About


classic [klas’ ik]—Of the first or highest quality, class or rank; serving as a standard, model, guide; of enduring interest, quality, or style.

influence [in’-floo-en(t)ns]—The capacity or power to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions of others


Classic Influence—Timeless Lessons from the Legends…

We all want more out of life. Most everyone wants to do more, achieve more, and become more. But only some people are actually getting things done—remarkable things—on a regular and consistent basis. This has always been the case. Throughout history we can see that some people—people who do not necessarily have any greater natural talent, intelligence or capacity—are able to make things happen and get things done. Sometimes the most ordinary individuals, from the most obscure backgrounds, facing any number of seemingly insurmountable obstacles are able to soar to the greatest heights of society. What is it about these people? What is their secret? What do they know, think or do that escapes the notice of the vast majority?

The fact of the matter is that there are differences. These people have different beliefs. They operate under different assumptions. And they think, see and do things differently. We know this because, as Anthony Robbins often says, “success leaves clues.” By studying the great hustlers and heroes of history, by adapting to their way of thinking, seeing and being in the world—while staying true to yourself and your character—and by actively applying and leveraging the lessons learned from these legends, implementing and mobilizing their strategies, tactics and tools for success, you can and will have similar results. “If you want to achieve success, all you need to do is find a way to model those who have already succeeded.”1 And it is here where the legends and sagas of history’s heroes and the world’s champions of achievement and success—stories, anecdotes, and illustrations teeming with wisdom and insight—can prove invaluable.

Virtually anyone can do what needs to be done to succeed, once you know what and how to do it. This is why history is so important. This is why the biographies and autobiographies of the great men and women of the world are such a rich resource, a treasure trove of wisdom and insight for those who are determined to make their own way to the top. Our mission is to join you in your journey to the top by bringing to life the stories of the heroes of history and superstars of success, by extracting their insights, wisdom, and key lessons learned, and distilling this wisdom into practical action steps, strategies, tactics, tips, and tools that you can apply in your own life to achieve your own most daring dreams and goals.


“If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
—Isaac Newton (1642—1727)


About Johnny Welch

John C. Welch IV, Ed.D., M.T.S., M.B.A. is an author and professional speaker on topics related to influence, leadership, power, hustle and grit. He hosts the Classic Influence Podcast (available on iTunes), and he teaches a course at Columbia University entitled Creating Revolutionary Change in a Democratic Society. Johnny’s broad experience ranges from serving as the program manager for the Columbia Coaching Certification Program, to corporate training and consulting—with clients that have included Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, Kawasaki, International Boys’ Schools Coalition, and New York Johnny Welch SunsetPresbyterian Hospital, the University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell—to teaching undergraduate and graduate business courses in Southern California. He has coached leadership teams in large ministries, and served in the district offices of members of the California State Senate, the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. Johnny Welch earned a master’s degree in Johnny Welch Lip Smackerbusiness administration from San Diego State University and a master’s degree from Harvard University where he split his time between the Divinity School and the Kennedy School of Government. He earned his doctorate from the Department of Organization and Leadership at Columbia. Johnny currently lives in San Diego and, in his free time, enjoys weightlifting, running, traveling and, above all, surfing on some clean, hollow, warm water waves.


Classic Influence Podcast (CIP 021). Milk Your Assets, Face the Brute Facts: The Cunning and Charismatic Cleopatra Assumes the Egyptian Throne

“What great leaders have in common is that each truly knows his or her strengths—and can call on the right strength at the right time.”
—Donald O. Clifton, Father of Strengths-Based Psychology

Classic Influence Podcast (CIP 020). Surface Your Submerged Assumptions: John Kennedy and the Curious Consensus for the Bay of Pigs

“The way to keep yourself from making assumptions is to ask questions.
If you don’t understand, ask. Have the courage to ask questions until you are clear…”

—Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

Classic Influence Podcast_Episode 19_Look First to Your Frames for the Seeds of Success: Russell Conwell's Acres of Diamonds (Part 1 of 2)

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
—Henry David Thoreau (1817—1862), American Philosopher

Classic Influence Podcast_Episode 18_Craft a Compelling Image to Increase Your Influence and Amplify Your Power_Blackbeard Becomes the Dark Lord of the Skull and Crossbones

“The world is governed more by appearances than by realities.”
—Daniel Webster, 14th & 19th U.S. Secretary of State

Classic Influence Podcast_Episode 17_Leverage the Paradox of Self-Reliance_General George Washington Wins the War By First Building Belief and Rapport

“Chance never helps those who do not help themselves.”
—Sophocles (496-406 B.C.), Ancient Greek Playwright

Classic Influence Podcast_Episode 16_Assume Ultimate Ownership, Embrace Radical Responsibility as a Rule: President Lincoln Pays the Ultimate Price

“That some achieve great success is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.”
—Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), 16th U.S. President

Classic Influence Podcast_Episode 15_Develop Deep Self-Belief: Napoleon Bonaparte's Lucky Star

“There is no value judgment more important, no factor more decisive in your psychological development and motivation, than the estimate you pass on yourself.”
—Nathaniel Branden, Self-Esteem at Work

Classic Influence Podcast_Episode 14_Aim First for Self-Reliance: The Roots of Cornelius Vanderbilt's Transportation Empire

“There is but one great password to success—self-reliance.”
—William George Jordan (1864–1928), Early American Self-Help Author

Classic Influence Podcast_Episode 13_Dare to Run More and Greater Risks: P.T. Barnum Risks It All on an Unknown

“It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult.”
—Seneca (c. 4 B.C.—65 A.D.), Roman Stoic Philosopher, Statesman, Dramatist

Classic Influence Podcast_Episode CIP 012. Expand Your Perspective, Effect Strategy to Win the Greater Game_The Supreme Pontiff’s Immaculate Deception

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
—Sun Tzu (544—496 B.C.), Ancient Chinese Military General

Classic Influence Podcast_Episode 11_Saturate Your Mind with a LifeLong Orientation to Time_Cesare Borgias Fight to Rise

“Survey and test prospective action before undertaking it. Before your proceed,
step back and look at the big picture, lest you act rashly on raw impulse.”

—Epictetus (55—135A.D.), Ancient Greek Stoic Philosopher

Classic Influence Podcast_Episode 10_Stay Hungry to Make Your Mark_Arnold Schwarzenegger's Drum Major Instinct

“A man’s worth is no greater than his ambitions.”
—Marcus Aurelius (121—180 A.D.), Emperor of the Roman Empire (161—180 A.D.)

Classic Influence Podcast

“To be ignorant of the lives of the most celebrated men of antiquity is to continue in a state of childhood all our days.”
—Plutarch (46—120 A.D.), Ancient Greek Historian, Biographer, Author of Parallel Lives

Classic Influence Podcast

“History belongs above all to the man of deeds and power, to him who fights a great fight, who needs models, teachers, comforters and cannot find them among his contemporaries.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844—1900)

Classic Influence Podcast

“The search after the great man is the dream of youth and the most serious occupation of manhood. We travel into foreign parts to find his works, if possible, to get a glimpse of him.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803—1882), American Philosopher, Essayist, Lecturer, Poet, Author of Self-Reliance

Classic Influence Podcast

“Read over and over again the campaigns of Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Gustavus, Turenne, Eugene and Frederick. Make them your models. This is the only way to become a great general and to master the secrets of the art of war. With your own genius enlightened by this study, you will reject all maxims opposed to those of these great commanders.”
—Napoleon Bonaparte (1769—1821)

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“Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too.”
—Marcus Aurelius (121—180 A.D.)