Grief stained my heart. Every day this week stories of hatred, murder, violence leapt from the media. White supremacy violence in Charlottesville, a President who all but excused it, Pauline Hanson and her hate-filled vitriol against Muslims, and yet another bus attack against civilians, this time in Spain.

What are we doing to each other?

Humanity has summoned some spectacular creations! Technology, co-operative civilisations, mesmerizing art and dance, medical advancements that save life after life, including my own on multiple occasions.

We have so much love and compassion for each other, how then this tremor of hate?

All hate spawns from pain. When we hurt, we tend to lash out at others, seeking relief through blame.

Understanding where the most perverse behaviour comes from does not excuse it.

What can we do as leaders?

Good leadership unfolds from the center.

Like a rose that blooms, the integrity of the core reveals the beauty of the whole.

If we are to elevate those around us out of pain towards peace, we need our core to be resonant with our true nature.

And our true nature is one of love. Our highest virtue as a species is compassion and collaborative community.

As leaders, we need to cultivate our own warm heart, cool head, and safe hands. How we show up in our own world is the rising tide that lifts us all.

Let’s start with ourselves. No more harsh words about our own failings. No more self-loathing because we do not meet the expectations we have of ourselves. No more denial of our own grace.

If we can be gentle with ourselves, (and we are the victim we beat the most), then there is hope we can turn a gentle head, heart, and hand to those around us. And in doing so we become an oasis of groundedness. We invite others to join us in weaving a world with threads of compassion. Unlike a web of hate, with its ragged edges and gaping holes, the web of compassion is iron clad and feather-soft. Let’s do that.


Zoë is on a mission to encourage big thinkers with big hearts to make a big difference. She is passionate about showing leaders how to improve their ability to connect, build unified teams and expand how they serve in the world.

With over 30 years’ experience developing leaders, she has published Composure: How Centered Leaders Make the Biggest Impact” and “Moments: Leadership When It Matters Most.”