Volkmar VΓΆlzke'sΒ BLOG


πŸ’­ How Your Thoughts Drive Your Results

Everything that has ever been created by humans started with a thought.

Thoughts have power. Because they determine what we believe in - our beliefs. Our beliefs, in turn, determine our actions. And our actions determine our results.

In other words: How you think is the most critical building block for your success - whatever "success" means to you.

This is the key difference between those who achieve significantly more and the average: the super-successful have different ways of thinking. This is evident in every biography and documentary.

Simplified you can say: Small thoughts - small results. Big thoughts - big results.

In my observation and experience, most leadership teams think far too small. As a result, potentials are not even considered. They prefer to stick with what they know.

The good news is that you can change the size of your thinking. However, to do so, you have to persistently turn a few screws:

  1. Schedule time to think.

    Most leaders are so busy that they hardly...

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πŸ”ͺ Chop It Up!

One of the biggest obstacles that I see in organizations when driving any kind of transformation is the absence of emotionally appealing goals. The fact is that nobody ever changes behavior or even routines based on logic. Studies prove over and over again that we need emotions to move. Logic only makes us think. 

So, why is it so difficult to define goals that make people move?

The simple answer is because most of us never trained to create them. From early ages on, we learned to create rational and logical goals. 

Do I suggest forgetting all the things about SMART goal-setting and the like? No, not at all.

Instead, what I suggest is a 3-step method to boost the commitment of your people that many don’t know, maybe even not you.

It goes like this: 

  1. Ask yourself: “If I were an employee who was expected to contribute to the business goal, how would I know and feel each day that I truly contributed?” You see the problem: it is very hard to see the...
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πŸ“ˆ Your Untapped Market Potential

Especially in uncertain times, questions about how to leverage additional potential for sales and profitability are becoming increasingly important.

Time and again, I see that most of the discussions revolve around the core products.

In the process, a significant lever is neglected that is well known but pushed to the back of the agenda in most companies: Service.

Especially in most small and medium-sized companies, the full exploitation of service potential is a long way off.

By "service," I mean the entire end-to-end customer relationship from the very first contact to the generation of fans - and not just "after-sales service," as is the case with so many companies.

I believe that "after-sales service" accounts for just 10 percent of the potential.

What is the consequence of ignoring the potential? Less revenue, less profitability, less contribution margin and - most importantly - less prospect and customer loyalty.

The opportunity to create sustainably enthusiastic customers is...

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😐 Your Inner Conflicts

leadership mindset May 11, 2022

Chances are you know the psychological concept of “inner conflicts”. These are conflicts within each of us that prevent us from achieving more than we actually do, which do not let us start even great initiatives, and which make us avoid actions that contradict our goals. 

Inner conflicts are the reason why so many people do not do more exercises, even if they know it would be good for them. They also let us get stuck in our career because even if we know what it takes to gain more influence and progress on the career ladder, we hesitate to act accordingly.

Our inner conflicts hold us back. 

I cannot go into too much detail here in this short memo, but inner conflicts stem from the deeply rooted belief system that we all carry with us from early childhood (and which can be changed, but only with willpower and effort – and most of the time only with a professional coach). These beliefs often conflict with our actual goals. Example: Many want to become a...

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You Have All You Need! βœ…

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! πŸ˜‡

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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πŸ•Ί 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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