Volkmar Völzke's BLOG


❄️ 3 Things I Learned This Year

After 680 issues, this is the last Friday Noon Memo . Thank you for staying with me over the past 13 years (or part of the time).

In the future, I will focus on German-speaking readers (although I still deliver my services in English as well).

You can sign up here for the German-language "Montag Morgen Impuls". (If I was able to identify you as a German speaker, I've already done the registration for you.)

Thanks again for joining me. We'll stay in touch via LinkedIn or other channels.

Now, here's the last memo:

This year was a special one in many ways, unfortunately not only positive. But as I keep saying, it is important to see every situation as a learning opportunity, even if it is negative.

The universe has lessons in store for us all the time. The only question is whether we see them as such.

I know very well that the situation is incredibly difficult for many people right now. And that is precisely why it is so important to look ahead.

So before I go into the Christmas...

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🕺 How To Boost Your Motivation

I don't know about you, but I am demotivated at times. That is quite normal. (Maybe you're breathing a sigh of relief now because you thought I was always and everywhere fully motivated).

Motivation can be lost for a variety of reasons. And it can happen to anyone.

The difference between very successful and fulfilled people and the mediocre is primarily in two areas:

  • Awareness of the fact that we can control our own motivation in a targeted manner.
  • The recognition of beliefs that repeatedly cause demotivation in us

The good news is that you can work on both of these causes.

I notice again and again with my coaching clients how effective it is to improve one's own sustained high motivation with coaching support. (You can also do it on your own, but it's much more difficult because you often don't recognize the causes properly).

Why is this important?

Well, for yourself for one thing: You simply achieve more with more joy. And on the other hand, your motivation - and your...

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👏 Why We Need More Actual Teams

There are huge differences between groups, committees and teams.

Simply put, teams multiply their forces, while groups just add them up. 10x10x10 is a different number than 10+10+10. True winning teams even manage to multiply their strengths.

Why is it, then, that in most companies I encounter much more the group than the team idea?

In a group, everyone works on their own tasks rather than on common big goals.

And do you know where I find most groups instead of teams? In the boardroom!

The management often consists of a collection of individual fighters instead of a real team. And since the management automatically has a role model function, this usually continues throughout the company.

Even if such companies have been reasonably successful so far, they could certainly achieve much more with more fun if they would think and act more as a winning team from now on.

To help you apply this idea in a practical way, here are 3 characteristics of teams - and thus ideas on how you can...

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⏳ The 5 Biggest Wastes of Time in Leadership

The expression "I don't have time" I debunked in the last Friday Noon Memo as a phrase that means nothing more than "this is not important to me" ( read here).

Here comes another angle of this fact: you may very well be able to pack a lot more into your time (everyone has 24 hours of it per day) if you finally stop wasting it.

In other words, each of us wastes our time on things that are not top priority.

As a result, we don't get to the really important issues - and then say, "I never have enough time." However, it's just that: The cause lies in our waste of time.

The problem: this waste is mostly promoted by the subconscious, based on our deeply anchored beliefs.

So we waste time because we (our subconscious) think it's good and right. How can you change that?

Here are 5 typical - surprising for many leaders - causes of time wasting that I recommend to stop immediately:

  1. Repeated discussion of decisions.

    I can hardly believe it myself how often I see this kind of time wasting in...

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🗣️ Five Typical Expressions - Decoded

For managers, it is particularly crucial to express themselves clearly and unambiguously on the one hand and to understand others correctly on the other.

This is often more difficult than it sounds. Because we all use "coded language." That is, we say one thing but actually mean something else.

This discrepancy between what we say and what we mean often goes so far that we no longer even notice it ourselves. So we use a personal code for certain expressions of our language.

This may sound frightening, but it is completely normal. Difficulties arise when we have different "decoding programs", i.e. when we associate something different with the sender's words than the sender means (whether consciously or unconsciously).

If you as a manager know the most important coded language elements, you can firstly consciously control your own usage and secondly understand others much better.

Here are 5 typical coded phrases that actually mean something other than what the words say:

  1. "I don't...

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💥 What To Do When Plans Blow Up?

Setbacks are part of life. Shattered plans are simply part of the game if you want to achieve anything.

Because if you only play it safe, you'll have fewer setbacks, but you'll also hardly make any progress.

Especially in leadership, this simple insight is crucial: If you try to "get through" all your plans and see the opposite as negative, you will always fall short of your potential.

If we always knew in advance what would work and what wouldn't, life would be very simple. But it is not!

In addition, there is another helpful insight: setbacks are almost never fatal. In the vast majority of cases, we can go on afterwards, and often even better than before.

A third point is that the most successful people see broken plans as a breeding ground for something new, according to the motto: “Stumble, get up, keep going".

So how can you apply these insights practically and use your burst plans constructively in leadership and beyond? Here are three tips:

  1. Apply the belief:...

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🤦 Another 3 Important Leadership Mistakes

We all make mistakes all the time. Or to put it another way: we do things that do not optimally advance us and others, but hinder us in some way.

This is quite normal so far. However, there are various mistakes in everyday leadership that most people are not even aware of, but which nevertheless have a strong negative effect.

Since the first step to any positive change is always the awareness of today's deficits and mistakes, I have exactly this as a topic in my coaching practice time and again.

It is all about recognizing and lifting the true potential that lies within all of us in an absolutely positive sense.

And the easiest way to do this is often to stop doing certain things that prevent us from moving forward.

Some time ago ( here's the post) I had written about three hidden leadership mistakes:

  • Lack of clarity and lack of focus
  • Too much tolerance
  • Not having a sparring partner

In principle, the list is inexhaustible. The problem is that we often have little awareness of the...

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🚀 5 Unusual Productivity Tips

High productivity is a topic that usually comes across as a little "unsexy", but it has a huge impact on your success and fulfillment.

This is especially true in leadership: If you as a leader significantly increase your productivity, you will have more time and energy to take care of the really important things, like developing your people or establishing strategic directions.

Most leaders I know complain about "too little time." In other words, their productivity is too low. So it's about time to work on this issue more intensively.

An important insight at the beginning: We all can always become more productive, i.e. achieve significantly more with the same input or the same results with significantly less input.

The difference in productivity can easily be a factor of 10, 100 or even 1000.

There are various methods how you can achieve this. I'll go into that elsewhere (or contact me for more info).

Here in this memo, I'll give you five somewhat unusual tips that can have a...

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🏆 Why You Should Stop Wanting To Win

Even if it sounds surprising: we often get in our own way because we want to win too much.

And even worse: we frustrate others with it. This is especially significant if you are a leader.

What do I mean by that?

Well, there is a delicate line between wanting to win for the sake of the cause (because it really does get us better results) and wanting to win for the sake of our own ego.

We all have an ego to a greater or lesser degree - no exception.

In most cases this is positive, because it is reflected in healthy self-confidence and also helps us to assert important interests.

However, the ego also leads us to want to win on issues that are actually unimportant. Sometimes there is no other reason to stand up for ourselves than to satisfy our ego.

Remember the last argument you had: to what extent was it really about the cause (and was arguing the best way to do that?) and to what extent was it about our own ego, which you saw hurt?

In conflicts, ego almost always plays the bigger...

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🔜 Why You Will Be A Different Person In 5 Years

The following concept is extremely powerful if you want to achieve great things and also become more fulfilled - be it for yourself, your team or your company.

Let me explain: Most changes in our lives happen so slowly that we hardly notice them.

And so we hardly notice that we are a different person today than we were five years ago. You think differently, you have different priorities, maybe your aspirations have evolved, you make different choices, and so on.

When you first hear this, you may be a little incredulous. That's normal. But take a closer look: you will clearly notice differences between the present you and the past you.

The same is true, of course, when we look into the future: You will be someone different in 5 years than you are today.

Of course, this development goes faster the more external influences there are in your life.

And what I'm explaining here for one person applies just as much to a team or even an entire company.

Here's the point: Either you let...

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