When you drive a car with a manual transmission, you quickly learn there is a right time and place for each gear. You start in 1st gear, then shift into 2nd gear, and so forth until you reach the highest gear. If you try to shift into the wrong gear, the car will grind or lurch – or cause lasting damage.
The same is true for the different modes of our lives, whether we are working or resting or connecting with others. To lead yourself well, and engage appropriately with those you lead, your day may need to begin 1st gear, after which you shift up into other gears. For the five gears of living and working, each has its own purpose and place. Recognizing that for yourself, creating boundaries that help you shift into appropriate gears, and helping others do the same will help you be more present in the moment, more productive, and more emotionally intelligent as you recognize when other people are in a different gear.
- 5th Gear: Get “In the Zone.” This is where we are fully focused, thinking strategically or working without interruption on an important task. Time flies by, you get things done, and progress is made.
- 4th Gear: Lead in a Task World. Most adults spend their day multi-tasking with phone calls, emails, chores, and more. Learning how to manage 4th gear correctly is key for maximum productivity.
- 3rd Gear: Be Social. Third Gear is all about being social and building friendships. It happens in coffee shops, at dinner parties, and other social gatherings, and it’s the secret ingredient in business that many people overlook.
- 2nd Gear: Connect Deeply. How often do you have deep, refreshing conversations? Do you really know how to be present with others?
- 1st Gear: Rest and Recharge. Most people struggle to truly recharge (not just crash). Learn how successful people take time to rest and recharge so they can give their families, teams, and friends their best.
- Reverse: Respond and Apologize. Most people struggle with backing up and apologizing. Reverse is all about owning your mistakes and moving forward in a healthy way.
JEREMIE KUBICEK is co-founder of GiANT Worldwide, a global leadership development company that focuses on transforming and multiplying leaders. He is a bestselling author of Making Your Leadership Come Alive (which we discussed in Engaging Leader episode 68) and speaker to organizations throughout the world on transformational leadership, emotional intelligence, and personal growth. Jeremie’s latest book is 5 GEARS: How to Be Present and Productive When There Is Never Enough Time.
- Book: 5 Gears: How to Be Present and Productive When There is Never Enough Time
- Twitter: @JeremieKubicek
- LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jeremiekubicek
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