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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bipolar lol

I often lament the lack of leadership vision and moral courage that has emerged from Australia’s two main political parties.
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Graeme Cowan
Dear daniel

In this issue:

I hope you’ve had a lovely week.

I often lament the lack of leadership vision and moral courage that has emerged from Australia’s two main political parties – especially in Canberra. In my article below I reflect on the extraordinary achievements of Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill, but also on the sad reality that they would be unlikely to be elected today, because they both lived with a mental illness – Lincoln with depression and Churchill with bipolar. In Professor Nassir Ghaemi’s book A First Rate Madness he concludes it was because of their mental illness and overcoming previous adversity that led to them being such resilient and legendary achievers – not in spite of it.

I’ve also just concluded a national road show for a major Australian company that has led to 1200 of their leaders going through my 2 hour Thriving Through Change workshop. It has been very rewarding getting to know many in this group, and I find it so encouraging that many major organisations are recognizing the importance of leadership and employee mental wellbeing to their success.

Enjoy!!
 


Why Lincoln and Churchill Would be Unelectable Today
 

Would the United States have been united without Abraham Lincoln? Lincoln’s undeniable empathy, compassion, and pragmatic persistence were key factors in achieving lasting social change.

What would the political landscape of Europe be like today without Winston Churchill? After World War II, Winston Churchill alone emerged as the great leader, the wartime strategist, and the deliverer of democracy.

Despite the extraordinary leadership and legislative achievements of both men, sadly I don’t think they would be elected today because they lived with a mental illness. This view is shared by former representative Patrick Kennedy (son of Senator Ted Kennedy), and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s chief advisor Alastair Campbell. I interviewed Kennedy and Campbell for my book Back From The Brink about their own struggles in the crucible of politics.

We think that Lincoln (who suffered from depression) and Churchill (who struggled with bipolar disorder) would be unelectable, because the symptoms and behaviours of their conditions would not play well with the demands of today’s 24/7 news cycle and ready availability of information about someone’s past.

When you consider the substandard leadership being demonstrated by both partiesin Australian politics today, the realization that leaders of the calibre of Lincoln and Churchill would be unelectable is quite frankly, depressing.

Patrick Kennedy, who had his own breakdown whilst in Congress in 2006, shared with me for the first time that he was not the only family member that struggled with mental health issues. He revealed that while his mother suffered from alcoholism and bouts of extreme depression, his father, the late senator Ted Kennedy, “clearly suffered profound post-traumatic stress” following the assassinations of his brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Although Ted Kennedy was obviously struggling to cope with PTSD triggers (such as cars backfiring), he did not believe it was politically acceptable to discuss such a “weakness” openly, and often resorted to self-medicating with alcohol.
 
To learn more about the mental health history of these leaders and how we can attract future Lincolns and Churchills to politics click here.
 


97.6% of leaders agree Thriving Through Change workshop helps

I’ve just concluded a national road show for a major Australian company that has led to 1200 of their leaders going through my 2 hour Thriving Through Change workshop. It has been very rewarding getting to know many from this group and so encouraging that many major organisations are now recognizing the importance of mental wellbeing to their success.

97.6% of participants agreed with:

I have a better understanding of my key strengths, my energisers and my purpose, and how I will use that information to help me lead my team more effectively


Specific feedback includes:

"Certainly agree that you are more productive and engaged if you are feeling great about yourself/life etc."

"One of the best sessions I've been involved with - very relevant
"

"Awesome session with Graeme Cowan - gives me a better understanding of my own personal strengths as well as my teams!
"

"Loved this session....was a good refresher!
"

"Loved Graham's session and took a lot out of this the second time around."

"This was my favourite session and will have positive impact for my work and personal life and within my tribes."

"This was a very powerful session."

"I am going to introduce the Moodometer to the branch."

 






If you would like a brochure that outlines my speaking topics or inquire about my suitability for your organisation please email support@graemecowan.com.au or call my Business Manager Sonja Firth on  +61 421 147 620.









 


Why not join the CREATING THRIVING TRIBES LinkedIn Group?

This group is dedicated to helping leaders to build the resilience, mood, and performance for them and their tribe.

Some of articles and discussions shared in the last week include:
  • 6 Scientifically Proven Ways to Improve Your Willpower
  • 7 Hot Trends in Employee Engagement
  • 9 Habits You Need for a Thriving Workplace
  • Resilience and Transformation: Winning By Failing

Click here to join.

May you have a rejuvenating Sunday and wonderful week.

Kind Regards
Graeme
 



Graeme Cowan is a speaker and author who helps leaders to build their resilience, mood, and performance by being their true self. If you would like a brochure that outlines his speaking topics or inquire about his suitability to speak at your organisation or conference please email support@graemecowan.com.au or call his Business Manager Sonja Firth on +61 421 147 620.
 
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