When I was a head honcho at MCInc, my partner and I were constantly grappling with our company’s “Modus Operandi,” or two distinct operating states: “Maintenance & Growth.” It took awhile for us to ultimately get a grip on the fact that in order to maintain our big project we needed to delegate & conserve. In order to grow our big project, we needed to innovate & improve. There’s an appropriate time for maintenance and a perfect time for growth.

As the CEO of your world, staying aware of what “Modus Operandi” you’re currently in is crucial to the continued success of your project:

Maintenance: Big project is on simmer.
Growth: Big project is on fire!

Maintenance: Repeating what works.
Growth: Altering and improving what repeatedly doesn’t work anymore.

Maintenance: A time to learn new things.
Growth: A time to upgrade, innovate and apply what you’ve learned.

Maintenance: Feeling confident.
Growth: Feeling uncertain and scared to death! (That’s a good thing!)

Maintenance: Pilot the ship on your own.
Growth: Bring in smart advisors.

When you’re in growth mode, everyone is on high alert; up early, late to bed, no procrastinating or allowing the lure of the Net to tempt you off purpose. This compares to maintenance mode, which is more like keeping the ship sailing on a steady course.

By the way, having a partner helped, because while my natural M.O. is always “growth,” his focus was always on “maintenance”—a perfect balance indeed.

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