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...
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🥸 Do you want to get better? Seriously?

The question "Do you want to get better?" is, of course, a rhetorical one. After all, who doesn't want to? But what most overlook is that to get better in a sustainable way, you need a system.

That's exactly why, when it comes to certain things, after a short learning curve at the beginning, our skills keep us on a plateau from which we hardly improve. 

What we need to improve continuously and significantly is what psychology professor Anders Ericsson describes in his book Peak as "deliberate practice."

Here, however, I am concerned with something that lies even before that. Because the reason why we don't really peak, even if it would be absolutely beneficial for us, lies elsewhere. If you are aware of that, you can deal with it accordingly.

Here are the three powerful levers on how any person or team can become better than everyone else:
  1. Clear Necessity. Outstanding individuals have a powerful difference from average that makes them see working on themselves completely...
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With your autopilot to a dead end

leadership mindset Apr 02, 2021

Actually, coaching is quite simple: you raise beliefs and behaviors from the subconscious to the conscious mind and thus you can influence them.

After all, any substantial personal growth happens by making different decisions starting today. And this is only possible based on suitable ways of thinking and behaving.

Why do I reveal this "secret" to you so candidly? Well, you always need a coach for this. Because you can hardly turn your subconscious outward yourself, because your subconscious prevents you from doing exactly that.

Sounds complicated? It's actually quite simple: Your subconscious controls you in such a way that you have the best chances to survive and reproduce. Happiness and other success are secondary. Hence, the provocative headline: Your autopilot steers you into a kind of dead end.

How do you get 'out' of it? Here are three ideas you can try even without a coach:
  1. Awareness. Simply realizing that everyone sees the world a little differently - that there are...
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How to write an article in under 30 min

A common challenge for my leadership coaching clients is weak communication. Even among experienced leaders, I notice a high barrier when it comes to producing short videos and writing articles. Both are extremely relevant to effective communication.

I will take up the video topic another time. Today, let's take care of writing articles in less than 30 minutes, from a "blank slate".

It starts in your own head: for many executives, article writing is an unpleasant and energy-sapping task. The root cause is usually a lack of process and, related to that, the idea that writing an article takes hours or even days.

Building on my experience of writing now about 1000 blog and magazine articles, I have developed a process that allows writing a roughly one-page article (about 300-400 words) in under 30 min, starting from scratch.

Here is the 10 step process to article writing:
  1. Pick a rough topic (e.g., "How can everyone make faster decisions?").
  2. Determine the target audience: who exactly...
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Why are you not asking?

leadership mindset Feb 02, 2021
When was the last time you asked a meaningful question?

Seriously, we all tend to get into our daily routines and forget to ask questions. Instead, we try to “get things done” or find solutions to problems. 

I think it was Einstein who said “If I had one hour to solve a problem, I would spend 55 minutes on finding the right question to ask, and 5 minutes to find the answer to this question.” 

Studies show that children ask over ten times more questions than adults do.Why is this the case? Subconsciously, to grow. Asking questions means learning, means growing, means getting to new levels. In other words, when we stop asking questions, we stop growing. 

Your progress and success in life (and in your business) are directly proportional to the number and quality of questions you ask. 

Here is my suggestion: By today, ask more questions to yourself, your colleagues, your team members. Asking questions differs from questioning things or...

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How great was your year? These 10 simple questions provide the answer.

leadership mindset Dec 27, 2020

I think it's a good habit to slow down from time to time and look back on your accomplishments. This season is a perfect time to do that, and I want to provide you with some powerful questions to ask yourself and others. You can also use these questions for discussion among your leadership team. Just replace the "I" with "we" in this case.

Here are the 10 questions:
  1. How did I make life better for somebody (or for our clients)?
  2. Which of my personal goals did I achieve?
  3. What went extremely well?
  4. What went not as well as I had hoped?
  5. What was my greatest personal development?
  6. Who was grateful for me being around/doing my job?
  7. What did I learn that will have a lasting impact on my success?
  8. Which unimportant activities did I stop doing?
  9. Which important activities did I invest more time in?
  10. Whom should I thank for his or her support?

Tip: record the answers to those powerful questions on video. This could be your personal year-end manifesto, no matter if you share it or not!

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What determines your destiny?

mindset Dec 20, 2020

At this time of the year, most of us take some days off to reflect about life and to be with family and friends. I think we should never wait for Christmas to do so, but make it a daily, weekly or at least a monthly routine to meditate and be grateful for all the good things that surround us. 

I recently stumbled over these well-known wise words, which you might find worth thinking about: 

  • Beware your thoughts, they become your words. 
  • Beware your words, they become your actions. 
  • Beware your actions, they become your habits. 
  • Beware your habits, they become your character. 
  • Beware your character, it becomes your destiny. 
I wish you, your family and your friends a peaceful Holiday Season and I look forward to providing you with fresh insights, ideas and thoughts in the next year. 

P.S. It is never too late to decide still this year, for bold progress in 2021. Just click here and learn more.

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Your personal lockdown

mindset Dec 17, 2020

For most people, this is the beginning of a somewhat quieter time - various companies are closing their doors, and, in this respect, many people are going into their own personal lockdown. This may also be something positive.

In this special year, it's a good time for a little reflection; for example, how your team and you have managed to deal with the out of the ordinary situation.

After all, we all have found ourselves in a situation that no one could have foreseen a year ago. And I think that, given these circumstances and the unpredictability, we have done very well so far (I'm not making a judgment here about the health and fatal consequences of the virus).

Here are three ideas how you, as a leader, can make the most of the year-end slowdown:
  1. Gratitude. It is extremely important for our well-being and for directing our thoughts to feel gratitude. If you are grateful, you cannot feel fear or aggression in that moment. So…what are you really grateful for? Few do this...
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What if…?

mindset Nov 12, 2020

What if you started each morning by being grateful for what you have and where you are (no matter where you actually are)? 

What if each day you achieve something substantial? 

What if each day you make at least 3 people smile? 

What if each morning you breathe deeply, drink water, and increase your physical energy level? 

What if each evening, you realise what great things you have achieved today? 

What if each hour, you make progress in at least something? 

What if each week, you make progress towards your grant vision in life? 

What if you realise that you have far more capability than you actually utilise? 

What if most people would be happy to have all the chances that you have in life? 

What if you can make a difference in people’s lives – and you actually do! 

Take charge of your life, your career, your business. Play out fully. Each day. Each minute.

Do you like this post? If so, please forward it to a colleague...

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Start your first 100 days today!

The first hundred days are a sort of magical period: after a hundred days, a new president should have put a stick in the ground and made some important decisions. After the first hundred days in a new job, you should be clear about what you want to achieve, know the main stakeholders, and already made something different than your predecessor. 

Consequently, during these first hundred days, we feel energised, motivated, empowered. We feel as if we can make a real difference. Because we can. 

The sad truth is that the energy and inspiration often decline after this period.You probably know this effect from any major project: after some hype, the engagement decreases and routine settles in, sometimes even frustration. Obstacles that we surmounted with ease in the beginning seem to be insurmountable some weeks later. 

How do you keep the fire burning? Start your first 100 days today!

No matter where you currently are, even if you have worked 20 years in the same job, I...

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