How can a mid-life crisis support you in delivering an excellent service?

Apparently mid-life crises are still alive and well, according to the Telegraph Article I read earlier in the year . It occurs because ‘happiness’ dips after turning 40. And rather than being just a loose term to account for slightly mad behaviour during this decade, the midlife crisis it is a recognised condition. As a society we are living longer lives, and as a result there is a challenge to prove that our bodies are still vital and able to compete. So what are the consequences? Both men and women over the age of 40 are now throwing themselves at triathlons, marathons and various hard core sporting challenges. A prime example is Tough Mudder, an extreme sports event that has a massive worldwide following and sees participants slog through mud, drop into icy water, and be electrocuted at regular intervals.

mudI read this article with mixed emotions. Why?

I turned 40 this year
I signed up and completed my first triathlon this year
I completed my first Tough Mudder
I completed my first Spartan Challenge

Mmmm, so have I had my first mid-life crisis? Who really cares because what I realised after re-reading the article and reflecting on these challenges was all the new transferable skills I now had. Like what?

• The triathlon requires an athlete to compete and complete 3 separate sports, and the key here is consistency. You need to be good at all the disciplines, not just a specialist in just one. A good service delivers a consistently high level of service which has a wider range of knowledge and ability to answer more types of questions. A focus on the end goal assists in the successful completion of separate challenges. This is similar to the task setting we deliver day to day, and reminds me to keep the end goal more transparent for all concerned.

• Tough mudder showed the importance of team work. 10 people started the 12 mile obstacle course, all with differing skills, fitness levels, motivations and goals. 10 people finished the course together. It wasn’t about being first, or being better than anyone else, it was about getting the best out of each and every one of your team. On a service desk you want to bring all your available skills to the table, endeavour to get the best out of all your team, to motivate and bring them along on the same journey.

• Spartan challenged me to climb several hills, both physically and mentally. On your journey to a better service you will continuously find yourself back at the bottom of the next hill. The view from the top however is always superb, and tends to make up for the effort of the climb!

So in conclusion, don’t wait until you are 40 to face up to a challenge, you don’t need to use a mid-life crisis to justify developing your own skills and that of your teams!

Post by Sonya Campbell
Customer Services Development Manager
Glasgow Caledonian University

One thought on “How can a mid-life crisis support you in delivering an excellent service?

  1. JenJo

    Hey Sonya, I’m having another MLC at 50! And I’ve just done my first triathlon #ThisGirlCan #TriCurious A big WELL DONE!


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