Volkmar Vรถlzke'sย BLOG


๐Ÿ”ญ How To Learn To See More Opportunities

One of the most important characteristics of outstanding leaders is to seize opportunities.

Don't you sometimes wish you could take a big step forward by jumping on a good opportunity?

It makes sense, especially if you are a leader. After all, you want to move your team or company forward.

However, it is often extremely difficult to recognize opportunities at all.

Time and again, when one person sees a huge opportunity and takes advantage of it, the other person carelessly passes it by.

Why is that?

Well, most opportunities also involve a certain risk. At least the risk that you have to leave your chosen path - even if only mentally.

But our standard evolutionary programming emphasizes safety. In other words: We are programmed not to see great opportunities in the first place. Because they mean danger.

Of course, the whole thing runs completely unconsciously. Instead, we love incremental progress. In other words, progress in small, manageable steps. We can then also stay mostly...

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๐Ÿ”† 3 Ways To Be A Role Model

In these times, it's more important than ever: we need more people who behave in an exemplary manner.

This is most important for all leaders. They are constantly modeled anyway, and often unconsciously.

As I keep emphasizing, the essence of leadership is exerting influence. Without influence, there is no leadership.

One of the best and most effective ways to increase influence is to continually be a role model and act accordingly.

Think of the most effective leaders in politics and business: they are always role models for their respective followers.

Unfortunately, sometimes we don't behave exemplarily at all and don't even realize it.

So here are the three most effective ways to be a role model:

  1. Showing full presence.

    The most exemplary leaders manage to be extremely present - even when things get hectic.

    Presence means giving your counterpart your undivided attention for the time you spend together.

    Especially in today's world, where everyone hides behind their smartphones and...

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๐Ÿค— The 7 Most Common Mistakes When Praising

Appreciation is one of the most important levers of influence. And influence, in turn, characterizes leadership effectiveness.

So if you build the habit of expressing appreciation more often and more effectively, you will become a better leader.

The challenge here is that there are many traps in showing appreciation.

If you fall into these traps - and many of them are quite hidden - you can have the exact opposite effect of what you want. As a result, you diminish your impact, sometimes permanently.

So here are the seven biggest praise mistakes you should avoid at all costs:

  1. Praise only the result

    This may be surprising for many, but the exclusive praise and appreciation of the result leads us to associate the positive emotion with the achievement.

    Among other things, this leads us to try only those things that are quite certain to bring us a result. The motivation to try something new or to take risks will decrease more and more.

    What you should do instead: value personal effort...

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๐Ÿ’ฐ What Price Are You Willing To Pay?

All of life consists of a series of trade-offs, of choices between different alternatives:

If you do one thing, you usually can't do another at the same time. If you go to the mountains on vacation, you can't go to the sea at the same time (this was a typical family trade-off in my childhood, which is why we went to the mountains one year and to the sea the next).

Of course, there is also often the possibility of combining multiple activities or increasing efforts to pursue just more than one thing after all.

Elon Musk did manage to ramp up SpaceX and Tesla simultaneously (three days a week each for one, and three days for the other), but even he couldn't have scaled five other companies at the same time.

The threshold may be different, but ultimately we have to keep choosing between alternatives.

That's a central mantra of modern essentialism: most people have so many things going on at once that they're not only burned out and frustrated, they're barely moving anything forward...

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๐Ÿ’ช How To Become Mentally Stronger

Mental strength is one of the most important factors for success in all areas of life - and of course also in leadership.

Many of the root causes for difficulties in leadership and in life lie in mental weakness.

You notice mental strength not only by determination and perseverance, but - much more important - by flexibility and adaptability.

That is, mentally strong people create success with what they have right now, where they are, and with people who are around them right now. They never have the thought, "I'm missing something to success that I can't create."

In other words, energy and attitude do not depend on external circumstances, but solely on one's own decision.

The good news: mental strength can - and should - be trained. Three questions for certain situations, to which one must find the answer, help very well:

  1. "What else can this mean?"

    Ask yourself or others this question whenever something unexpected happens. After all, as you search for answers, you'll train...

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๐Ÿฅบ Should You Reduce Your Commitment?

You might be asking, "Shouldn't we rather increase our commitment to get more done and have fun doing it?"

Yes, of course we should. The only thing is: the key is to be committed to the right things.

Because commitment makes good things better and bad things worse.

If you are fully committed to a good relationship, it will get better and better. On the other hand, if you are fully committed to a toxic relationship, then you will keep running into a dead end.

The same is true at work:

Being highly committed to tasks and projects that don't match your goals or vision - or that keep draining your energy - leads to burnout and, in the long run, failure.

So how can you identify what you should be highly committed to - for yourself and with your team - and where you shouldn't? Here are three important questions:

  1. What is your vision or ideal future state?

    If you don't know where exactly you want to go, you can't decide what's really important. And with that, you also don't know what you...

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โ†˜๏ธ Why You Should Lower Your Expectations

You should lower your expectations? Seriously?

You may be wondering: Don't you usually hear from me that we should be ambitious and have high expectations? That most of us are flying too low?

Well, the resolution is quite simple and often overlooked: Have high ambitions, but not equally high expectations of others and the environment.

There's an old saying from happiness research: if you want to be happier, lower your expectations of everything outside your direct zone of influence.

Because those expectations of people or things you have limited influence over will always frustrate you if they are not met.

In other words, achieve more (through high ambitions) and be happy on the way to your goal (through low expectations).

So how can you put this into practice in a very concrete way in your everyday life? Here are three important steps:

  1. High expectations of yourself.

    Your expectations of everything in your direct sphere of influence should definitely be very high. This is...

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โš ๏ธ Where The Greatest Dangers Lurk For You

If you want to become more successful, it is of course important to look at which factors contribute positively to achieving that.

This is a recurring topic in my articles and also the subject of training in my workshops.

After all, "success leaves clues", as a much-quoted statement puts it in a nutshell. Those who are successful by their own efforts think and act in a certain way, which most likely contributes to success. Therefore, it is always worthwhile to look at such factors (by the way, especially the mindsets).

However, all these success factors can be massively cancelled out by dangers that many see and pay too little attention to.

The conclusion is then sometimes that the success factors "do not work for me or us". In truth, however, people have often only sabotaged themselves by disregarding the dangers.

Here are three (from my experience with my clients) big dangers that lurk for you and your team if you want to become more successful:

  1. We are flying too low.

    Of course...

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๐Ÿ† The Secret For Top Success

Yes, I admit it: this is a somewhat lurid headline. But for many, what's about to come is apparently quite a big mystery, judging by how rarely the questions listed later are asked.

What is it all about? Well, all of our success - and that of companies as well - is strongly limited by the biggest limiting factor in any given case.

You may know this as the "theory of constraints”. And in fact, this concept is quite prevalent in manufacturing: If you want to increase output profitably, you have to identify and eliminate the biggest bottleneck. Unfortunately, this is often not so easy to spot.

The same is true in principle for any success and of course also in leadership. But here the bottlenecks are often even more difficult to identify than in production.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I unfortunately see very few leaders who take care of the bottlenecks in order to massively increase the success of their team. If anything, it happens intuitively instead of systematically.


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๐ŸŽ‰ Why You Should Celebrate More

Recently, Switzerland celebrated the founding of the Swiss Confederation in 1291. It's the most important holiday here with all sorts of political speeches, celebrations, bonfires in high places and, of course, fireworks.

It reminds me how important it is to pause sometimes to simply celebrate.

The date is secondary, after all. The only important thing is to agree on a specific point in time and look back together on what has been achieved and appreciate what is to come.

In most companies, I observe how reluctant people are to simply celebrate - even for small causes.

In a winning team culture, expressing joy together is a very important part - and not by command, but because it is felt that way.

So here's my appeal: celebrate more often! Below are three reasons why it's so important (in case you didn't think you needed it until now):

  1. Awareness of progress.

    Most managers mercilessly overestimate how aware people are of achievements and progress. Most are so deeply involved in...

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