Archive for October 30, 2014

The Five Leadership Gears: Choose Yours Wisely!

In the midst of our busy lives, we can sometimes find ourselves trying to balance more responsibilities than we know what to do with! But sometimes our biggest challenge lies not with our to-do lists, but with how we choose to process them, and how we engage with the leaders around us.

TeamTRI’s Ryan and Carrie Underwood introduced the following framework to help us consciously choose our “Leadership Gear”. “Choose Your Gear” was developed by GiANT Worldwide to help leaders develop a more intentional mindset and common language. There are five gears:

  • First gear: Totally unplugged. This is the gear you engage when you’re resting your brain and engaging in personal time. You could be reading a book or heading for a jog, but this time is solely dedicated to recharging your batteries.
  • Second gear: Rest mode. In this gear, you’re still primarily devoted to your own needs, but with the added potential element of loved ones around you. The key is to totally unplug from social media or the Internet and spend some quality time with those who are most important to you.
  • Third gear: Social mode. This is the intermediate mode between work and rest. You’re plugged into the world around you, socializing, and ready to shift toward work or rest depending on what the moment dictates. Think of this as chatting around the water cooler at your job – you’re plugged in, but not yet in full “work” mode.
  • Fourth gear: Basic work mode. In this mode, you’ve started to shift toward work, but your attention is engaged with simple, automatic tasks, such as checking emails, scanning receipts, or doing something else that doesn’t require full brainpower. These are the tasks we engage in when work needs to get done, but we’re not yet ready to fully engage all of our energy. You are working, but you are available to the world around you.
  • Fifth gear: Full work mode. In this gear, you’re fully engaged with what needs to be done RIGHT NOW. Socialization or menial tasks tend to just be a distraction at this level, as you dedicate all of your attention to getting a big task accomplished. This is where the most work gets done, but you can’t hang out here endlessly or you will burn yourself out quickly.

In all of these modes, it’s important to recognize where you are, what you need, and how it’s impacting those around you. The final gear for leaders is “Reverse”. Don’t be afraid to engage your brain in Responsive Mode – sometimes going forward so quickly can get you off track, and you may need to “back up” and see how your actions have impacted others, own the consequences, and identify strategies for addressing these issues.

Be sure to be intentional about which gear you’re putting your brain in, and communicate when you’re in different gears with others to help manage your world. To be really successful with this concept, it’s critical to not just understand these concepts but implement these ideas into your own “Leader Language” that you share with others. Happy driving!

Source Credit:  Thanks to liberating leaders at GiANT Worldwide who are the executive leadership mentors for our TeamTRI leaders. @JeremieKubicek, @SteveCockram and their team are transforming leadership culture across the world by sharing their wisdom and equipping leaders with valuable tools like the 5 Gears.

Image Credit: