Volkmar Völzke's BLOG


Why you're struggling

There are concepts in psychology that, if taught in school and university, would make all the difference in people’s lives and careers. But nobody teaches them. 

Only when we study the “old” masters of success psychology, such as Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Darren Hardy, John Maxwell, and others, we find out about the power of these simple truths. 

This is no “theoretical stuff” (as you might think), but precisely the difference between the most successful people and the rest. 

One of these principles is this: you attract success by who you become, not by pursuing it. I was writing about this in earlier posts.

Today, I want to give you three concrete examples you can apply in your business immediately: 
  • If you want more sales, become a person that attracts people who want to spend money with you and your business. No matter what you sell, first, you sell yourself as a person. Are you somebody, who others want to leave large amounts of...
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Why change doesn’t work

leadership strategy May 29, 2019

When it comes to any kind of change – in your business, your team, or your life – I often use the spaceship analogy: to create any lasting change is like lifting a spaceship into the orbit: you need to escape earth’s gravity, which will inevitably pull you back to where you’ve been before should you fail to do so. 

For achieving escape velocity, you must give full power to your engines.

To translate this into business reality, you must take massive action. The emphasis is on “massive”. 

In my experience this is where most change initiatives fail: they take SOME action, but lack MASSIVE action.

Here is what I mean in 3 steps: 

  1. Decide. With your leadership team, clearly decide how important the planned change is for each of you PERSONALLY (yes, the personal aspect is vital!). Only MASSIVE importance builds the foundation for MASSIVE action.
  2. Start immediately. Every change initiative that you only start next week or next month...
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Only 3 seconds!


The next three seconds decide your life! Doesn’t that sound too dramatic? Well, there is some truth in it.

You can completely change your entire life within a few seconds. Also, you had already done this in the past: when you asked your partner perhaps the most important question. When you called the prospective buyer, who later became your best customer. Or, when you separated from a team member - for the good of both sides.

You can prepare every decision for a long time. Making the decision then takes seconds or even fractions of a second.

But, here's the most important thing: you can use the next three seconds to make a decision that will have a significant positive impact on your success. Alternatively, you can let these three seconds pass.

Examples for applying the 3-second rule:
  • Take a deep breath and then call the ten people you've been trying to follow up for a long time.
  • Take a deep breath and then finally sign up for the course that will take you massively forward...
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Everything will be different tomorrow!

leadership mindset May 10, 2019

I'll tell you a secret: your whole life is just one big change. Nothing remains the same. Even not your body, as your cells are constantly renewing, just like your environment. What is not constantly renewing will die.

In other words: Change is the normal state. Stability is an illusion.

And yet we often pretend we can keep everything as it is. Where does that belief originate? We learn over years and decades - at school and work - that it is good to control the state of things.

Do you know what the most successful people do (as opposed to the average)? They control the change process instead of the current state.

The good news is that you can learn that process. But you have to 'get to grips' with your way of thinking.

Here is my micro-training program for you:
  1. Consciousness. Write down what has changed around you in the last 12 months, both small and big things. Often, we don't notice changes and think that everything stays the same. This is an illusion.
  2. Design. Write down what...
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Are you boring or polarizing?

leadership strategy May 01, 2019

Marketing experts know that it can be quite a good strategy to deliberately build a brand that a certain number of people would rather hate than like. The rationale behind this counterintuitive idea: it is better to be known for SOMETHING—even if this is controversial —than for NOTHING.

The more emotional this “something” is, the better. Logic (boring for most people) makes people think, but only emotions make people act.

The point is that if you play this game carefully, there will be more people who love your brand for exactly the same traits that other people hate it.

Basically, this is the same logic that applies to the Blue Ocean Strategy: find benefits, features, or values that make you stand out from the crowd. If you stay the same as many others, then—no matter how good you are—you will have a difficult business life, troubled with price war and/or the need to deliver ever-more features for less costs.

Here comes the twist: the same...

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How many rear-view mirrors do you need?

culture leadership Apr 25, 2019

How much do you look ahead and how much do you look into the rear mirror?

How much time do you spend on creating your future and how much time explaining to others (and yourself) why you do what you do?

These are crucial questions not only for your own life, but even more so for any professional organization.

Too many companies become paralyzed by looking into the rear-view mirror.

They squander precious hours on project reviews, steering committee meetings, deep-dives, audits, and reports, forgetting that such time is much better spent moving forward than looking over their shoulders.

Looking backwards is caused by a culture of fear, mistrust, and control. People look into the rear-view mirror to check who is behind them, and organizations and their leaders do the same.

Here are some indications that your organization spends too much time looking backwards:
  • Preparation and execution of project reviews takes more than ten percent of the project leader’s time.
  • The...
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How to eat an elephant


Maybe you know the comical question, "How do you eat an elephant?" The answer: "Bite by bite!"

The background is a very relevant one for changing behaviors and corporate cultures: Most changes never happen - even if you consider them important - because people never really start.

And by "start" I don't mean that you're attending a workshop or reading a book on the subject (although these can be important preparations), but that you're really changing something about yourself.

The order is always: awareness intent to change information execution perseverance.

Steps 1-3 can be seen quite often among individuals and in companies. Even step 4 sometimes still occurs. At step 5 we lost most of the people, despite our best intentions. The elephant mentioned at the beginning still stands tall.

So how can you overcome this obstacle? Here are three steps:
  1. Simple process. Simply define the steps you want to take on yourself. Then implement them, every day. Example: If you want to be more...
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Downturn? Upswing? Full Swing!

culture leadership Apr 12, 2019

I don't know about you, but I can't hear all the fuss anymore about the coming economic downturn in Europe. Well, I do not presume to predict if and when there will be anyone in the near future or not.

My point is different: the fitter you and your team and your company are, the less any external influences can affect you. On the contrary: the best-trained teams can even benefit from a deterioration of the situation.

I like to talk about going through any crisis in “full swing”. Three examples:

  1. Full swing in sales. Bring your sales strategies, sales methods and above all the mindset of your teams up to speed at all times. Continuously increase your sales productivity. Most companies do far too little for this and then wonder when nothing more is sold as soon as the situation becomes difficult.
  2. Full swing in leadership. Work continuously to increase the quality of leadership in your company or team. Here, too, I can see that most companies have a lot of catching up to...
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Do you lean forward? Or are you losing control?

leadership mindset Apr 04, 2019

Today, I send you a video impulse, directly from the ski slopes of Tignes in the French Alps at an altitude of over 3000m.

Of course, I also included a message for leadership, which I had already shared a few years ago - with some resonance.

What is it about?

Every good skier knows that you have to do something counterintuitive to get down the slopes safely: You have to lean forward – the steeper and more difficult the slope the more.

Beginners, on the other hand, tend to lean backwards and wonder why they lose control.

And here's the question: How much do you lean forward in business? To make the analogy more concrete, here are three examples:

  1. Ambition. Do you set ambitious goals or are you satisfied with the situation as it is? Many of the leaders I see "lean back quite a bit" when it comes to ambition.
  2. Sales. Do you represent your products and services passionately and persuasively? Or do you tell yourself that the customer will come when he wants something? Only a few...
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Are you standing in the rain?

leadership mindset Mar 29, 2019

The other day I published a video on LinkedIn that attracted some attention and sympathy (watch it here).

The title is "Do you ever feel like standing in the rain?" It's about a myth I keep encountering, namely that success means a better and easier life.

Is that really the case? The answer: Yes, partly.

After all, success comes at a price (which everyone who wants to be successful in an unfamiliar field knows): The price is that you have to do profane and often hard work which has nothing to do with success directly.


  • As a top tennis player, you have to train serving again and again, even if it's not fun (and it almost never is).
  • As a top seller, you have to generate new leads again and again, even if it's hard and ungrateful. And you rarely feel successful.
  • As a top leader, you always have to deal with the profane worries of the team members and other unpleasant topics, even if you would rather do completely different things.

There are countless examples of these. The...

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