5 Gears: Interview with Jeremie Kubicek

I interviewed Jeremie Kubicek. Jeremie is a co-founder of  the GiANT companies. He is the creator of the Leadercast and former CEO over Catalyst conferences. His new book 5 Gears will be available September 8. At the end of the day Jeremie wants to be known as a leader worth following who was constantly fighting for the highest possible good for those he lead and love. Jeremie is giving away two copies of his book 5 Gears. (See the instructions below to enter to win the giveaway).

5 gears book

What inspired you to write 5 Gears?

When I was living in England, I was with my business partner Steve Cockcram and I started noticing our family dynamics between his family and my family and how we were leading. It was really a self-awareness exercise and my own tendencies to be disconnected to my family. I started noticing in him too. I was observing his life and my life and noticed I’m not being present and I’m constantly stuck in one gear. The whole metaphor came from me trying to explain what I saw in Steve Cockram and what I saw in my own life. I didn’t have other language but to use this metaphor of the 5 gears.  It all came out of personal weakness and personal awareness.

Can you tell us about the concept of 5 Gears?

5 Gears is a metaphor of a manual stick shift. It’s the idea of a car that most cars today are automatic but they shift for you. Looking for car-details services? Car detailing is simply a good washing and wax job. So, the concept of the 5 Gears is actually an emotional intelligence tool that realizes that most of the social awkwardness is people not shifting and knowing how to shift in the right time. So, they grind their gears, or it’s lurchy, or they stay in one gear the whole time. The metaphor is simply 5th gear being focused mode, 4th gear being task mode, 3rd gear being social mode, 2nd gear being connect mode, 1st gear being recharge mode. We need all of those gears. Yet most of us stay in one or two of them. When we stay in just one or two of them, they disconnect. They might be highly productive but they wear themselves out. The whole concept of 5 Gears is that, on one hand, it’s an emotional intelligence tool, but on the other hand, it’s also a work life balance tool – it teaches that work life balance isn’t about time but it’s about mindset – to learn how to be at the right gear at the right time.

Why do you think 5 Gears is important to leaders? Why should leaders care?

Every leader I know wants to be productive. Every leader I know really wants to connect with people and be present. So they want their cake and eat their tea, but they don’t know how. So what’s really interesting is the tool actually helps you learn how to be present and productive when there’s never enough time. For example, I reordered my entire world. Now, I have a new schedule. When I wake up in the morning, I don’t jump into email in the 4th gear. I do 1st gear. I recharge. Then, I do 2nd gear. I connect with my family. Then, after breakfast, I start 4th gear. Well, at the end of the day, I come home and I don’t stay in 4th gear. I created space 2nd gear connecting with my family. And then, I added in 4th gear for just 30 minutes or so. I end with recharge. So what I’ve done is that my family and I reordered our whole calendar around the gears and become automatic at it.

BONUS: To watch Jeremie’s free training on 5 Gears, click HERE

Can you tell a story someone you know who’s used 5 Gears and changed their lives?

Jeremie: There’s a HR director. She was always in 4th and 5th gear. She was dominated by e-mail. It controlled her life. This 4th gear plate spinning was wrecking her family. So, what happened to her is that she realized her husband was growing further and further apart, and she was also losing her kids – they weren’t listening to her. They started mimicking her acting like they were on the phone all the time. Then she realized because she was stuck on 4th and 5th gear all the time, she wasn’t connecting relationally or emotionally with anyone so she was losing them.

So she implemented the 5 gears into her life. She reset her schedule and calendar. She’s now ordered her email to be at a certain place and put boundaries around it. She’s been practicing 2nd gear with her husband and kids. In her words, “The 5 gears saved my marriage” and she wasn’t joking.

What are three books that have shaped you to be the leader you are today?

  • Humility by Andrew Murray. This book rocked my world because it caused me to look at pride and humility differently and caused me to take a hard stance on my own pride issues and my insecurities.
  • Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the World by Chris Lowney. What I loved about this book is these guys who were doing this amazing, big heroic goals but also they were living in humility and loving each other and building this super-hero group that big things in a humble way.
  • Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray. This is like part 2 of Humility. The main concept is that when you’re completely dead to yourself you can freely give yourself away and your influence will grow dramatically.

Question: Which gear do you need to work on?

How to Win a Free Copy of 5 Gears?

  1. Share this interview on your Facebook page.
  2. Answer the question above in the comment box.

(I’ll choose and announce the two winners by August 29th midnight!)