The Sydney Institute, run by Ann & Gerald Henderson, is a Sydney icon.  Nearly every week they have a 30-minute talk followed by a 30-minute Q&A on some topic.  Speakers range from authors to politicians.  The sessions start at 6pm and finish at 7pm on the dot.  You can attend the talk in person or hear the talk on YouTube and generally on Sky News.  I am proud to have been a long-standing member which at $99/year is one of the best value for money entertainment packages available in Sydney.

On 12 March 2024 the speaker was Professor Gordon Parker, an Australian psychiatrist who is Scientia professor of psychiatry at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the Founder of The Black Dog Institute.  His topic was Whether Winston Churchill Was Bi Polar?  You can watch the presentation here.  As this was a topic that interested me I hopped down to the ferry and went to the presentation at the offices in Phillip Street.

Parker begins by defining BiPolsr I (BP1) as the Manic-Depressive Disorder. BiPolar 2 (BP2)  is a milder form but does have longer periods of depression and a higher suicide rate.  Lack of energy and foggy concentration are two key markers.  Both illnesses have a strong genetic basis.  Five of Churchill’s ancestors have been diagnosed with BP1

In the up phase Bipolar 1 people enter a manic phase, Bipolar 2 people a hypomanic state,

Parker then compares Churchill’s performance in WW1 with his performance in WW2.

WW1 saw Churchill perform disastrously, particularly in the Dardanelles (Gallipoli) campaign and Antwerp.  Thousands of Allied soldiers and sailor died because of Churchill’s interference and hypomanic decisions.

In WW2, minders were put in place to counter Churchill’s hypomanic decisions that were often instinctive and failed to pass the test of logic.  However the hypomanic phase gave Churchill tremendous energy and the ability to press on.

You can hear me ask a question 38 minutes into the YouTube video.  What prompted me to ask the question was a quote from The Spectator 2 March 2024 by Prue Leith in an article titled Caribbean Notebook.

“Almost the best thing about holidays is having the time to read. Captivating is No More Champagne by David Lough, which is yet another biography of Winston Churchill, but this time seen through his financial tribulations. Neither Churchill nor Clementine could ever economise. She spent a fortune on clothes, he on champagne, cigars, grand accommodation and gambling. Somehow he managed Europe’s destiny while on a constant financial knife-edge.”

This is the behaviour of someone with a high GoGetter EQ component trait.  I don’t think that Churchill was just some form of Bipolar personality.  Instead I think he was much more complex that that with high GoGetter, Politician, Socialiser and Doublecchecker 7MTF EQ components.  He was a prodigious and creative writer.  Supposedly there are over 700 biographies of Churchill and it is a moot point who produced the most output?  Churchill or all his biographers.

His IQ was very high; nearly as high as his daily alcoholic intake that has been estimated to exceed 30 standard drinks/day.  Unfortunately at the end of political career he was suffering from severe dementia, like some of our current political leaders.

For more information watch this 4-minute video introduction to the 7MTF.  If that whets you appetite  sign up to my Introduction to the 7MTF online-video course that takes only 5 hours to complete and an investment of only A$25.  The 7MTF model of temperament is the secret to lifting your emotional intelligence.  If you complete the basic 7MTF course you will dramatically increase your EQ competency in days.


This blog was first posted on LinkedIn on 30 April 2024.







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