5 Gears Summary By Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram

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In 5 Gears (2015), author Jeremie Kubicek dives into the idea of how to adjust your attitude and mindset depending on the situation.

The book explains how you can use different gears, such as shifting from positive to negative or focused to creative, in order to make sure that you are both productive and successful at work, as well as having strong relationships with your family and friends.

Kubicek shows readers how to properly change up their attitude in order to maximize their time management and get the most out of every moment.

As opposed to other techniques which focus mainly on time management, this book takes into account the principle and application of each gear so that readers find it easier to apply themselves in various areas of life.

All in all, 5 Gears is a narrative-style book that provides practical advice for achieving better balance between work and personal aspirations.

5 Gears Summary

Book Name: 5 Gears (How to Be Present and Productive When There's Never Enough Time)

Author(s): Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram

Rating: 4.3/5

Reading Time: 20 Minutes

Categories: Productivity

Author Bio

Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram are the dynamic duo behind 5 Gears, a book about leadership and managing your time more effectively.

These two co-founders of GiANT Worldwide have been recognized as individuals who bring fresh perspectives to organizational thinking.

Both of them are experienced authors, having written several books on leadership and facilitation including The Leadership Protect, Hug Your Haters, and Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making.

And with 5 Gears, they are able to bring all their expertise together in one place.

So if you're looking for advice on how to lead more efficiently or want great tips on how to manage your time better – this book is definitely worth a read!

Become Fully Connected to Your Life and Drive in the Right Gear With 5 Gears

Become Fully Connected to Your Life

In order to be present at every part of your day and make the most out of it, Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram propose the concept of 5 Gears.

This includes various speeds from slow when you start and stop your engine to full-speed cruising down the freeway.

These different gears allow you to properly examine each situation and decide which is the best gear for it.

By implementing 5 Gears into your everyday routine, you can stay fully connected with all parts of your lives and have more control over your day.

It also helps ensure that you’re paying attention to important moments such as time for yourself or time with the family.

Additionally, throughout their book ‘5 Gears’, Jeremie Kubicek & Steve Cockram demonstrate how implementing this concept can bring unexpected opportunities; such as learning lessons from a 70’s three-wheeled British car or gaining insight through an unusual wrestling match.

So if you strive towards presence in all activities of life, aim for those five gears!

How to Find the Right Speed for Your Life with the 5 Gears Model

When it comes to avoiding disconnection from those around us, it’s important to realize that we need to use the right “gear” for each situation.

This is particularly true when it comes to work-life balance – if you’re constantly in fifth gear at home, you’ll end up alienating friends and family who don’t understand why you’re so preoccupied.

Jeremie Kubicek experienced this disconnect firsthand when his wife was so exasperated by the fact that he was always late for dinner, thanks to him thinking about office paperwork instead of being present with her.

This prompted him and Steve Cockram to develop the concept of 5 Gears: individual recharge (first gear), connecting deeply with loved ones (second gear), casual socializing (third gear), working/getting multiple tasks done (fourth gear), and fully focusing on a single project (fifth gear).

Each of these gears have their benefits and drawbacks; you need to learn when to shift between them in order to remain connected with others while still getting things done.

At its core, using the right 5 Gears helps us stay aware of our environment and find balance between tasks, people, and activities.

By changing our speed, understanding when a specific task requires quick completion or deeper conversations, we’ll foster healthier relationships with those around us whilst still having enough time for ourselves.

How to Use Fifth Gear for Maximum Productivity Without Sacrificing Focus or Opportunities

Maximum Productivity

Fifth gear is great for getting something specific done, allowing you to focus and operate at peak efficiency.

We can see this with Andrew from Ford who uses fifth gear throughout the day in order to get important tasks completed.

However, there is a downside with this focus, in that you can miss out on opportunities which require constant communication and attentiveness.

For example, a funny video of a kiss-cam incident shows how the man was so focused on the basketball game that he missed his date’s affectionate gesture!

Andrew similarly found that operating an ‘open door policy’ meant that he had trouble giving people his full attention when he was in fifth gear.

Therefore, it’s important to understand when to use fifth gear – schedule times when you’re in high gear and let people know they’ll have to wait; as well as when to detach yourself from distractions and remain open to other interactions.

The Benefits of Balancing the 5 Gears: Use Fourth Gear Strategically to Get Things Done Productively and Avoid Burnout

Fourth gear is a real powerhouse when it comes to taking action and getting things done but it’s easy to overdo it.

85 percent of the leaders surveyed by the authors say that fourth gear is their most commonly used gear, meaning that many people are defaulting to it for day-to-day tasks.

Unfortunately, the more time spent in this gear, the bigger your to-do list grows and the less time you take for yourself.

That can eventually lead to burnout if not managed properly – in fact, one of the author’s clients Joe Hill from Minnesota found himself very close to premature death from blood clots due to overdoing fourth gear!

The lesson here then is balance – sports teams don’t run straight onto the field without warming up properly first and they don’t just rush off after without cooling down at the end either.

Similarly, while fourth gear is vital for tackling tasks during your day, you need to make sure that you’re stepping out of it enough as well so that you can rest and refuel afterwards.

The Importance of Taking the Time to Get to Know People in Third Gear


Third gear can be incredibly important for building relationships, both personal and professional, but many people find it difficult to entertain others’ interests.

This is because when you’re in third gear, there’s often a diverse range of interests among the people you socialize with.

While this can be fun sometimes, if you’re not up for engaging in conversations about topics that are completely different from yours, it can become overwhelming.

Companies understand this importance of engaging in third-gear networking and use activities such as lunch or golf outings to get to know clients better and ascertain whether they want to work together by shifting into fourth gear.

The authors of 5 Gears explain how curiosity is key when engaging with new people in third gear; a little bit curiosity regarding their interests can lead to brand new opportunities and increased influence.

For example, Kubicek asked an unassuming leader what his passions were and ended up at a wrestling event later that day!

This anecdote shows how taking the time to really listen to someone else’s passions can open up unexpected possibilities and create new connections.

The Importance of Shifting to Second Gear in Relationships

Second gear is essential for cementing meaningful relationships, but too often it’s ignored or forced at inappropriate times.

Take Debbie Corea, a senior associate from the authors’ company based in Phoenix.

Despite having her family around her, much of the time spent together was occupied by her phone, preventing them from truly connecting with each other.

When you’re spending time with someone close to you, being present and engaged in the conversation is key when it comes to forming strong bonds.

For second gear to work effectively however, both parties need to be on board; if one person comes to you expecting second-gear conversations but you’re not present as well, then all that time and effort will have been wasted.

Tom Nebel used to find himself tempted by his phone while he was trying to spend quality time with his son.

To overcome this issue they devised an agreement where they would turn off their phones and commit fully to each other.

In this case it’s like two cowboys putting away their guns before entering a saloon – no fights allowed!

Recharge With First Gear in Mind for Optimal Performance in All Your Other Gears


In the book “Five Gears,” first gear is centered around personal recharge as a prerequisite to your daily activities.

It is essential that you spend some time in first gear if you want to be present and energized for whatever it is you will do next.

Without proper energy from first gear, all your other gears cannot function properly and you may find yourself running on empty before long!

First gear isn’t one-size-fits-all – each individual has to determine the best way for them to recharge.

This might be running alone for those who are more introverted, reading novels or pursuing hobbies for inspiration, or talking with someone in second gear for extroverts.

Whatever it is that works best for you, it’s important to try and fit it into both your morning and evening routines so that all of your gears can keep running smoothly throughout the day.

At its core, first gear is about self-care and making sure that we are taking the time to properly recharge and care for ourselves so that our other gears won’t run out of juice.

Reversing in Life: Apologize, Reflect and Learn from Mistakes for Responsive Living

Apologizing in reverse gear is important for maintaining respect and influence, but needs to be done sincerely.

That’s the takeaway from 5 Gears, a book that explores how to best utilize the gears at our disposal to make meaningful changes in our lives.

The idea of using reverse gear is quite similar to that of a three-wheeled car—the Reliant Robin—which had no reverse gear, thus struggling forward even when it was a bad idea.

Just like the car, if you don’t know how to use your reverse gear (in this case apologizing), you won’t be living a very nimble life.

This can mean either being responsive or resistant and it has an effect on how others view and treat you.

Responsible people own up to their mistakes by reversing and making amends, rather than passing blame or becoming resistant by deepening each mistake they make.

Such people are also much easier to work with because they can easily change direction and try to resolve conflicts rather than avoiding them.

Use Your Gearbox to Reach Maximum Presence in Every Part of Your Day

Part of Your Day

Using the 5 Gears requires practice and self-awareness, always applying the right gear to the situation.

This means being aware of which of the five circles you’re in – Self, Family, Team, Organization, or Community – and using that knowledge to decide which gear is best suited for it.

For instance, if you’re with your family you’ll need to use more second and third gear than if you’re on your own.

If you’re conscious enough to know when each of these contexts arises and make sure that you switch gears effectively depending on the context, then you can be sure that you will be better able to get into the correct headspace for every single situation.

To increase your ability to recognize these different contexts and apply an appropriate gear to them, it’s important that you take stock of how much time (and in which gears) you spend doing different activities.

The authors even provide a method for this – firstly assess in which gears your actions are ranked from most used to least used (Call).

Then think about how it needs adjusting (Own), come up with a plan on how to adjust it (Respond), followed by actually executing it (Execute).

Only by understanding yourself can you understand what’s needed for the people around you.

With conscious effort and dedication, utilizing all five of your gears will become second nature!

Wrap Up

The fifth gear is the ultimate takeaway of the 5 Gears Book.

The book teaches us that in order to be truly present in each part of our life, we must learn when and how to identify which gears are appropriate for each task.

From first gear – taking time for yourself, all the way to fifth gear – focus and dedication – it’s essential to use the right gear at the right time.

The actionable advice from this book is simple: incorporate this language into your office or home.

By introducing the concept of 5 Gears, individuals can easily understand when it’s necessary to switch gears, allowing everyone to stay on track despite different goals and motivations.

So keep up with your work, socialize with your friends, spend quality time with family members and find moments for yourself all while being mindful of which gears you’re using along the way!

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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