as positive, as making the life of other businesses or people better, and as constantly evolving. 

My tip: Look in the coming week for these three influences for fulfilment and success in your company or team: 
  1. Positive perception: How positively does your team perceive themselves and their own company on a scale 1-10? Do your people feel the company is a place of personal...
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Your commitment to success

leadership mindset Sep 22, 2017

Do you know what makes it easy to determine whether a person, a team, or a whole company succeeds? The answer: whether success is seen as an obligation. 

This is not subtlety, but hard-hitting reality: those who are more successful than the big average view success as non-negotiable. They make success a MUST. 

What is the reason for this small GIANT difference? You are looking for new ways in the event of a setback. Because your success is not negotiable! While "normal" people are looking for excuses and blame, the ones who are committed to success are already back on the road. 

And here it comes: You can change it for yourself, your team, and your company. How? Here are three steps: 
  1. Write down: "My success is my COMMITMENT! My success is non-negotiable!” Commit your team to do so. Add this to your "corporate values" (instead of meaningless statements like "the customer is the focus").
  2. Find exampleswhere you have made your success optional. When you...
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How to illuminate the future

leadership strategy Sep 07, 2017

Yes, sometimes, Facebook helps for generating inspirational ideas! Some time ago, I stumbled upon an article of the renowned Swiss newspaper NZZ, which shines a new light on an well-known topic: 

“We Laggards – or: The Art of Good Life” 

I like the comparison: All our thoughts, plans, and analyses are only small pocket lamps that provide a very limited view into the fog of the future. The only thing that really “enlightens” the future is moving forward. This is the floodlight compared to the pocket lamp, called “thinking” and “planning”. 

This is one main reason why business executives, teams and entire companies remain far below their possibilities: they need far too long to come into action. They fiddle with the pocket lamp for a month, and wish it would finally be brighter and the fog would disappear. However, it does not! 

Here are 3 areas where this is particularly critical (with ideas on what you should...

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How to triple your effectiveness

leadership productivity Aug 24, 2017

The last post was about one of the most neglected topics for greater success and high performance: your sloppy language. 

Today, I’ll give you three concrete tips to help you recognize and systematically improve your unconscious language patterns.

The impact of these changes on your success will be significant. 

  1. Uncertainty. Many of our words that sabotage our persuasion ability come from deeply rooted uncertainty. We are afraid to express ourselves clearly, because that would mean we commit in front of others. Hard to believe? Believe me that whenever you express yourself unclearly (“however”, “not bad”, “could work”, etc.), you are uncertain. Work on it!
  2. Mirroring. We reflect our counterparts continuously – subconsciously. We also do this with words. I often experience in executive meetings how the participants “pull themselves down”, linguistically. Tip: Make sure you accept no negative language patterns.
  3. ...
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Beware of your words!

leadership Aug 17, 2017

WHAT you say can change A LOT. HOW you say it can change EVERYTHING.” 

Some behaviors for peak performance are very easy to understand, but extremely difficult to implement. This includes the way we express ourselves as we speak. 

The point is this: the words you use say more about you than what you “actually” want to say. I always experience this: the team members are enthusiastic about their project and generate meaningful results. Consequently, the team leader should say a few words of appreciation. What do the team members who think of themselves as having shown outstanding performance hear? “Yes, you have done it quite well. With the results, we can probably start something,” or the like.     

What is the statement? Most will understand: “This was not at all an acceptable performance.” 

And here comes the worst: most of the time, the boss is not even aware of his flaws. He really wanted to say...

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Why Roger Federer wins

leadership Aug 04, 2017

Quite some time ago, the tennis player and exceptional sportsman Roger Federer won his eighth title in Wimbledon and is thus also the record holder in this category. It doesn’t matter how much you are interested in tennis:

If you want to achieve more in private life or business, it is always worth looking at such outstanding personalities. 

I don’t want to repeat here his various strengths, as you can read about them everywhere. But the longer I study Roger Federer and other successful people, the more I notice exactly one characteristic that most others do not have: 

The best of the best can always add one level on top. 

What do I mean by that? Let’s keep with the example of Federer: Whenever it gets a little tight, when the opponent puts him under pressure, he gets a little better, hits a little more precisely, increases his performance a bit. 

You can also observe this with other top athletes and winners: If they are under...

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What are you staring at?

leadership mindset Jul 27, 2017

Recently, the marketing guru, Seth Godin, wrote an excellent short article describing our habits, which are often in the way of dealing effectively with change. 

He brings a good example: If an alien watched people in an elevator, he would notice the people usually stand in a corner and stare at the display over the door (or their smartphone). 

To conclude that these are the decisive actions for moving the elevator would be wrong. The almost unnoticed action that someone pushes the button, however, is decisive. 

The analogy is perfect: We all believe that what is done most is the most important and forget to push the right buttons. 

Here are three ideas on how to use this knowledge for your success: 

  1. The buttons. What exactly moves the success of your company, your team, and yourself? What are the crucial levers? Ask your people and your customers. Often, these are very different views than your own.
  2. You. What habits do you have that might be useful, but do...
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