Author: Volker Ballueder

Launching my book Principles for Success (1)

I can officially announce the launch of my book. I want to be honest on my blog here, I am quite chuffed to have achieved that. Yes, I wrote a book before, but juggling a full time job, family and writing a book on the back of a podcast….but it can be done. It is down to time management, discipline and routines. Latter you heard over the years, and it is mentioned in both of my books. After interviewing 40 people in 18 months of my podcast Stories of Success, I am delighted to summarise what I have learned in terms of What makes you successful. Thanks again to all my podcast guests for sharing their stories. I name them all in the book! In the next few days and weeks, I want to share those principles in short videos. You can find them on my LinkedIn feed, Facebook or Instagram. The first few chapters are about understanding and identifying your WHY, the why of your business and what it means to you. Understanding yourself and what drives you on. It is such a fundamental question to ask. We then solve the question if money means success. A question I

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Back to School

This week is back to school. If not a lot earlier, most people return to work this week. Particularly in the UK, with people enjoying splendid weather over the bank holiday weekend (just over a week ago), some took the additional week off. Why not. I have been on it since early August, working on content for my blog, my LinkedIn Videos and launch of my executive and productivity coaching business. I have been lucky to see a trend that companies are interested in mindfulness trainings and how they can create a culture within an organisation that looks after their employees. As I continue with a top end training course later in the year, I started teaching meditation and mindfulness, incorporating emotional intelligence (EQ), working towards productivity. It all seems to come together. This week is back to school for the kids too. That means childcare is sorted for most of the day, and life returns to some kind of routine. It also means that you see less of your children. Unfortunately, that’s how life is. Those who follow me closely know that I currently split my time between a part-time job and launching my own business. That is splitting

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Productivity Book Promotion #BeBetter

As an executive and productivity coach, it isn’t very uncommon to have a book published on productivity. This was my first ever book and my next book on Success Principles will be published later this year. Given we are all back after a long summer, a great long bank holiday weekend, it might just be the right time to kick-start your productivity habits. I have developed a 7 pillar framework which looks at – Defining what success actually means – Looking at your values and purpose – Defining the here and now and status quo – What do you want to achieve? – Define your stepping stones. – Plan your actions, as a plan is no good without actions – #BeBetter There is a lot more in the book, about trusted systems, healthy bodies, and spirits; it covers habits and routines, productivity tools and more. Let me know if you like the ideas or want to have a chat about the book or how this could be applied to your executives and teams. Best thing. The book is FREE to download from AMAZON this week! Promotion is on until Thursday.

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d:pulse – the new digital must-attend event in Europe!

You have to admit that flying to Zurich to a conference from London, staying over night, has to be a good conference, right? A conference that adds value to a coach and consultant. So when my friends, Frank and Christian, invited me to join them in Zurich for d:pulse, I was on fire. They have built dmexco, brought the industry together a few times, and just understand the concept of good conferencing, adding value and getting the right people on board. So there I was, and admittedly, not knowing who Sven Hannawald was, he started the conference talking about burn-out, life-life balance and taking breaks. I thought I was on a personal development conference for a moment, as the multi Olympia winner talked about his struggle with mental health, performance and not being able to take a break. He spoke to what I preach, and that at a digital conference. It reiterated my point about the industry having to come closer together to not overwork people and look after each other. Besides us being a billion dollar industry, we are still a close knit team, and we have to work together to make it a sustainable industry not only from

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Mindfulness @Work

I recently put my first proposal for an 8 week mindfulness workshop together. What I learned by doing this, is that a lot of mindfulness is ‘meditation’. But is it? Actually it is not, it is a good mix of EQ (Emotional Intelligence) and Meditation. Also, listening to a recent EQ (Emotional Intelligence) webinar, I realised that one of the core messages (see also last week’s post on here) is about being in the moment, being present. So the lines of EQ and mindfulness are a bit blurred in some areas. So what does mindfulness at work mean for me? First of all, I would define mindfulness as being kind and curious, paying attention to the here and now, the present moment. If we want to translate that to the workplace, we are looking at being present, being in the moment, and not disturbed by other means. An example could be to not be on your phone or laptop during a meeting, but paying attention to the presenter/speaker, and listen actively. Ask questions, be engaged and don’t get distracted by another email in your inbox or another whats app message. Pay full attention to what’s happening. How does that translate

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Social, Conversational & Emotional Intelligence

Social Intelligence is a term that goes in line with Emotional Intelligence (EQ) for me. Ever since I wrote my MBA thesis over 15 years ago, I have been involved in EQ. At that time I wasn’t sure about the concept but I am now! Social Intelligence is about the ability to form successful relationships and navigate social environments. And, strong relationships improve your immune system, and reduce stress and health problems like depression. The relationships to others are key, and that’s where I found Emotional Intelligence comes in, and that’s why I like coaching and teaching people about it. For me it is about awareness, self management, social awareness, e.g. social intelligence and relationship management. Within social awareness we look at empathy and organisational awareness. How do I fit in, and how can I feel for others? How does that drive me forward, seeing myself more as a coach, influencer or team player? How does that align with the corporate goals and values? Conversational Intelligence is something I came across through one of my podcast guests for season 3. It is defined as how open you are to learn new and effective powerful conversational rituals that prime the brain

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Overcoming the Imposter Syndrome

This is another term I wanted to write about: Imposter Syndrome. How do you define it? How did you first came across it? The Imposter Syndrome is something I see frequently as an executive coach; it is defined as a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments. They are afraid that they might be exposed as a ‘fraud’, despite them actually being very competent in what they are doing. It is a denial of their competence. Are you actually good enough to do that role? It could happen that individuals attribute their success to luck, or a result of deceiving others of thinking they are more intelligent than they think they are. It is about being worthwhile and self aware (emotional intelligent). This can lead to anxiety, depression and stress. Things that we can solve with some coaching, but also combine it with mindfulness training. It is definitely something I come across in my work as an executive and productivity coach. Often it is caused by family expectations, potentially over protective parents; others are more around being a perfectionist or excessive self monitoring. More often than not it is the story in your head, it is about your

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Intrinsic Motivation

We just discussed the hedonic approach, and intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation – what drives you on? You know, or should know, that your thoughts determine your action. And your brain determines your thoughts. What that means is, that you decide how you are motivated. I loved the following picture which I stole from this blog (hope that’s ok). When we grow up and cannot differentiate what motivates us (external/internal), or might be less self-aware (not having a lot of emotional intelligence/EQ), it might be all about ‘being like someone else’. I often mention the Kardashians as an example in my podcast on success. People seem to like what they do and how they set standards of what life looks like. However, they are rich, live an interesting life and might be in a complete different life cycle than yourself. Is that what you want to be, or aiming for? You can of course aspire to what they do, however the motivation of what you want to be, who you want to be, is down to you, and should be based on your values. That for me is intrinsic motivation. Would you agree? Hence for my coachees, it is so important

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Human Needs – High Performance Basics

10 years ago I wrote about Anthony Robbins’ six human needs. You can see, I have been involved in personal development for a long time. Now that I more actively opened my executive and productivity coaching practise in Brighton, London and internationally, I am revisiting some of the theories to keep them fresh in my mind. Human needs are fundamentals. Basics to achieve high performance. A base for productivity. Why? Simple really. In my opinion the basics have to be met in order to build on it. Like the foundations of a house. If the foundations of a house are not done properly, the rest of the house will be wobbly, potentially falling over. When working with my clients, I spend the first session or two discussing the fundamentals: What do you want to achieve? What are your goals? How do you think I can help you? How do you define success? How do you define failure? Where can we go together? Where can we end up on your journey? What would be a good outcome? Basics. Understanding their motivation. Looking at human needs is helpful. Is the coachee motivated by security or insecurity (adventure)? Do they feel significant, connected/loved?

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What if all of your sales team performed like the top 5%?

The other day I had the conversation with a sales leader about coaching their team in productivity, Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and general performance. This discussion came on the back of an executive leadership coaching discussion I had with the management team. In this case they just went through a big transformation of the company. The challenge was not very uncommon: the executive team and team leaders are either not trained in coaching their teams, or too busy. Time is a huge challenge for most of them. Transitions, mergers, acquisitions and general restructures affect the time they have to spend with their teams, and this ultimately has a negative impact on performance. Most team performances goes up, if the team lead spends regular time and carry out 1:1 with their teams. This way they identify blockers they can resolve, and help them on their journey, motivate them to do better. This is what I have found in my 15 years in sales and client services life. When I asked the question, what if all of your sales team performed like the top 5%, the eyes of the sales leader lit up. Imagine, she said, not only would we add 20% more

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