Posts Tagged Motivation | Leadership

Sunday Column (468)

This week’s post is written on a keyboard I still need to come to terms with: My new MacBook Pro. Since Southern Rail reimbursed me my travel card, I could justify the hefty price tag to get a new laptop. It sounds crazy but the MacBook or the MacBook Air just don’t have enough power to really justify any investment past 1K. So the MacBook Pro, without the fancy touch bar, seems like the only reasonable machine out there if you want to buy an Apple. And I am overall quite happy with it. The keyboard, as said, needs getting used to, the touchpad too but you already know it is better than the old one on the Air, and definitely is similar to the external one; and last but not least, the display is amazing. Particularly compared to the Air. However, as friends warned me, connecting it to my 10 year old Dell screen, just doesn’t cut it. It feels like the Dell is fading, and I prefer to do the main work on the Retina display. Maybe there is another investment coming soon.

First world problems I suppose. On that note, Arnold Schwarzenegger was very outspoken this week about climate change and someone in a podcast said that we are the first generation that actually has enough data to make an informed decision. And, we cannot ignore the fact the world is changing. Minus degrees, snow, it being cold and the fire is on, cosy nights with wine. The next day T-shirt weather and rain, it being around 10 degrees. No, this isn’t normal, and I don’t need to be a meteorologist to figure that one out. What to do? I am still thinking of how I can contribute to the greater good moving forward.

A friend of mine had a website a few years ago about connecting dots. And Steve Jobs is most famous for saying you connect those dots looking back, even if looking forward we can’t see it yet. And it is Anthony Robbins who said that the brain is wired to avoid fear, because that’s how it was millions of years ago. There is history and if we look back, we cannot predict the future – still. But with climate change we can say: it is real!

I figured, sometimes in life we just need to sit still and listen. We need to connect with friends and family, new people and get input. And based on the input we get, we redefine our lives. We all do that, all the time. However, doing it consciously, and deliberately reviewing your life’s purpose, is something else. That’s what I have been doing over the last few weeks, since I took redundancy. I am open about it, because I am wired to talk, to write, to share thoughts. I am not wired to be a great motivational speaker on a stage, as my background is very scientifically grounded. Of course, one doesn’t exclude the other. What I am trying to say is that what I like to produce is profound, which is why I was successful in my sales career: no BS. Ever. Win/Win. Always. And the input this week was as good as last week, maybe a complete different directions. That’s what I call a growth mindset, and I am keen on not doing anything for a few days over Christmas.

This feels like a year end post already. Despite being a bit put off by ‘my’ digital industry, I cannot stay away. Having been at a few Christmas drinks this week, it is so great to see people from the industry I have known for years. That is fun and continues next week, with even more and closer friends. The industry is part of me, and I am part of it. I love technology, and particularly technology pushing boundaries and being in a position to improve the ecosystem and deficicies. My tasks got bigger from selling ads to influencing the way we see the ecosystem and how we approach it. Things are changing. I am changing. And some of the tech I have been speaking about over the past few weeks has been amazing.

I am also deep into personal development and change. Not only in theory with my book about productivity and articles on growth mindsets that I write and that resonate well, but also the application of this on a daily basis. Being one of the few that never struggle with their workloads and emails for instance. It’s about getting things done and putting out more than others at higher quality. But at the same time looking at your balance and work culture for your team. This is difficult when we look at value creation versus hours worked. Quantity vs. Quality. Another discussion this week.

So I have been thinking on how to best combine the two things. In the New Year I will make a few personal announcements. I plan to launch a few things that are more personal development related, that fuel my passion and hopefully your interest in the personal development space. And the main thought for me: focusing on Europe, rather than the US. There is a lot of good influence coming from the US, but I believe we need more focus on what’s happening in our world. Things we can apply to what’s in front of us. There is a lot of great stuff coming from the US and I love those motivational gurus and ideas, but the market is so different to Europe, to the UK. Size and scale are only a small part of it, culture is another.

On the other hand I will continue to focus on changing the world, changing the ecosystem we are living in from a digital and technology perspective. Helping others to understand what’s happening and how to be back in control. Being able to change the world, maybe, and even if it is a little bit at a time.

As Christmas is around the corner things are slowing down. Decision making is almost coming to a stand still. I have taken more online courses and made first decisions. I will disclose at the appropriate times but two projects are secured. Both are, so far, unfunded, e.g. freelance without pay. That is ok though, as there are thoughts behind it. I keep you posted. You, my friends, will be the first to know about my new endeavours and ideas. No, they aren’t related to climate change but there is no reason they won’t be moving forward. One just doesn’t know, do you?

Just finishing the week, we went to the Brighton game on Saturday. I wanted to go back for over a year, when I first took the boys to a football match. And my first one too. So this time my wife joined and we had a great family time. My youngest missed out on his best friend’s birthday party in favour of the game. Creating those experiences are fun, and then it doesn’t matter whether you win or loose. To be there, engage fully, and being part of something, that is key and much more valuable than winning or losing.

Have a great Christmas. Wind down, give your loved ones a hug and make sure you stay warm and safe.

All the best,
Volker

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Thursday Flash (25)

Flash….

The One Morning Habit to Break to Create More Time in Your Day – have you thought about getting up early? And enjoy the moment rather than the moment or phone controlling you. Stop to smell the roses I say. Nothing is more satisfying to watch your kids sleeping.

Management and Emotions – I wrote my Master Thesis on Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Showing emotions as a manager isn’t a bad thing. We are all humans, and I believe that honesty paired with real emotions, no fakeness, gets you a lot further than stabbing people in the back.

Willpower and motivation are key to success. Being able to focus on the most important task first and having the mindset to stick to it, is super important.

Did you enjoy the Flash?

Please forward it!

Thanks,
Volker

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Sunday Column (233)

Thank you.

Thank you first of all for your compliments and the visits and comments on my post about the job hunt. A lot of people felt for me, had similar experience, and were astonished how open and honest I was describing my feelings and experiences. It could happen to you. Why not talk about it?

Thank you for your support. All of you!

I am humbled. When I started this blog, I wanted to write about productivity and coaching. I tried different topics but ended up writing about me, my life and my feelings. I am happy it resonates with you. I am happy that you are finding it useful. This means a lot to me!

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This week saw me returning to work. Start-up. Technology. Media. Lots to do, prioritisation, focus and energy needed. I got it. Making it back to my 5 am exercise routine, my Rotary meetings and new projects. The company is called Adizio. The first week felt like I have been there for ages already. Just imagine me in a few months 😉

Also there is a book I read about personal development: What got you here won’t get you there. Last but not least my involvement with the advisory board for ad:tech and iMedia. Both events which I supported over the years (not least launched ad:tech in Germany many years ago), and events that will be getting more popular again and delivering on what the industry wants. Watch this space!

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Often people ask me where I take the time from to write my posts, do all of what I am doing and more. I sleep but not more than six hours really. I have two hours train journey each day to GTD (Getting Things Done), and I can be very disciplined. I have drive. I want to get somewhere.

What am I aiming for? I guess I want to change the world. A bit at a time. I would like to make the famous dent into the universe of which Steve Jobs spoke. Things grow over my head too. But I am learning to focus more. I like pushing myself, and the recent break helped me to reflect. And for my job? I want to make RTB mainstream and transparent, away from ‘black magic and hidden margins’. Oh yes, I am motivated 🙂

Anyway, it is weekend, and time to spend as much time as possible with my boys. A night in the tent is planned. Not being able to see them in the week make weekends even more precious. Particularly if they are long ones. I can now properly focus on them. No worries about jobs. No worries but the boys and the wife!

Enough said. I hope you had a great weekend, and hope you spend some quality time with some loved ones too. We had great fun, and ….

….don’t forget, we ain’t back to work until Tuesday 🙂

Cheers,
Volker

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Dream

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Happiness in Life

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Sunday Column (216)

This is a post about change. The last week has been a lot about change.
We are living in times of change. We are living in times where the individual and the organisation need to find a common ground. If this isn’t there, we have to make decisions. Simple. Sometimes for the worse, sometimes for the better.

I recently have spend a lot of time looking at business principles, spirituality and business and how we can improve ourselves, others and the environment we live in. I am passionate about that stuff and feel I have a duty of care. I am still getting sentimental when my almost four year old gives me a cuddle. I feel his love and be able to share my feelings with him. In those moments, and of course the same is true for his younger brother, I am truly happy and content.

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It is the love and mutual understanding we have. It is peaceful and happy. We have discussions sometimes when I don’t like what they do and they don’t like something I do, but overall we are getting along fine. That is worth a lot to me. I guess it is the same with any long term partnership, like my marriage for instance.

Life is a funny one as it comes up with surprises and it hits you hard. I remember losing a job due to the recession back in 2009 just before my first child was born, shortly after I got a new mortgage. You grow stronger through that and learn. You become calmer in the storm and you bring things back to its roots, to grow stronger and bigger.

When people lose loved ones, they either get miserable or raise to the challenge. As Anthony Robbins says, you either change out of desperation or inspiration. There are very inspirational people out there. I remember watching a video of a father who, because his disabled child (in a wheelchair) wanted to run a marathon, started training to run a marathon pushing her wheelchair. These things are amazing and are born out of the given opportunities. Opportunities presenting themselves in life for a good or bad reason, and the key is to raise to the challenge and to not give up.

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This week I spoke at a conference about the use of data and about how to use, analyse and utilise data to make decisions more effective and efficient. I love that stuff and that it seems to get more mobile focused and video/connected TV focused. The omni channel approach comes to life whilst each channel gets a new meaning by itself. Loving it 🙂

On Saturday I attended a free (sales) seminar by Anthony Robbin’s crew, Harry Singha, about unleashing the power from within. I might have not learned any new techniques but I did learn a lot and recapped a lot on what’s happening in our minds. How I can program my or someone else’s mind in order to help him/her or myself. Power is magic. I definitely want to spend some time learning more about it all. I know it a lot but on the other hand I need to analyse, refine and optimise.

This will be all for this week. Have a great week, start into May, and let me know what you think.

Best wishes,
Volker

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Video from RSAorg about Motivation. Must see!

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Inspirational Thought: Score the goal!

In life, as in football, you won’t go far unless you know where the goalposts are. ~ Arnold H. Glasgow

You know I am not a big sports or football fan. Particularly not the latter. However, I do enjoy a good game of Basketball, watch some American Football or Rugby. Yet, mainly on twitter, I re-tweet a lot of motivational quotes related to sports.

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there. You need the direction to focus your energy and map out your path.
If you don’t know where you are going, you at least should have some side lines where not to go, e.g. not to fall off the edge of the world.

Goalposts: they will help you to stay on your path, focus on what you like to achieve, and by doing so, score!

Simple, isn’t it?

Stay focused.

Have a good day,
Volker

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Sunday Column (207)

Here we go. Another week.
It started somewhat on Sunday night when I indulged myself in a movie. Killer Elites.

Just the kind of movie I enjoy watching. I haven’t really done that for a while. We watch movies on a regular basis but normally a compromise between what I like to watch and what my wife likes to watch. She did something else on Sunday night, so I had the TV all to myself 🙂

Anyway, I got some relaxing times with the boys last weekend too which was good as the week prior to that had been busy. Monday I started back at work with a conference about mobile marketing. This then triggered a post about the state of the industry which will be published in March. We came a long way in the last three years.

I have then been publishing those motivational quotes and put some on my own website. I am hooked on motivational quotes and videos that push you over the edge. Or at least they should. They should motivate you, show you the real tests in life and motivate you to do what you like to do. Even my wife got one as a background picture on her phone now, and I am thinking of printing a few to put them in the garage. Sad us 😉

As I mentioned on my Monday post, I am in a very lucky position. I do what I always wanted to do, enjoy what I am doing and I am passionate about it too. Probably I am closest to be the luckiest person on the planet. But I am grinding. I cannot stop. I have an inner urge and an inner need to grow. And I will.

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Most of those videos/quotes are about the happiness and purpose of life. About doing what you enjoy most rather than following the honey trap which they call “money”. Money won’t make you happy. It helps but even if you had all the money in the world, you wouldn’t be a better, wiser or more successful person. Neither would you be happy. Don’t get me wrong, I am money motivated but not only. I can see beyond the first attraction.

I guess that is where one struggles. Watching the last episode of “Africa” by Attenborough made me think once again. Africa being the birthplace of mankind, an ever growing population and an ever growing amount of wildlife that gets extinct. The last continent with life as it existed millions of years ago and we are about to destroy it. As we have done it in other parts of the world.

We sometimes have to think of the bigger picture. Is life about a paycheck this month or about what difference I can make to save the world, someone’s life or how I can help the old lady across the road. Again, the paycheck is important. Everyone has to start somewhere. I am not a believer in God myself, despite believing in a spiritual being, but if you are, thank him for every day you got. Make sure you make the most of it and that you are a good human being. That is what it is all about. If alongside that you can found a family, be good to others, put others’ welfare above yours and make some money, make it a career even, join a few charitable organizations, then I’d call that an alright life.

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Is it asking for too much if I want more than that? I want it all. One step at a time though. Prioritizing is important. If I won the lottery….but I haven’t, and probably I never will. Nevertheless, I want to be awesome, motivated, be coached, coaching, healthy, fit, rich, member of a few groups……wow wow wow. I don’t wanna stop. I want to reach for the stars.

And I will.
A bit at a time.

If you don’t have those (or other) goals, you are not reaching for something. At least not in my opinion. I couldn’t just get up every day, sit at a desk for 7.5 hours, go home watch TV, and do that for the rest of my life. I just couldn’t. You should aim to have three things you want to achieve each day. If that is to make someone smile, win a new piece of business (or a step towards that), or really help someone out – that is up to you.

But I enjoy what I am doing. Even I have limitations: for instance I couldn’t exercise this week due to shin pain. I have a cold. My MIL is around. I got more lie ins. The kids didn’t sleep. I didn’t sleep much at night. I had too much drink.

I am alive though. My heart is beating and telling me that I move forward. My head made huge progress on a project this week, and I had a fantastic catch up with some folk this week too. Actually if I try to put all the things where I think I made a step forward on one side of the scale, then there is no way the negative things will weigh it up at all. They just wouldn’t. And, somewhat I believe they never will.

But maybe that is for another time. Another sentimental post. Time to go back and play with the kids. It got cold outside. Our fridge broke. Our hoover broke. But that all doesn’t matter as this moment I will turn off the computer and spend time with my boys. No matter what.

Get onto your dreams. Don’t waste time.
Carpe Diem. Simple.

Best wishes,
Volker

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Another Mantra

As you know I love Mantras. Quotes that I recite and try to memorise as they help me perform at my best.

“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.”
— James Michener

You gotta live your vision, your passion and pursue your happiness.

I read the Seed recently. It is about a boy who wasn’t very motivated at work. He got given 2 weeks off by his boss to decide whether he wanted to continue or not. He found mentors, signs and followed his heart. He went back to the place he was happiest.

At the end he planted his seed in the place that offered him growth. That is where he is today.

Have a great week everyone!

Plant your seed and get motivated!

Best wishes,
Volker

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