Reflections from the River Thames

I just returned from four days at the ICF Conference in London. Although it rained a lot, on two mornings I went for a run along the banks of the River Thames. I deliberately left my iPod at the hotel so I could clear my head and soak in the experience. As I passed beautiful historical buildings, watched teams rowing in the water, and thought about what I had heard at the conference, three important reminders came to mind. They are the inspiration for my article this week.


Whether you start your day with a run, yoga, or reading the paper; do something that energizes or centers you so you can be more fully engaged. Remember that even if you don’t have time to go on a real vacation right now, you can still keep your batteries charged if you focus on proactively managing your energy. Taking time to get away can do wonders for your energy level and perspective. And that escape can be short and sweet - even 10-15 minute energizers throughout the course of a day. Remember that the quality of the renewal matters far more than the length of time.

Express Gratitude

When I travel to other countries, I can’t help but think about how easily we can take things for granted in the microcosm of the world we live in. With a seven-year-old son adopted from Guatemala, I often think about how different his life would have been had he remained there. When I extend this thought to my career, I can’t help but recall the mentors, friends, and family who have had a huge impact on my journey and what I learned from them along the way.

Take a minute to think about who has shaped your path, and let at least one of them know the impact they have had on you. In case you don’t know, research shows that giving positive feedback can energize you. The more specific the feedback, the more energy you get.


The day before I left for London, one of my closest friends called me to tell me she had won a big award. She truly earned it through months of hard work and tenacity, and she inspires me to do even more. When I got to the ICF Conference, this theme of recognizing results continued with three organizations winning the global Prism Award for their impactful coaching programs.

As I thought about these awards, I realized that every day leaders do things that make a difference to their companies and teams. It may not be award-winning, but it does matter. Before you gloss over your achievements and move right on to the next thing, take five minutes to identify something you’d like to celebrate. It will help you notice how you are making a difference. If you can make a habit of doing this, you may be surprised at how much you truly do accomplish.

As you look to the rest of this week, I urge you to identify at least one thing you will do to recharge, express gratitude, or celebrate. Remember, small steps can lead to big results.



© 2012 Neena Newberry | All rights reserved.