Finding Your Way out of Maintenance Mode

Yesterday I wrote about the dangers of falling into maintenance mode.  All of us have found ourselves in that place where we’ve lost our passion, energy or vision.  So here are a few questions to help assess what cause us to drift into maintenance mode and some suggestions for finding our way out.

  1. Is it a spiritual issue?  You may be stuck because you’re simply not hearing anything new from God.  He led you to the place you are currently serving and when you first arrived you had vision, momentum and inspiration.  What do you need to do to get a fresh word from God again?
  2. Is it a physical issue?  If you’re tired, stressed and unable to sleep then your maintenance mode problem may be from a lack of eating right and exercise.  It’s difficult to build organizational momentum when you don’t have the physical energy to move things forward.  A lifestyle change rather than a diet is the best solution. 
  3. Is it a mental issue?  I was talking with a friend recently who told me, “I’ve gotten lazy mentally, I’m no longer on the cutting edge, I’m not reading, watching others, or learning.”  Mental laziness can lead to a lack of creativity and innovation.  Practice exposing your mind to something stimulating every week to keep your thinking sharp. 
  4. Is it an emotional issue?  Sometimes as leaders we run so hard and fast that we get emotionally drained and it’s all we can do to maintain our baseline responsibilities.   Practice the weekly discipline of taking a day off.  This time of rest and recovery will keep you emotionally filled and fuel your creative energies.
  5. Is it a relational issue?  There are times we allow others to drag us into maintenance mode.  Make sure you have people around you that challenge you, stretch your thinking and dream about future possibilities with you.  And on the flip side make sure you’re not spending too much time with people that drain you.

Which of the issues above tend to throw you into maintenance mode?  Which of the areas do you need to work on this week to keep youself sharp?

When Leaders Fall into Maintenance Mode

Are you living with a high sense of momentum or have you fallen into maintenance mode? 

In the world of software development programmers use the term maintenance mode to refer to that time which a program is considered to be complete and further development is unnecessary.   There have been times I’ve found myself at this point, not because I consider myself complete, but because I’ve lost my energy, passion or vision.  While maintenance mode is a good thing for a computer program, it’s a dangerous thing for a leader or an organization. 

When a leader hits maintenance mode he suffers from  boredom, feels unchallenged, let’s opportunities pass him by, settles for good enough, speaks less frequently about the vision, no longer carries a passionate energy and worst of all he stops looking for God sized things to happen.   If you stay there to long it has a negative impact on your organization.  Here are five common dangers when a leader gets stuck in maintenance mode

  • It breeds a spirit of complacency among other team members
  • It causes the organization to miss prime opportunities
  • It kills creativity and innovation
  • It causes others to settle for mediocrity
  • It reduces fresh movements from the hand of God
  • It brings growth to a halt

Do you see signs of maintenance mode in your leadership?  What do you need to do this week to stir a fresh momentum and movement of God?  If you could see God do one thing in your life or ministry over the next 30 days what would it be?