Now is the time

The last 48 hours have been a low, dark time for me and for many millions who voted Remain, who care deeply about union, connection, togetherness and compassion for all, and who fear the implications of a Leave result for the UK, for Europe and maybe even for the world.

I have never felt so saddened or fearful as a result of a political event as I do about the result of the EU referendum in the UK. The result was bad enough but all the recriminations and accusations and insults that have continued to abound since the result was announced, including from the embittered Remain camp, have bothered me all the more, if that is possible.

And it has got me thinking about leadership. It has got me thinking about the values that I really stand for, that sit at my core and define who I am when I am at my best and about the contribution I want to make. For me it is all about relationship and togetherness and connection. It is all about bringing people together in teams and organisations, in society and in the world. It is what my work is about, it is what I most long for in my life, and most of what I am called to write about.

And if there is one thing that is crystal clear to me today, it is that now is the time for leadership. Now is the time to stand up and be counted. What this result shows us is that there is so much division — deep, deep division — in this country, that we have to acknowledge and face. The result is no longer the important thing. It is how we respond. It is how we find it within ourselves to be with the reality of what is, and find a different way to engage, to listen, to understand and to heal, and how we step up our leadership for what we believe in. However hard it feels. However much we want to stick our heads in the sand, or disengage with fury or blame.

Now more than ever is the time to lead.

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