Have you ever felt like you were treading water, or maybe just floating? You are active, maybe even busy, and you are likely meeting all of your commitments, but you aren’t making any progress, not making any new progress. Several years ago my sister-in-law Kara stated this as being in maintenance mode. The description seemed appropriate to me then, and it does to me now too.
Sometimes people use time of the year as their reason for being in maintenance mode, “well, everyone is on vacation now,” or “I can’t do much until the kids are back in school,” might be a couple you might hear this time of the year. But these reasons, both seasonal and personal exist all around us, and they are keeping us from achieving what we could, and keeping our organizations from making the kinds of differences they are capable of.
It is like maintaining a house. If we are in maintenance mode things don’t fall into disrepair, but you are doing any remodelling or landscaping either. Maintenance requires some energy, but seldom creates any new energy. Have you ever been there?
As I think about it, I think this is where many people spend their whole lives. They don’t set any goals, they don’t stretch themselves. They simply stay in maintenance mode. A fifty year old house that has been maintained will have out dated bathrooms, paint and appliances – it may be functional, but it won’t be highly attractive.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be attractive. I want to be vibrant, alive and full of energy. Perhaps it its ok to be in a maintenance mode for a bit (other people’s vacations or the extreme heat are realities, I know). Here, though are some things you can do to move past maintenance. These will all help your team or organization as much as they will help you. As usual, as a leader, when you go first, you improve the chances for others to follow.
1. Review your goals. When you review your goals it brings renewed purpose and energy. When was the last time you or your team reviewed your goals?