Free weekly professional success tips, directly applicable ➔ Subscribe here

VOLKMAR VÖLZKE's

SUCCESS MAXIMIZATION BLOG

GET WEEKLY TIPS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR SUCCESS

They're always a thousand reasons against it.

leadership strategy Sep 05, 2019

Recently we spontaneously took the train over the Bernina Pass to Italy for two days. The Bernina mountain line is part of the UNESCO World Heritage, as one of only three railway lines in the world.

Especially in Switzerland, there are many fascinating railway lines, all of which have one thing in common: purely rational economic reasons could hardly ever justify the construction.

What was needed was the sometimes obsessive passion of individuals, coupled with a firm belief in the possibilities and in doing something good for the region. Also, it needs ongoing marketing, often even worldwide for the whole thing to be economically viable.

My point is this: at any given time, there have certainly been 1000 reasons not to carry out the project. And yet it was done. Why? Because it is hard and because we can do it. And because it does something good.

We can find it crazy or irresponsible. But exactly such a mindset, combined with passion and perseverance, moves us forward.

How does it...

Continue Reading...

Why should you fly to the moon?

leadership strategy Aug 01, 2019

About 50 years ago, we were on the moon for the first time (and about 47 years ago we were on the moon for the last time). Click here to watch a short video related to this event.

Many people ask the question "Why should we go to the moon at all?" And: "Aren't there more urgent problems to solve?

Such questions reveal the precise problem: they kill ambition in the first place and focus on the urgent instead of the magnificent.

Of course, this is not about the moon, but about the fact that most leaders have forgotten to think big and to believe in extraordinary goals. 

"Don't dare too much" is the motto. In that case, it is better to first optimize the processes or start the next employee survey, for instance. Also, many managers prefer to spend their days discussing the problems they face.

I miss the big visions, in politics and especially in business.

Here are three suggestions if you want to get out of the comfort zone a little bit:
  1. New questions. Don't ask "why", but " why...
Continue Reading...

This is 500!

culture leadership strategy Jun 27, 2019

500 weeks ago, I committed to sending value to my community every single week. This is almost 10 years!

I called this newsletter "Friday Noon Memo".

Thank you for being a reader and by this a supporter of the “success movement” for making the world a better place.

Here are four landmark posts over the last 500 weeks.

I think they didn't lose any relevance.

Enjoy reading!


Issue #1, October 9th, 2009:

Foundations for a better performance 

Let me invite you to our Friday noon memo where we discuss fresh ideas about better performance of people and organisations. Enjoy reading.

Always the same story

All organisations presume they are different from the competition. Perhaps they are, to a certain extent; however, three key challenges are almost the same for each organisation, no matter in which industry, of what size, if non-profit or commercial.

  1. The goals, objectives and strategies are not consistent or not consistently communicated.
  2. The business processes...
Continue Reading...

What makes a strong vision

strategy Jun 18, 2019
 

Most of the corporate visions I see are useless. So what makes a really powerful vision? In the video, I share three important characteristics.

Continue Reading...

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...
Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...
Continue Reading...

How to achieve outstanding results

mindset strategy Dec 14, 2018
 

When I work with my clients, we start with exactly one thing that makes a big difference in their later successes:

We set extremely ambitious goals (or exactly one). It has been shown over and over again that this is precisely the essential basis for achieving results that would otherwise hardly have been imaginable. More about this in the video.

Continue Reading...

Your accidental success

leadership strategy Nov 01, 2018

 "Nothing makes you more successful than success!" Perhaps you know this saying. Behind it lies the interesting phenomenon that you are often more successful when you have just had success.

Put simply, this is because of how our subconscious mind stores how success works; it repeats the same ways of thinking and behaving.

With the same mechanics, some companies and teams manage to build successes on top of each other, while others have to fight again and again for every single success. The former have success systems, while others fight for anecdotal success.

The big question now is: How do you get from anecdotal to systematic? I have just written an article about this for the business magazine Organisator (only in German; click here to request a copy).

Below are three brief ideas:

  1. Strategy. In your strategy work, pay particular attention to your business model and your unique positioning in the market. Instead of "something more and so on", I miss a radical discussion about...
Continue Reading...

Just another 4 months!

leadership strategy Sep 14, 2018

The morning air is already a little fresher, you can feel that autumn is coming. It's always unbelievable in how fast time goes: there are less than four months left in this year! 

Which goals and dreams have you achieved so far, privately and in business, in your career? If you could rate yourself on a scale from 1 to 10, where do you stand? 

Are you fully on course, having fun and influencing other people positively? Are you helping your customers and colleagues more than ever before? Or did time pass by faster than you hoped and you are a little behind your goals? Or didn't anything not go very well this year? 

Wherever you stand, you still have all the possibility to make 2018 outstanding, for yourself and for others. Here are three ideas: 

  1. Decision. If you are not quite where you want to be (or if you still see potential), then make the decision not to accept this situation. Help your team and your colleagues to do this. Most leaders I meet are far too...
Continue Reading...
1 2
Close

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.