Free weekly professional success tips, directly applicable ➔ Subscribe here

Volkmar Völzke's BLOG


The bag of tricks for a winning mindset

leadership mindset Nov 25, 2021

"How can I change the mindset of my people?" is a question I am often asked. 

The background is that a team can of course only perform really well and have fun doing so if the people in it have a winning mindset.

Unfortunately, the reality is often different: People play on hold, refuse full responsibility, blame other people or other things for difficulties, don't work well together, and so on.

That's why the question of how to change the mindset keeps coming up.

Over the years as a leadership coach and from my own studies, I've been able to peel out an arsenal of methods that work well.

Here are three powerful levers to align the mindset to winning:
  1. Ongoing inspirational input. It's simply true: what you let into you determines, quite significantly, what comes out of you. In other words, no human being can prevent their mindset from being influenced by inputs. It's a bit like physical food: the healthier you eat, the fitter you become. So: take in inspiring and educational...
Continue Reading...

How to develop a winning team

Top leaders form top teams. In my experience, this aspect, which is simple in itself, is often neglected in leadership coaching and training.

Why is this important? Well, one's own team is simply THE lever for greater influence and more success.

What many leaders pay too little attention to - and accordingly focus too little on - is the targeted development of the team into a winning team.

The goal is that this team, in principle without the leader, sustainably delivers top performance, takes full responsibility and enjoys doing so.

That may sound too bold, but it is achievable and unfortunately not very common.

How do you achieve this? Here are 3 key action items to turn your team into a winning team:
  1. Strong vision & winning team identity. Most teams I see have neither a strong and compelling vision nor a clear winning identity. In other words, they don't know enough about where they want to go together and they don't have clear aspirations for their mindset and behaviors to...
Continue Reading...

How to massively increase your productivity as a leader

leadership productivity Nov 12, 2021

It's simple: you'll fall far short of your potential in life and in your career if you don't have a handle on your productivity.

Most leaders I know - and people in general - either feel overwhelmed all the time, or they're not sure they're investing their time in the most important activities. Or both.

What's the key to massively increased productivity? It's what I call "time mastery": you decide what you invest in every minute of your life. 

Maybe that sounds idealistic, but think about people you see as exemplary on the topic of productivity and success. Do they give you the impression that they are constantly controlled by others? Quite the opposite: they determine their priorities themselves - at least significantly more than the average person.

How can you achieve this and massively increase your productivity as a leader? Here are 3 foundations:
  1. Winning Mindset & Energy, available at any time. First, you need to work on your beliefs and energy. Without these...
Continue Reading...

What you need complete clarity on as a top leader

leadership Nov 04, 2021

I emphasize it again and again: Clarity is one of the decisive parameters that distinguish top leadership from mediocrity.

The success of your life is also largely determined by how clear you are in the important aspects of your life.

Lack of clarity generates insecurity in yourself and in others. And uncertainty, in turn, prevents people from making the necessary decisions and taking actions.

Recall an episode in your life when you were unclear about what you wanted: How confident were you in your decisions and actions in that instance? You know the answer.

In leadership, it is critical that you create clarity and thus certainty for yourself and for your people.

Here are the three most important points from my observation, where you need complete clarity as a top leader:
  1. Today's Success Factors of Top Leadership. I experience time and again that even experienced leaders are not really clear about what is most important in leadership today. On the other hand, that's perfectly...
Continue Reading...

The 3 biggest success levers for top leadership

leadership Oct 23, 2021

What is the biggest difference between top and mediocre leadership? Or in other words: What should you work on first if you want to become a “winning team leader”?

Just a few years ago, I would have had difficulties answering this question. But a few dozen coaching customers and a few hundred workshop participants later clearly crystallized some focal points as the levers with the greatest effect.

If you work on these levers, you will almost inevitably multiply your success and positive influence as a leader. Conversely, if you do not pay sufficient attention to these levers, you will always remain below your possibilities. And that almost always means less joy and more frustration.

Here are the three biggest levers for success for you as a leader from my experience:
  1. Full own clarity and certainty as a top leader. In my coaching of executives and in my workshops, I notice almost every time how little clarity there is about what makes top leadership at all and what...
Continue Reading...

What you should do more with your team now

A week ago, I wrote about what is more important in leadership from now on ( read the blog post here).

Today I am discussing what you should do more specifically with your team in the future.

The need comes mainly from the fact that with the pandemic it became clear that external influences are becoming stronger and more frequent. Anyone who now hopes for a return to "normality" will need good luck not to perish.

Therefore, more than ever, those teams and companies that consistently implement the following three topics will be sustainably successful in the future:
  1.  Constantly evaluate new opportunities on the market. 

    I see far too little effort in companies that people regularly deal with new business models, new market positioning and new ideas for products and offers. 

    By this I do not mean a "product development department", but that, for example, people from sales and other areas create new business models or Blue Ocean ideas. This also means that many more...
Continue Reading...

What will continue to change in leadership

leadership Oct 14, 2021

Again and again I am asked what will change in leadership after the pandemic. That's why I was also asked to write an article for the German-speaking press about it. The title: "Everything remains different".

What do I mean by that? Well, the assumption of constant conditions has already been risky in the past. Outstanding leadership has always been about dealing with and anticipating changes and uncertainties.

The "unknown" is always the success lever of those who are ready for adjustments and see the changes as the best way to achieve outstanding things.

Nevertheless, from my observation, there are some specific characteristics of leadership that will become increasingly important in the future.

As a leader, I recommend that you become absolutely fit in these three topics in order to be able to further increase your success in the future:
  1. Communication is becoming more important. As a top leader, it is now a must that you become very good at communication. You must master the...
Continue Reading...

The 3 crucial questions before you hire someone

Few things are as critical to your long-term team success as deciding who belongs on your team and who doesn't.

Although this fact is common knowledge, most decision-making puts too little emphasis on those questions that bring us closer to a winning team in the long term.

What do I mean by that? Well, winning teams function according to different rules than mediocre teams. The standards demanded of team members are sometimes quite different from the standards demanded of people who function well in average environments.

This becomes very clear in a comparison with team sports: the players of a team in the soccer Champions League are not only able to play soccer better on average than others (this is self-evident), but above all, they have different standards for themselves and the environment in which they operate. This includes much more than just the activity itself (soccer in the example).

That's why it's so important to ask someone these three crucial questions before accepting...
Continue Reading...

The only 3 causes of conflict

Conflicts are part of life like salt in the soup. Especially in the professional environment, avoiding conflict is one of the causes of poor collaboration.

If we don't address conflicts, they smolder on anyway and lead to an artificial harmony that benefits no one.

Often, fear is the cause of holding back conflict because we don't know how to handle it.

To effectively deal with conflict, it is critical to know the root causes.

Here comes the good news: there are only exactly three basic causes of conflict. Here they are in a nutshell:
  1. Disagreement about the goal. It happens surprisingly often that two people get into a fight, even though the cause would be quite simple to locate: unclear or divergent goals. If the goal is clear and unambiguous, there is no need to talk about anything else - and certainly no need to argue. Therefore: first make sure that you have the same goals.
  2. Disagreement on the path. Even if there is agreement on the goals, there may be differing views on the...
Continue Reading...

The 3 most important psychology insights for leaders

leadership Sep 23, 2021

As a leader, how well do you know psychology? Your answer to this question strongly determines your influence, productivity and overall success as a leader.

After all, let's not kid ourselves: Your success is largely determined by the extent to which you can understand and influence other people. And you can't do that without psychology.

By the way, I know from my own experience that you can learn all this. Because being an engineer, knowledge of human nature, influencing and leadership were by no means components of my engineering studies.

What it essentially takes is interest and application, especially through coaching or leading others.

Here are three extremely important insights from psychology, from my experience, that most leaders pay far too little attention to:
  1. Emotion beats logic - every time. How many of our decisions are made purely rationally, logically? The answer: not a single one. In the end, there is always some emotion involved. The same is true for taking action:...
Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Yes, I want to benefit from the FRIDAY NOON MEMO

Simply enter your name and email and hit "Submit".

Important: You will receive an email with information on data privacy, which you must confirm in order to register effectively. Please check your email inbox.