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Volkmar Völzke's BLOG


You Have All You Need! ✅

Here's a brutal truth: what you want is all already there.

You don't have to add or painstakingly create anything, just remove what gets in the way of what you want.

What do I mean by that?

Well, you may be familiar with Michelangelo's meaningful answer to the question of how he was able to create the statue of David that stands in Florence, which is so ingenious.

Michelangelo said: "The statue was always in the block of marble. The only thing I had to do was to remove the excess marble."

This shows a fundamentally different mindset than we are used to most of the time:

It's based on trusting that all the solutions we're looking for are, in principle, already there. We just can't see them yet.

I think that takes enormous pressure off our efforts. After all, if it already somehow exists around us, we "just" have to recognize it and remove what keeps us disconnected.

How can we apply this realization in a very concrete way? Here are three basics, all of which you will find in...

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❓ Why Do You Want Customers?

One of the key questions to ask if you want to achieve new success levels is: “Why do we want customers?” Now, you might think that this is far too easy to answer. “We want to make money, that’s why we need customers,” may be your first thought. 

But here is the point: what are your next three answers?

I’m asking because if your only reason for having customers is to make money then you will cause lots of collateral damage and most likely not stay in business for a long time.

In fact, this one answer is exactly the reason why many companies struggle, hit a plateau, and then drown: they forgot to deliver the next answers to this question. Additionally, their employees were only focused on getting the highest profit possible from each customer. 

On the other hand, if (yes, if!) you manage to anchor a bunch of sound answers to the question “Why do we want customers?”, your team will act differently in the case of customer...

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🌚 Living In The Gray Zone - Is That What You Really Want?

"Living in the gray zone": What do I mean by that?

Well, most of us like clear-cut conditions: "Which is better: A or B?" "What clearly definable options do we have?" And so on.

That still has its justification. The only thing is that the world is becoming increasingly uncertain.

And top leaders are characterized above all by the fact that they can deal not only with "black and white", but above all with the gray area in between.

It takes a lot more courage and forward thinking to be successful in uncertain decision-making situations in several dimensions.

And it is often not possible to achieve complete clarity in a reasonable amount of time, even with a great deal of effort. Because by the time you have the insights together, the situation may have changed again.

Therefore, my recommendation: You would do well to accept increasing uncertainties and a "life in the gray zone" and to take advantage of them.

The good news is that this can be trained. How? Here are three "exercises"...

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Finally, be honest! 😇

Most of us constantly lie to ourselves. We tell what we want to achieve and rationalise why we didn’t achieve it so far. Let me be brutally honest: These are all lies! Sounds harsh, and yet, sometimes, the most helpful pills are the toughest to swallow. 

Why can I say this? Because almost all that you truly want, you will achieve. The emphasis is on “truly”. We all are masters in sabotaging ourselves by telling us stories that hold us back from unlocking the full power.

Often, we try to get to a hundred miles per hour, but leave our feet on the brakes. Or we want to become financially independent, but do not behave in the best way to attract money. Believe me, I’m also talking from my own experience. 

Here comes the thing: You will achieve almost everything in your life that is not only a “want”, but a “must” for you.

Conclusion: Everything you wanted but haven’t achieved so far, is not a “must”, but a...

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🕺 What Really Makes A True Leader

There is a beautiful quote from the former Prime Minister of Great Britain, Margaret Thatcher:

"Having power is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are one, you are not."

That translates beautifully to leadership:

"Being a leader is the same as being a lady. If you have to tell people you're one, you're not."

The point is this: You can learn all kinds of methods and tools it takes to be a good leader.

But if people don't perceive you as a leader, you're not one, even if you have a certificate from some leadership academy hanging on the wall behind you.

True leadership is not so much about methods, tools and position (the latter certainly not), but rather about certain characteristics.

Here are three characteristics that distinguish you as a true leader:

  1. Leadership identity with high standards.
    The most important thing that distinguishes a true leader is his or her own self-image, that is, identity. Do I see myself as a leader or not?
    Of course, this includes high...
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😊 Who Do You Make Happy Today?

Why are you doing what you are doing? Why do you get up each morning, work hard, and sacrifice much of your time? For money? No way! Money is nothing more than a means to an end. So, what’s your “end”? Freedom? Maybe. Influence? Possible. 

The only thing that acts as a valid reward is happiness.

You want to feel happier. Yes, I know, if you are the always rational engineer or lawyer, you might think “I want only hard facts.” And even for you, besides all the “hard facts”, you only need to feel more fulfilled, more powerful, and freer. In one word: happier. 

Here comes the point: one of the strongest triggers for our own happiness is when we make others happy.

There are countless studies that prove over and over again that we feel happier when we see others being happier because of us. 

But, during our busy days – and even sometimes for weeks – we forget this simple truth. We are chasing many rewards and forget that...

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🐣 Are You Still Looking For Easter Eggs?

Will you be searching for Easter eggs? Or paint them? Or at least go on an Easter outing? Or ignore Easter? Either way, most of us have a few more days off than usual and are enjoying this time in some way.

Besides Easter, two other things have happened:

  1. The days, by definition, got an extra hour of daylight in the evening a few days ago (called summertime).
  2. More than a quarter of the year is already over.

In other words: What you haven't started seriously so far of your plans, wishes or resolutions for 2022, you will hardly realize this year.

Unless you start right now, and MASSIVELY!

I always find it amazing that most leadership teams in companies do a lot operationally, but too little strategically.

According to my guiding principle that you should not chase success, but attract it by what you become, you should have already become much more attractive. And that means for your employees, your customers, your market and - yes! - also for money.

So my question is: Are you looking...

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You Can't Change Other People!

Perhaps you are surprised that such a headline comes from me of all people.

Don't I preach again and again the statement that everyone can in principle achieve everything? And that anyone can therefore also change anything?

Yes, exactly, and that is the important difference: You can change everything about yourself, but you cannot change other people.

At least not directly.

But you can initiate and support the changes that others make in themselves.

That's obvious, because otherwise there would be no need for leadership.

After all, your people (and you yourself) must continue to develop if you want your team or company to be successful in the future.

By the way, anyone with teenage children knows this: you will find it very difficult to " command" change in young people. The only thing that works is to inspire them to change themselves.

Now, of course, comes the question, "How do I get others to change?" Here are three tips from my practice on this:

  1. Clarity about beliefs.
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Are You A Renter Or An Owner?

Many people give me the impression that they do not own their life, but rather rent it. The difference is huge: as a renter, you know that you can return whatever you rent at any time, according to the contract. No obligations left. As an owner you have full responsibility; as a renter only partially. Have you ever washed a rented car? 

What I see as a key difference between successful and average people is that the former treat all they do as if they owned it.

They are proud of it, maintain it, leverage it, and maximize its impact. In contrast, those who do things just as renters become negligent about their tasks and goals, do not think of leverage, and hardly maintain a high performance level. 

What I describe here as “it” can be your life, your business, your job, your body, your relationships; in brief, everything that you deal with. 

Here comes the even more interesting part: the most successful businesses have teams that see themselves as owners of...

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🤔 How To Lead Without Being The Boss?

Good leadership is even challenging when you officially are the boss.

After all, even your "position power" doesn't do you much good if people are reluctant to follow you. At best, you can force results in the short term. In the medium and long term, that never works.

And you certainly can't form a winning team with this approach. You need other levers for that ( get in touch with me if you want to know what these levers are).

On the other hand, how much more difficult is it when you have to lead others but you have no formal authority to direct them?

From my observation, such positions are becoming more common:

Whether it's the product portfolio manager across multiple divisions, the global sales head who relies on local subsidiaries, or the project manager with twenty project team members from a wide variety of divisions.

In these cases, how can you achieve maximum results with your virtual team?

Well, the answer lies in the fact that top leadership has always meant top influence...

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