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5 Gears: How to Be Present and Productive When There is Never Enough Time

ISBN: 978-1-119-11115-3
240 pages
September 2015
5 Gears: How to Be Present and Productive When There is Never Enough Time (1119111153) cover image


Be present, connect more effectively, all while being as productive as possible
5 Gears: How to Be Present and Productive When There Is Never Enough Time teaches you to shift into the right gear at the right time so that you can grow in your relational intelligence and increase your influence. This revolutionary text introduces you to the five different gears, or mindsets, that carry you through various facets of your day. These include:

  • First gear—when you fully rest and recharge
  • Second gear—when you connect with family or friends without the involvement of work
  • Third gear—when you are socializing
  • Fourth gear—when you are working and multi-tasking
  • Fifth gear—when you are fully focused and 'in the zone,' working without interruption

Using these gears consistently allows you to bring a new level of relational intelligence to your life that offers a competitive advantage in our task-driven world.

All too often people go through life without truly connecting—and can, as a result, miss out on experiences and relationships that have the power to bring them great joy. By understanding how the five gears presented in this engaging book work, you can improve your ability to connect with the world around you.

  • Explore why some people stay disconnected from the people and events around them, and why others always seem to have a deep connection to their friends, family, and surroundings
  • Learn how to set triggers and markers that help you shift into the right gears at the right time, which will increase your relational dynamics and make you more productive
  • Create positive change in the dynamics of your relationships
  • Improve your respect and influence—and learn a sign language that, when used, can change your perspective and your world.

5 Gears: How to Be Present and Productive When There Is Never Enough Time is the perfect resource for anyone who wants to live and lead connected.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

SECTION ONE Connectivity 9

Chapter 1 Driving Too Fast 11

Chapter 2 Reality Check 23

SECTION TWO 5 Gears for Practical Connection 33

Chapter 3 Getting in Gear 35

Chapter 4 5th Gear—In the Zone 51

Chapter 5 4th Gear—Leading in a Task World 69

Chapter 6 3rd Gear—Why Being Social Matters 83

Chapter 7 2nd Gear—Connecting Deeply 97

Chapter 8 1st Gear—Learning to Recharge 113

Chapter 9 Reverse—Being Responsive in a Resistant World 131

Chapter 10 Ranking Your Gear Order 143

SECTION THREE Living and Leading Connected 155

Chapter 11 Master Your Settings—Right Time, Right Place 157

Chapter 12 Shifting Well—Learning How to Transition 169

Chapter 13 Intentional versus Accidental 183

Chapter 14 Making the U-Turn—Challenge and Plan 193

Chapter 15 What Is Your Story? 205

Transformational Leadership Resources 223

About GiANT Worldwide 225

Acknowledgments 227

Index 229

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Author Information

JEREMIE KUBICEK is co-founder of GiANT Worldwide and the GiANT companies. He is a bestselling author of Making Your Leadership Come Alive and speaker to organizations throughout the world on transformational leadership, emotional intelligence, and personal growth. He currently resides in Oklahoma City with his wife and three children.

STEVE COCKRAM is co-founder of GiANT Worldwide and a recognized expert on personality development, applied leadership learning and culture change with executive teams and organizations around the world. Steve is a soughtafter speaker and teacher on apprenticeship, personality development and team building. He resides in London with his wife and three children.

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“I think the idea of the ‘5 Gears’ is spot on and introducing the theory to the people you live and work with will help you to gain a better understanding of each other.” (Quality World, March 2016)
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Press Release

September 08, 2015
How to Be Present and Productive When There Is Never Enough Time

Sometime around the end of the 20th century, busyness became not just a way of life, but a badge of honor for most Americans.

In fact, the busier you are, the faster you work, the more you can multitask – the better. That is how our society now measures competence and success. If you’re busy, you’re important.  

Yet leadership experts Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram would argue we’re measuring the wrong thing. It’s not about how busy you are, but rather feeling present and productive in every aspect of your life. In their new book, 5 GEARS: HOW TO BE PRESENT AND PRODUCTIVE WHEN THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME (Wiley; hardcover; September 8) they present a revolutionary method to not only grow your relational intelligence, but increase your daily impact as well.   

Relational intelligence is a social skill, but it focuses specifically on learning and understanding how we engage in our relationships. And according to the authors, the key to doing it well is being able to shift into the right gear or mindset at the right time. The 5 Gears metaphor is based on a manual stick-shift transmission, with each gear correlating to a corresponding behavior that people shift into at certain times and with certain people. Each gear has a purpose, and if you apply this driving analogy to the way you “drive” your life – aligning the right gear with the right speed and situation – it will allow for a smooth journey.   

The 5 Gears are:

  • 5th: You are fully focused and in the zone, working without interruption. This gear is personal; it’s where we shift when we need to work on our own, think strategically, or be singularly productive with one task. 
  • 4th: This is the work gear. You are checking off your to-do list and often multitasking. Most people spend their work day in this gear.
  • 3rd: Time to socialize. This is the gear for being present in social spaces with a variety of different people. This can often be related to work, such as a networking event.
  • 2nd: Take time to connect with family and friends without an agenda or pressure to work/be productive. 
  • 1st: This is your time to fully rest and recharge. Crashing doesn’t count and recharging does not happen the same way for everyone.   

Your gear order is strategically important to your life. You need to understand the tendencies of where you spend your time or in what gears you tend to get stuck in as well as those that are harder for you to experience. “By understanding how the five gears work,” write Kubicek and Cockram, “You can improve your ability to connect with the world around you. All too often people go through life without truly knowing how to connect, and as a result, miss out on experiences and relationships.”

5 GEARS is the definitive primer on boosting your emotional intelligence, and readers will come away speaking a new language. The authors take a complex issue and make it simple for anyone to understand and implement. You’re not too busy to make a change – it’s time to be intentional about the way you live and work in the world.   

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