Classic Influence Podcast:

Timeless Lessons from the Legends

“Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time…”

—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
“A Psalm of Life”

The Wisdom of History

Distilled into Practical Strategies, Tactics, and Tools

Welcome to the Classic Influence Podcast show where we explore the timeless lessons learned from the legends of influence, leadership, and power.

Whether you work in business or politics, education or entertainment, or whether you simply want to tap more of your potential power and find greater success, your capacity for influence is indispensable to getting the outcomes you desire. Influence is the master key to success.

Distilled from the stories of history’s heroes and today’s superstars of success, this show is based on the idea that, as Isaac Newton once said, we can see further by “standing on the shoulders of giants.” “Look back over the past,” wrote the great Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, “…and you can foresee the future too.”

Drawing on his graduate school training at San Diego State and Harvard, as well as his training and experience as a qualitative researcher at Columbia, where he now teaches, Dr. Johnny Welch, M.B.A. (author of Mastering the Power of Grit and The Magic of Assuming Command) reveals the most critical patterns and themes that surface in the research of those who have mastered the power of influence—champions and heroes who stand as icons of influence, timeless legends of leadership, power, persuasion, and sway.

Listen in as we work to unearth the wisdom and insights of the legends and heroes of history to discover the strategies, Listen Notes Top Ranking for Classic Influence Podcasttactics, tips and tools you can use to master the power of influence to achieve your own most daring dreams and goals.

Remember: “History belongs above all to the man of deeds and power,” wrote the influential German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, “to him who fights a great fight, who needs models, teachers, comforters and cannot find them among his contemporaries.”


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Note: To see the list of Classic Influence Podcast episodes (and where to subscribe), with links to the resource guides, click here: CIP Episodes.

CIP 040.

Get Leverage, Change the Calculus: The Crafty and Courageous Roma and the Birth of Ancient Rome

In the 12 century B.C., after the ancient city of Troy fell following the Greek’s cunning trick with the Trojan Horse, a number of Trojans escaped with a fleet of ships. After years of wandering in search of a new home, the Trojans endured a particularly treacherous episode of violent weather and rough waves in the Mediterranean, a storm which nearly destroyed their fleet. When they finally landed on the banks of the Tiber River to take shelter, the women soon decided that they had had enough of the aimless wandering. The men, however, were intent on returning to the ships and continuing with their mission as soon as the storm passed. According to Virgil, what the women did next altered the course of Western history. Listen to this episode of Classic Influence now and discover how a crafty and courageous use of leverage won the day for the women and changed the future of ancient Rome. This episode also reveals some of the most useful ways of thinking about leverage, how leverage can heighten your odds of success, and a handful of simple, easy-to-implement examples of leverage that you can adapt to your own goals in support of your own effort and will to succeed.

CIP 039.

Find Courage Under Fire—Count the Costs, Then Forge Ahead: General George S. Patton’s Greatest Nightmare and Moment of Truth

On September 26, 1918, in the midst of World War I, George S. Patton’s moment of testing had arrived. Patton was leading a light tank brigade up a hill overlooking a German occupied town when he was suddenly face-to-face with his greatest fear. What happened next changed Patton’s life forever, transforming him from what he himself referred to as “an utter, craven coward,” into the great 4-Star General, “Old Blood and Guts,” widely revered as an audacious hero of World War II. Listen in and discover what happened to Patton when he and his men were trapped in a hailstorm of machine-gun fire, how he responded to the panic inducing barrage of racing bullets that surrounded him, and the key takeaway lesson he shares about finding courage under fire. Highlighting the nexus between courage and rapid growth, this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast also reveals Patton’s strategy for keeping his fears forever in check.

CIP 038.

Make Your First Dollar, Profit from the Power of Proof: Dale Carnegie’s Baby Steps Rise to Blockbuster Success

One cold evening in January 1936, with the world in the midst of the Great Depression, Dale Carnegie addressed a sold-out, standing-room-only crowd at the luxurious Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. Despite the global economic crisis, Carnegie, in a series of full-page newspaper ads, had promised the attendees that they could increase their incomes, and he was about to deliver on that promise. But how exactly did Carnegie come to discover these priceless, proven secrets of social, professional, and financial success? In this episode of Classic Influence, we’ll travel back to the 1930s and discover how a man born into poverty on a farm in Missouri came to become one of the best-selling authors of all time, “The Father of Self-Help,” and, in time, the head of a thriving personal development empire the likes of which the world had never before seen.

CIP 037.

Escalate the Intensity, Increase the Stakes: Orville and Wilbur Wright’s Extraordinary Obsession with Flight

On December 17, 1903, a pair of self-taught, visionary American engineers achieved their dream, forever made the world a smaller place, and helped usher in the age of globalization. It was the first successful piloted, powered airplane flight in history, and with it the Wright brothers revolutionized the world. Competing against the greatest minds in science and technology at the time, the Wright brothers were far from the most likely candidates for pioneering aviation success. Neither one of the brothers graduated high school, went to college, or had any formal training as an engineer. Nor did they have the financial support of the more established aviation pioneers. And, yet, they had everything they needed to succeed. In this episode of Classic Influence, we’ll travel back to the late 19th century and see what set these two middle-class Midwestern bicycle mechanics apart from the aviation pack. Listen in now and you will also learn the one critical characteristic of success shared by most everyone of America’s most wealthy business titans, including Andrew Carnegie (1835—1919), John D. Rockefeller (1839—1937), Warren Buffett (1930—), and Bill Gates (1955—).

CIP 036.

Own the Need, Achieve the Dream: Abraham Lincoln Assumes Command of the Problem at Hand, and Pilots His Path to the Top

Abraham Lincoln was born to poor Kentucky farmers in 1809. Raised in a one-room, dirt-floor log cabin on the American frontier, Lincoln’s early life was filled with long hours of manual labor, and many years of trial and tribulation, setback and struggle. But Abraham Lincoln, fiercely ambitious, was determined to rise up from his humble origins, and make his mark on the world. “The way for a man to rise,” he said, “is to improve himself in every way he can.” And, so, Lincoln worked hard, educated himself, and found ways to grow and improve. Eventually, he carved out a career for himself as a successful prairie lawyer. And, yet, he still wanted to do more. In this episode of Classic Influence, we’ll travel back to America’s pre-Civil War era and learn how Abraham Lincoln, ultimately, after a lifetime of heartbreaking setbacks and defeats, achieved the ultimate election victory by steadfastly turning his unquenchable ambition toward serving the people and winning their esteem. Drawing on Winston Churchill’s address at Harvard University in 1943, this episode also reveals one of the main, most widespread reasons why people fail to achieve their greatest, most ambitious dreams.

CIP 035.

Take Bold Action (Part 5): Be Bold in Pursuit of Your Aims: The Celebrity Power of Frank Sinatra, and the Daring Don Rickles, Upstart Comedian Extraordinaire

In the 1950s, still at the start of his acting career, and frustrated by the lack of work, Don Rickles began hustling gigs as a standup comedian in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. Finding that his audiences were also failing to respond to his prepared material as a comic, Rickles started to boldly lash out. In fact, he began insulting people in his audience, particularly the hecklers. With this, Rickles finally began to see his audiences respond. Sometimes, however, Rickles went too far, boldly insulting the wrong person at the wrong time, and suffering some humiliating consequences as a result. Listen in to this episode of Classic Influence, and learn how boldness can backfire when it rises to a level beyond what your target or audience will endure. Given the potential consequences of a lack of boldness, which are often even more severe, this episode also reveals the essential approach to take to build your capacity for bold action, and, thereby, tap your true potential, and succeed in your chosen field. Finally, returning to the opening story of this “Take Bold Action” series, you will discover the single most critical secret of Napoleon Bonaparte’s remarkable return from Elba and which, in defiance of Europe’s greatest powers, enabled him to once again become the Emperor of France.

CIP 034.

Take Bold Action (Part 4): To Achieve the Unbelievable, Back Bold Action with a Bastion and a Base: The Herculean Daring of Bloody Mary’s Fight for the Throne

In 1553, Mary Tudor’s dying brother, King Edward VI of England, was plotting behind the scenes to remove his half-sister from the line of succession. In the midst of the English Reformation, and the wider European Protestant Reformation, the Protestant King Edward was eager to keep Mary, a loyal Catholic, from reversing his and his father Henry VIII’s precious Protestant reforms. But Mary Tudor was not having it. She was the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, and she was the granddaughter of Isabella of Castile. The crown of England was hers by right of law, and she would not permit her brother or his scheming, double-dealing counselors to deprive England of its rightful heir. In this episode of Classic Influence, we’ll travel back to 16th century England and watch as Mary Tudor attempts to boldly seize the English throne, and thwart her brother’s foolhardy coup. Looking to Mary’s daring example, this episode also reveals five critical factors to consider before implementing any significantly risky, bold action plan.

CIP 033.

Take Bold Action (Part 3): Boldly Strike Out to Accelerate Your Ascent: Theodore Roosevelt Boldly, Brazenly Begins Anew

In early 1898, days after the USS Maine was sunk in Cuba’s Havana Harbor, killing some 260 American sailors and marines, Theodore Roosevelt, who was still only the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, began doing all he could to prepare America for war. This included resigning from his desk job at the Navy Department in Washington D.C., and forming the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, known as the “Rough Riders.” What he did next came as quite a surprise to those who knew him, particularly given his extraordinary ambition. In this episode of Classic Influence, we’ll travel back to the period just before the Spanish American War to uncover a few of the key characteristics that contributed to Theodore Roosevelt’s striking success. This episode also reveals Theodore Roosevelt’s proven personal strategy for conquering fear.

CIP 032.

Take Bold Action (Part 2): Dare to Defy the Established Order, Risk to Skip Ahead: Huey Long Cuts a Barrier-Breaking Path to the Top

A populist champion of the poor, Huey Long grew up during America’s Gilded Age, and got involved in politics in the years before the Great Depression. Despite the considerable economic hardships he faced throughout his early life in Louisiana, and the ferocious political opposition he faced throughout his political career, Huey Long rose to become one of the Pelican State’s greatest political stars. Beyond his fierce ambition and quick mind, it was bold action that set Huey apart. In fact, Huey Long was willing to take whatever bold action was necessary to overcome his humble origins, make a name for himself, and do as much good as he could along the way. In this episode of Classic Influence, we’ll travel back to Louisiana in the early 20th century and see what we can learn from the bold and brash actions of Huey P. Long. This episode also looks to the example of Robert M. La Follette, and his surprising response to the political machine in Madison, Wisconsin when they warned him not to run.

CIP 031.

Take Bold Action (Part 1): Be Bold and Let Boldness Do Its Work: Napoleon Bonaparte Escapes His Island Prison

Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the greatest military leaders in history. Beyond his capacity as a strategist and tactician, however, it was often Bonaparte’s sheer boldness that enabled him to achieve the outcome he desired. As Napoleon repeatedly revealed, once unleashed, bold action can become a powerful force of its own, commanding attention, sweeping down obstacles, and building the momentum you need to succeed. Listen in now and learn how boldness can be a game changer in the pursuit of your goals.

CIP 030.

Profit from the Power of Frames to Achieve Your Aims: President Franklin Roosevelt Reframes His Race for a 3rd Term

In 1940, with America on the cusp of entering World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to run for an unprecedented third term. Despite the longstanding and deep-seated tradition—going all the way back to George Washington, who voluntarily left office after just two terms—Roosevelt, a savvy political operator and masterful communicator, found a way to frame the decision so that it not only won the support of a majority of Americans, but also helped spur the nation to meet the emerging Nazi threat. In this episode of Classic Influence, we’ll travel back to the 1940 presidential campaign, hear from President Roosevelt in his own voice, and discover the surprising power of a well-crafted frame. This episode also reveals how Harriet Tubman used reframing as part of her covert missions to rescue slaves, and how it helped her to become “the Moses of her people.” As illustrated by President Ronald Reagan to devastating effect in his own race for the White House, listen in and discover how frames can be tremendously powerful tools of influence. Listen in now and you will also learn the 4 core steps of reframing, along with 5 strategies for generating new, more effective frames, and you will quickly discover why reframing is an indispensable tool in the pursuit of your own clear purpose and goals.

CIP 029.

Wield Power with Wisdom, Get Both in and Out of the Game: Martin Luther King Jr. Assumes Leadership, Becomes the Symbol of the Civil Rights Movement

One dark night in the winter of 1956, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was leading a mass meeting at his local church when his house was bombed. What he did next became a defining moment in his life, and in the fight for civil rights. Borne out of King’s habit of taking time get outside of the arena, it was not the action that anyone expected, but it was just the right move for the moment and the movement as a whole. In this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast, we’ll take a trip back to Montgomery, Alabama during the early years of the civil rights movement to discover one of the most powerful practices, and key secrets to King’s success. As we learn from Dr. King, a master strategist and critical thinker, your future will largely be determined by the quality of your decisions. To make the most effective and strategic decisions, you must recognize the threat of reactive, unchecked passions, and avoid being moved by your emotions and moods. This episode also reveals one of the most crucial steps you can take to ensure you are making the best, most effective and strategic decisions you can to ensure the outcomes you desire.

CIP 028.

Hammer Optimism into Your Plans: Ernest Shackleton's Miracle Trip from Elephant Island

One of history’s greatest sagas of survival, the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew’s quest to cross the South Pole, is a gripping reminder of the power of optimism, endurance, and hope. Where the expeditions of scores of other daring explorers ended in drunkenness, despair, and death, Shackleton’s leadership, his command of the psychology of his crew, and his capacity to project a cool and collected optimism in the midst of the most trying circumstances, and in the face of the most devastating setbacks, led to a life and death difference for his men. In this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast, we’ll travel to the frigid waters and the mammoth sheets of ice of Antarctica to learn from the leadership and influence of one of history’s greatest explorers.

CIP 027.

Adopt the Champion Mindset: Arnold Schwarzenegger Takes the Throne

In 1970, Arnold Schwarzenegger won both the Mr. Universe and the Mr. Olympia contest making him the greatest bodybuilder in the world. At just 23 years old, he was also the youngest Mr. Olympia ever. Of course he won the genetic lottery, only a fool would deny that. But that was only enough to get him into the game. What set Arnold Schwarzenegger apart was his profound ambition, relentless work ethic, and an ability to stay hyper focused on his dream. But the real secret to Schwarzenegger’s success was a hard lesson he had to learn, and it was the key to scores of others. In this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast, we’ll travel back to the first decade of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s meteoric rise and discover what we can learn from his story about how to achieve your most difficult goals.


CIP 026.

Escalate Your Commitment. Burn Your Ships: Hernando Cortés Conquers the Aztec Empire

In 1518, in defiance of the greatest empire on earth, the Spanish conquistador and explorer, Hernando Cortés, risked everything in pursuit of his goal, including his reputation, his wealth, and his life. Despite the grave risks and considerable forces allied against him, Cortés, with one bold stroke, turned the tide of events in his favor. Listen in now as we uncover the pivotal incident in the life of this notorious Spanish conqueror, and extract the key lesson we can learn from his example. Drawing on a parallel incident in the life of Alexander the Great, this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast also details the vital importance of purpose and renunciation, and how we often need nearly impossible challenges in order to unearth and mobilize our greatest inner resources and personal power.

CIP 025.

Mine the Miners—Create, Don't Consume: The Pioneering Producers of the California Gold Rush

The California Gold Rush led to the largest mass migration in U.S. history. From all over the world, men came to mine their fortunes. But it wasn’t the gold that led to the most enduring fortunes. In this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast, we’ll travel back to Sacramento Valley in the mid-1800s, meet a few of the pioneering producers of the Gold Rush Era, and explore the vital wealth building mindset these icons helped unveil. Listen in now and discover a far more resourceful mental map for looking out at the world. This episode also reveals the secret formula for success direct from California’s first millionaire.

CIP 024.

Cast Off the Culture of Comfort, Convenience and Ease: Theodore Roosevelt Becomes the Apostle of the Strenuous Life

Writer and explorer, fighter and reformer, scholar, historian, statesman, and sage; Theodore Roosevelt disdained idleness. “In this life, we get nothing save by effort,” said the Panama-Canal-Building, Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning President. “I never won anything without hard labor and…working long in advance.” In fact, the “highest form of success,” Roosevelt said, comes “to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil.” Listen in now to this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast, and discover how Theodore Roosevelt became first an apostle, and, ultimately, the champion and exemplar of the Strenuous Life. This episode also exposes the frightening prospects for those preoccupied with comfort, convenience, and ease. Finally, you’ll learn how hard work and strenuous action are like secret weapons of success enabling you to achieve what Roosevelt called “the splendid ultimate triumph.”


CIP 023.

Construct Your Own Heroic Life History: Ragnar Lothbrok, The Everlasting Legend of the Viking Leader

According to legend, Ragnar Lothbrok was the most famous Viking of his age. And he remains one of the greatest heroes of Viking history. But did a Viking leader named Ragnar Lothbrok actually exist? In this episode of Classic Influence, we’ll explore the power of this everlasting legend, and why the Vikings told and retold his story over and over again. This episode also reveals the power of story and legend and myth, and how a compelling epic can shape and, at last, radically transform the future. Drawing on the example of Ragnar Lothbrok, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and others, this episode also unmasks the power of your personal story, the cardinal importance of assuming your rightful role as both the author and the protagonist of your own heroic life history, and the power the storyteller role plays in the pursuit of your own grand aspirations and goals.


CIP 022.

Spurn the Most Treacherous of Emotions, Beware the Ambitions of the Beast: The Hubris of Emperor Nero, Rome's Original Antichrist

Nero stands out as one of the most monstrous, and universally hated emperors in the long history of the Roman empire. And, yet, the reign of the once popular emperor began in relative peace. What allowed for such a dramatic transformation? Were there any early signs of what barbaric slaughtering was to come? In this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast, we’ll travel back to ancient Rome and watch as Nero, flooded with unquenchable hubris, burns his own ambitions to the ground. Drawing on the wisdom of ancient Greece, celebrated theologians, and modern presidents, this episode explores why hubris is at the dead center of the most toxic of human emotions. For those with enough foresight and social intelligence to appreciate just how hazardous hubris can be—the key lesson from Nero’s life—this episode also reveals a few key tips for keeping a grip on this most treacherous of emotional states.


CIP 021.

Milk Your Assets, Face the Brute Facts: The Cunning and Charismatic Cleopatra Assumes the Egyptian Throne

Flooded with political ambition and romantic intrigue, the saga of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh, Cleopatra, has captivated historians and storytellers throughout history. Contrary to the modern myth, however, it was not beauty, but her cunning and charisma, her savvy and self-belief, that enabled Cleopatra to make her mark on the world. In this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast, we’ll explore how Cleopatra defied the political patriarchy, and influenced Julius Caesar to support her ambition to rule.


CIP 020.

Surface Your Submerged Assumptions: President Kennedy and the Curious Consensus for the Bay of Pigs (Part 2 of 2)

John F. Kennedy is widely regarded as one of America’s most popular presidents. On matters of leadership, communication ability, and social intelligence, political scientists and historians continue to rank Kennedy as one of the greats. In this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast we explore how President Kennedy responded to his biggest blunder as President, the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and the leadership lessons we can learn from his response. Drawing on the wisdom of ancient Greek philosophers and modern management scholars, this episode also reveals one of the most common causes of failure, along with a couple of key tactics you can adopt to avoid this type of mistake, and significantly improve your probability of success.


CIP 019.

Look First to Your Frames for the Seeds of Success: Russell Conwell's Acres of Diamonds (Part 1 of 2)

Revealing the surprising power of mental maps, this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast takes you on a journey to the diamond mines of Golconda, and extracts the lessons we can learn from the tragic loss of the Persian farmer depicted in Civil War captain Russell Conwell’s most famous essay, “Acres of Diamonds.” Drawing on Henry David Thoreau’s experience living in the woods at Walden Pond, this episode also briefly explores the power of the unconscious mind, and the inherent inclination for people to slip into mindless mental habits and routines, often undermining their own deeply held desire to succeed. Geared toward avoiding the mental traps and flawed conceptual maps that so often hold people back, this episode concludes with a few key tactics you can adopt to improve your thinking, and, therefore, your decisions and your life.


CIP 018.

Craft a Compelling Image to Increase Your Influence and Amplify Your Power: Blackbeard Becomes the Dark Lord of the Skull and Crossbones

Blackbeard remains the most famous pirate in the entire Golden Age of Piracy, and for good reason. In this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast, we’ll examine the key characteristics that set Blackbeard apart from the pack, and how this cunning pirate captain used the power of a fearsome image to achieve his aim. We’ll also briefly explore the five most fundamental factors in creating an effective image or personal brand, a vital part of the process of maximizing your influence and power. Finally, you’ll discover why the most effective impressions must begin with a deep understanding of your audience.


CIP 017.

Leverage the Paradox of Self-Reliance: General George Washington Wins the War By First Building Belief and Rapport

Surveying the disciplined strategy, transforming leadership, and dogged determination of General George Washington during the American Revolutionary War, this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast reveals three key lessons we can learn from Washington’s effective prosecution of the war in the years leading up to the alliance with France. Looking back to the wisdom of the ancient Greeks, echoed in the insights of modern social science, this episode also reveals the power of the paradox of self-reliance. Finally, illustrating how this theme surfaces repeatedly throughout history—beginning at least as far back as classical Roman mythology—you will develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for why self-reliance is so fundamental to your ultimate success.


If you like this show, then you’ll love Mastering the Power of Grit, available as an ebook or a paperback on Amazon. Following a format similar to this show, shared through their own compelling stories, Mastering the Power of Grit reveals the timeless lessons learned from the legends of grit, and the corresponding strategies, tactics, tips and tools you can use to master the power of grit to achieve your own most daring dreams and goals.

CIP 016.

Assume Ultimate Ownership, Embrace Radical Responsibility as a Rule: President Lincoln Pays the Ultimate Price

Examining the extraordinary experience and soaring example of President Abraham Lincoln, this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast explores one of the vital, indispensable prerequisites of success. Unmasking the secret behind the greatness of legendary leaders like Lincoln, this episode also reveals how people are so often duped into giving their power away. You will also discover how the ultimate ownership mindset leads directly to the power and strength you need to achieve your ultimate dream.


CIP 015.

Develop Deep Self-Belief: Napoleon Bonaparte's Lucky Star

Drawing on the experience and beliefs of Napoleon Bonaparte and his “lucky star,” this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast examines the extraordinary power that becomes yours through simple self-belief. Grounded in the success literature and the academic literature in positive psychology, you will also learn strategies and tactics you can adapt to develop your own unshakeable self-belief, the indispensable prerequisite for achieving your greatest ambitions and goals.


CIP 014.

Aim First for Self-Reliance: The Roots of Cornelius Vanderbilt's Transportation Empire

Exploring the roots of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s early success as a budding titan in the transportation industry, this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast is designed to enhance your understanding, and deepen your appreciation for the importance of self-reliance to your success. Drawing on the wisdom of some of the early self-help thinkers, this episode will also help you to gain a better understanding of how a lack of independence, autonomy, and self-will can leave you weak and vulnerable, ultimately stunting your growth, and undermining your efforts to succeed.


CIP 013.

Dare to Run More and Greater Risks: P.T. Barnum Risks It All on an Unknown

Drawing on one of the transforming incidents in the early days of P.T. Barnum’s life as a showman and promoter, in this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast you’ll discover the indispensable role of risk in seizing ambitious opportunities, overcoming limits, and conquering unfamiliar terrain, and how bold, calculated risk-taking is often what separates the superstars of success from the vast majority who are merely mediocre. You will also learn five key tactics you can use to strengthen your capacity to run more and greater risks, as you learn to take the bold actions necessary to expand and accelerate your success.


CIP 012.

Expand Your Perspective, Effect Strategy to Win the Greater Game: The Supreme Pontiff's Immaculate Deception

Continuing with the life story of Cesare Borgia, this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast explores Cesare’s approach to dealing with the Borgia family’s nemesis, Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere (who later became Pope Julius II), as an illustration of the dangers of failing to think strategically. In this episode, you’ll discover the power of maintaining a strategic perspective, and the significance of expanding your perspective to include the broader context of your strategy, tactics, decisions, and goals. This episode concludes with four core strategic lessons we can learn from Cesare Borgia’s fall from power.


CIP 011.

Saturate Your Mind with a Lifelong Orientation to Time: Cesare Borgia's Fight to Rise

Exploring the remarkable power of your time horizon, this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast reveals the surprising benefits of aligning with and orienting to the long view. Drawing on the life story of Cesare Borgia and his father, Pope Alexander VI, as well as the research of former Harvard professor of political science Edward Banfield, you will also learn the hazards of failing to implement this essential mental frame and how to avoid them, and three key application tools for helping to ensure your success. Finally, you will discover the single most critical secret of self-discipline.


CIP 010.

Stay Hungry to Make Your Mark: Arnold Schwarzenegger's Drum Major Instinct

In this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast, we examine the role and importance of ambition to your success, and how misguided social norms can unintentionally sabotage your best efforts. Looking to the example of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and drawing on the wisdom of Martin Luther King Jr., this episode also serves as a sort of call to arms for you to raise the bar and reexamine your focus in light of your true, perhaps hidden, aspirations.


CIP 009.

Crown Yourself: Huey Long's Campaign for the Poor

In this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast, we reveal some of the key lessons we can learn from Huey Long’s 1928 campaign for governor of Louisiana, including the importance of transcending rules, boundaries, and cultural norms in order to get attention, gain power, and meet the needs of your tribe, or your own individual purpose and goals. We also look at how people can get trapped by the status quo, and how culture can be used and abused to reinforce the existing power structure. Finally, we explore the importance of being mindful, strategic and purposeful in regards to how the rules, norms, beliefs, and values of organizations and society can subtly constrict your thinking and, thereby, limit your vision, ambition, and goals.


CIP 008.

Conquer Fear Through Action: Theodore Roosevelt in the Badlands

In this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast, we examine a revealing experience of Theodore Roosevelt in the Dakota Badlands. We’ll also explore a few lessons we can learn from his experience as well as a few of the tactics he used for overcoming his fear. We also look briefly at Eleanor Roosevelt’s experience during the women’s rights movement, and her approach to dealing with her own fears. This episode emphasizes the importance of both your actions and beliefs in regards to fear and how to adopt the most resourceful mindset about confidence and courage, one that will serve you throughout your life.


CIP 007.

Hustle While You Wait: Walter Chrysler's Siren Call

In this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast, we look at the strategy Walter Chrysler used to crack into the automobile manufacturing business. We explore a few lessons we can learn from Chrysler, as well as a couple of short anecdotes from other historical legends, including General Stonewall Jackson and theoretical physicist Albert Einstein. This episode emphasizes the value of maintaining perspective, optimizing time, and hustling while you wait.


CIP 006.

Start with What You Have, Where You Are: The Legend Behind the Story of Robinson Crusoe

In this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast, we explore the story of Scottish buccaneer and navigator Alexander Selkirk—the inspiration behind the legend of Robinson Crusoe—and the wisdom and insights we can gain from his experience as a castaway on an uninhabited island off the coast of Chile. We explore the significance of self-reliance and resourcefulness, and the need to lean into your challenges, rather than turning your back.


CIP 005.

Concentrate Your Power: Casanova's Great Escape

In this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast, we explore the success philosophy of the legendary seducer Giacomo Casanova. We also touch on some of the overlapping ideas from thinkers as diverse as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Andrew Carnegie.


CIP 004.

Resolve to Pay the Price: Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose

In this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast, we’ll look at the development of the H-4 Hercules (Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose), around the time of World War II, and the lessons we can learn from Howard Hughes’ experience, including the importance of commitment, risk, hard work, follow through and conviction. We’ll also discuss one of the secrets of Hughes’ success.


CIP 003.

Cultivate a Fantastic Obsession: Walt Disney's Epic Dream

In this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast, we’ll explore the vision of Walt Disney, the role that a great dream or grand aspiration plays in ensuring your success, and how you can cultivate your dream until it becomes your own fantastic obsession.


CIP 002.

Select Yourself: JFK's Campaign for President

In this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast, we look at John F. Kennedy’s decision to run for President, the pushback he faced from within his own party, and the lessons we can learn from his response, including the critical importance of being the master of your own fate.


CIP 001.

The Power of Initiative: President McKinley's Message to Garcia

In this episode of the Classic Influence Podcast, we’ll explore the role and importance of initiative and the ownership mindset in your success. Drawing on the experience of Captain Andrew Rowan and President McKinley’s famous “message to Garcia” during Cuba’s war of independence from Spain, as well as the reception of Elbert Hubbard’s essay, “A Message to Garcia,” you’ll begin to see the surprising influence of men and women of initiative. You will also discover the one factor that makes this quality so essential to your success.


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