Category: Motivation | Leadership

Posts related to motivation and leadership.

Ultimate Success?

As a big fan of coaching an particularly career coaching, I am currently listening to Anthony Robbins again.

In his session today he spoke about the ultimate formula for success. So of course I was very excited and want to share it with you:

1) Be clear of what you want to achieve and what outcome you want to have.

That really reminds me of one of the seven habits of highly effective people: Begin with the end in mind! And, it is so true. If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there. So be sure, whatever you want to achieve, that you set out to achieve a certain goal and outcome. Otherwise, you wouldn’t know when you have achieved it.

2) Take actions.

Again, this is one of the seven habits: be proactive. You will never achieve anything in life without being proactive, take initiative and lead from the front. Even as a sale executive, without picking up the phone and dialing the number to the client, you never get your sales. And, as a manager, you never be able to lead from the front or get anything done, without taking the necessary steps and action. “Stepping stones” come to mind: which actions do I have to take in order to meet my objectives. What are the mini-goals in between to achieve what I want?

3) Sensory acuity.

This ties in with the stepping stones. I referred to Sensory Acuity when writing about “turning passion into profits”. If you aren’t aware of yourself and what you are doing, how people perceive you and how you come across overall, then sensory acuity is very important. But also, as in my previous article, you can link certain music or smell up to for instance peak performance in order to boost your energy and performance level at a later stage by using music as an anchor. So sensory acuity can relate to a few things really.
Important is that you measure yourself against your goals. You need to be sure you are happy with the baby steps you are taking and it leads you in the right direction.

4) Change your approach.

Of course you should only change your approach if the first one is not working. Again, this is not rocket science but gives you an idea that you should not stop if your approach didn’t work. It is not about how you achieve things but that you do achieve them. And, from every time you fail, you learn more about what you want, what you can improve on next time and so on. Never give up!

I thought I feed in a video and came across Adam Khoo. I personally don’t like websites that promises you the secret recipe of becoming a millionaire, however the four steps of success are similar to the ones above.

A video however that goes with this post is about “unlock what is stopping you”:

Leadership Ideas – Ronald Heifetz

The other day in the FT weekend, 16/17 May (you see I am behind writing in my blog), I came across the key leadership ideas of Ronald Heifetz. I just thought it would be nice to share those with you. Maybe you have some input on that?

He defines Leadership as the activity of mobilising the community to tackle tough problems. That sounds like a good definition. Something very tangible, down to the point. Other definitions the FT summarises are:

Technical Problems: we already know the solution, it is just a matter of time and knowledge to come up with a solution
Adaptive Challenges: not a clear-cut solution where the “solution finder” needs to apply learning to come up with a solution
Equilibrium and disequilibrium: leaders, Heifetz says, need to balance stability and periods of stress or conflict. Adaptive change tends to require sustained periods of disequilibrium – it must be carefully paced. That means that you should try to pace between the ups and downs of any cycle. He refers to the pressure cooker metaphor
Work avoidance mechanisms: People fail to adapt because they want to resist change in terms of pain, anxiety or conflict that comes with engaging with a problem.
Holding Environment: “a holding environment is any relationship in which one party has the power to hold the attention of another in order to help them face up to their problems”. A classic example between a therapist and a patient

I hope you found this useful and found some food for thought on how to approach your next leadership challenge?

Turn your dreams into reality

If there is a dream, there is reality!

But let’s start at the beginning: Coaching is based on 3 supports.

1) Beliefs – challenge your limiting beliefs and reinforce supportive/positive ones!
2) Values – know your values and live them.
3) Goals – what do you want to achieve and how do you want to achieve it?

People say that goals are dreams with legs – they go somewhere. Or, you can put it differently, if you are dreaming to achieve something, then you can support this dream with actions and turn this dream into a reality, a goal. This goal becomes achievable when you are putting your efforts and beliefs behind it.

Coaching is based around goals. We all start in the here and now and have a reality check of our current life. What is our present state and what do we like or dislike about our current life. This could be the job, the love life, the amount of exercise we do etc. Check for the wheel of life to identify what you might want to change.

From there you define your goals and the desired state. This state is now your aim, your goal, something you need to put your mind to. As we say in NLP, now imagine you are already at your desired state and look back to your present state, how did you get there?

That might sound complicated, but if you want to cross a river, you can either think of building a bridge or you can imagine that you already crossed the river and look at the problem from the other side. You might discover a new way across, something you cannot see from your current perspective.


NLP uses that technique quite a lot. Put yourself in the corner of the room and watch yourself having this conversation or interview and evaluate yourself whilst doing so. Also, you can then watch the reaction of your opposite conversation partner and act / amend your conversation accordingly. This enables you to build stronger rapport and more effective conversations, communications and connections.

In regards to goal setting, always set positive goals. Move towards a positive goal rather than away from something negative. You don’t want to loose weight, as you focus on the weight. Focus on the healthy aspect and formulate your goal “I want to be fit and healthy”.

Also, be specific about your goals. That means it has to be measurable and reward yourself by achieving part of the goal. stepping stones are important. These stepping stones will provide you with the right feedback and you can see whether you are on track for your big goal.

And, whilst pursuing any dream, any goal, any stepping stone, think of the 3 coaching supports. Be true to your beliefs and values. Be cautious what some actions might mean to you and your environment. What costs are involved, what time etc.

By making an action plan and making sure that you have a can-do approach, you eventually will achieve your goals. If you need help defining them or setting stepping stones to reach your goals and turn your dreams into reality, please give Coach Volker a call.

Coaching yourself

Not too long ago I wrote about career coaching in a recession. Now, things have changed a bit and I am revisiting some great coaching resources. Also, I should expand on the time line on when the coaching in a recession is most useful.

The question if you are in a situation, like I was many years ago, where you thought that nothing would move forward and your whole life is in shambles, you decide to coach yourself. Similar to Baron von Muenchausen who pulled himself out of the swamp.


Ideally I have some partner coaches I work with at cb consulting but sometimes, for smaller things, and my own dream fulfillment, I work with myself a lot. You need to be your own coach and chose mentors to work with.

As a coach you are always a leader at the same time. Leadership consists of skill, knowledge and being able to provide examples. You just cannot coach people without identifying their problems, knowing what to do and giving examples of how other people have done it, or how things would be in a similar situation. So you become a role model for your clients by being a good coach and doing what you know and be the one you are.

This sounds a bit weird. Maybe I expand on this. If you know how to pull yourself out of the swamp like Muenchhausen, then you know how to pull other people out too. You need to be confident and do the same things that you would do with clients to yourself. And, when you build up the skills and knowledge, you are the example for your clients.

This is growing into the role of a coach. You live your values and become a role model to your clients.

You need to identify
– your identity: passion, vision, ethics and doing that by being curious and observing yourself
– relationships with others: be curious about them, build rapport and set the standard needed
– facts: understand the facts and be creative in your approach, building new models

Now, if we look at the above, I cannot help but thinking of my current job as a manager. I have been managing for quite some time, additional to my coaching – or vice versa if you like.
Being a good manager also means to be a good coach.

First you need to know where you stand and know what you want, represent, what your goals and objectives are and how you can fulfil your role. This is usually done during the decision making progress of choosing a new job. Once the job has been chosen, you identify your role in more detail and set up an action plan, targets, goals and objectives.

Secondly: you build rapport, relationship and be a role model for the people you manage. Set time aside each week, or every other week to discuss their role, their aims and their objectives. Make sure you understand what they want to achieve with their role, if they feel self confident in the role and how you can support them. Let them fail if you have to but don’t make them fail on purpose. Let them learn and give them guidance.

Thirdly keep yourself up to date. With your job, the industry, your contacts, your staff, staff morale, situations at work etc. Be the one you are and be informed about as much as possible. I am not referring to gossip but to a simple understanding of what is going on.

So from coaching yourself you can take the step to be a good manager and coach to your staff. A quality I find very essential for any manager. Develop your staff….but develop yourself first.

If you want more answers about coaching, please visit our website for Personal Development Coaching.


In this weekend’s FT I read about Richard Thaler who wrote a book called “Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness“. Of course I ordered it straight away.

Since I did not know who Richard Thaler was, I had a look. He is the Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioural Science and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Wow, what a title. He was advisor to Obama in his presidential campaign.
His book “Nudge” discusses how organizations can help to make better choices. The term “choice architect” was defined as someone who displays choice in a way for other people to chose, e.g. he uses the example of someone who writes out a school menu and depending on whether the healthy or unhealthy option is first, that “architect” influences the decision for lunch.

Below is a video I found of his presentation given at the RSA, the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, in London. Enjoy and please let me know what you think. I cannot wait to read his book!

cb consulting London

I have been asked over the last few days, what cb consulting really is? What am I doing as a marketing and management consultant?

It is both a playing field for SEO and web design but also my first own company. I founded it not short of 2 years ago to start selling some of my services, e.g. performance coaching, life coaching, career coaching, trainings and seminars, to some friends and corporates.

However, at that time and even now, I am still working full time to earn my living that way. And, I do not really want to change that or give up the security of my day job.

cb consulting really is a good way of showing off my skills and offering them to the greater world. I have excelled in helping people achieving their dreams, dream jobs and personal goals.

Also, I am about to start my first online marketing consulting project – keep your fingers crossed. Combining the right tools to reach the objectives.

Coaching is not always the easiest thing to do. You don’t really want to tell people what to do but be there for guidance and helping them to identify their own goals. Only if the goal has been clarified you can lay out the path for them with the client playing the mayor part. There is no use of a coach outlining any steps to a client if the client does not know where they are going.

Sometimes clients get set-backs. Getting them back on their feet, visualising their goals and get them to re-focus is a great challenge. Only who has been down and got himself up again understand how to it is to be on the floor, not knowing what to do and where to go.

Particularly in the recession career coaching becomes very important. So tune in and let me know how I can help you today?

Good Reading – Motivational Reading

As mentioned in a post a while back, I was reading Christopher Howard, Turning Passions into Profits. This book is a must read for anyone who likes to know what you can do with NLP.

This book is not for a novice to NLP who think that one could read this book and all your motivation comes true and you know NLP. However, for the experienced practitioner/master practitioner, this book gives a good example of case studies and how to use NLP in a “world context”. Almost too basic for the Master Practitioner it still gives a good overview and idea, or reminds you of topics you should reread, such as sensory acuity.

Me personally, I liked the book. Gives it great examples of sales and negotiation techniques based on NLP and other tools/techniques. The “wow” factor was there, the “I need to revisit that chapter” factor was there, so overall, a very good book to read.

I am sure you will find his websites useful too:

sensory acuity

Inspired by the book I am reading Turning Passions into Profit – 3 Steps to Wealth and Power and my NLP Master Practitioner with Sensory Systems in Glasgow, I revisited the term of “sensory acuity” today.

Christopher Howard writes about the importance of sensory acuity as people with outstanding communication skills are able to notice things in their sensory awareness that others do not. Being able to notice on all levels of senses gives you an advantage and the ability to notice things that most people don’t even realise exist. It will unlock your potential to create the results you desire in your interpersonal communication.

Which senses are we speaking about:

* sight – visual sense
* sound – auditory sense
* feelings – kinesthetic sense
* smell – olfactory sense
* taste – gustatory sense

And, what impressed me with Howard is that he differentiates, as a true NLP professional, between the inner and the outer world. Depending on our models we perceive the world differently. Being aware of the different senses and being able to read (and write) them, will make us better communicators.

NLP has the model of input (senses) that then “relate and compute” (pattern/map) into output (behaviour). We also add the “feed-forward”, a prediction what will happen in the world. And, all of that is put back into a feedback loop to how we perceive the world and being “sensory acute” about it.

Our internal voice is referred to as “audio digital” input rather than the audio sense, analog, of the external world.

How is that useful?

We can use those senses for goal setting by visualising an outcome and then put that picture in our head. And, it will feel good and you might want to imagine a certain smell, taste or music with it. You can talk to yourself as well and really get a goal into your head. A vision! This vision can be turned into a nice state of mind and something to look forward to. It will sink into your unconscious and your actions will be working towards that goal and objective.

Also, another example, would be if you remember a certain situation. Your last holiday on the beach? You remember the sound of the waves, the smell of the sea and the image….. Don’t you remember the good old time when you turn the radio on and they play a song that you have not heard for ages and it reminds you of your “wild days”?

Sweet memories 🙂