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 042.

Win Lasting Influence, Listen for the Underlying Need: Mahatma Gandhi Builds the Bedrock of an Unbreakable Charismatic Bond

After leaving for law school in London at age 18, when Mohandas K. Gandhi finally returned to India in 1915 he was 45. Despite his prolonged initial absence, the deeply spiritual Gandhi quickly rose to become one of the most influential figures in India. In fact, for a man who possessed little more than a loincloth and glasses to defeat the greatest empire on Earth, without so much as throwing a stone, we might well look to Mahatma Gandhi as the most brilliant strategist and leader that ever lived. In 1999, TIME magazine credited Gandhi as runner-up to Albert Einstein for “Person of the Century.” But Einstein himself said, “Mahatma Gandhi’s life achievement stands unique in political history. He has invented a completely new and humane means for the liberation war of an oppressed country…We may all be happy and grateful that destiny gifted us with such an enlightened contemporary, a role model for the generations to come….[who] will scarce believe that such a one as this walked the earth in flesh and blood.” Today, known as “The Father of India” and “The Apostle of Non-violence,” Mahatma Gandhi is a global icon. In this episode of Classic Influence, we’ll travel back to India in 1915 and discover how Gandhi built an unbreakable charismatic bond with his followers and, in the process, forged the foundation of his influence in India, Great Britain and beyond.
  1. Mehta, Ved (1976). Mahatma Gandhi and His Apostles. New York: The Viking Press. Pg. 133.
  2. Leigh, Andrew (2011). Charisma: The Secrets of Making a Lasting Impression. London: Prentice Hall. Pg. 158.
  3. Matthews, Chris (2009). The Hardball Handbook: How to Win at Life. New York: Random House. Pg. 45.
  4. Alessandra, Anthony J. (1998). Charisma: Seven Keys to Developing the Magnetism that Leads to Success. New York: Warner Books. Pg. 115.
  5. DeMarco, MJ (2011). The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live for a Lifetime. Phoenix, AZ: Viperion Publishing Corporation. Pg. 208.
  6. Lewis, David & Mills, G. Riley (2012). The Pin Drop Principle: Captivate, Influence, and Communicate Better Using the Time-Tested Methods of Professional Performers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Pg. 141.
  7. Nichols, Ralph G. & Stevens, Leonard A. (1957, September). “Listening to People.” Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/1957/09/listening-to-people Quotes: The key in essence, according to Nichols, is to “direct a maximum amount of thought to the message being received.” “It requires self-control,” he writes, “sometimes more than many of us can muster, but with persistent practice it can be turned into a valuable habit.”
  8. Ford, William (2006 January 23). “Transcript of Q4 2005 Ford Motor Company Earnings Conference Call.” [Key Speaker: Bill Ford, Chairman & CEO, Ford Motor Company in January 2006], Congressional Quarterly Transcriptions (NewsBank Access World News). Quote: “My great-grandfather once said of the first car he ever built, “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” At Ford, we’re going to figure out what people want before they even know it and then we are going to give it to them.”
  9. Rackham, Neil (1988). SPIN Selling. New York: McGraw-Hill. Pg. 14.
  10. Carnegie, Dale (1981 [1936]). How to Win Friends and Influence People. New York: Pocket Books.
  11. Quinn, Robert E. (2004). Building the Bridge As You Walk On It: A Guide for Leading Change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Pg. 137.
  12. Parekh, Bhikhu (1997). Gandhi: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press. Pg. 5.
  13. Quinn, Robert E. (2000). Change the World : How Ordinary People Can Achieve Extraordinary Results. San Franciso: Jossey-Bass. Pg. 54.
  14. Gandhi, Rajmohan (2007). Mohandas: A True Story of a Man, His People and An Empire. New York: Penguin.
  15. Ackerman, Peter and DuVall, Jack (2000). A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict. New York: Palgrave. Pg. 84.
  16. Marques, Joan & Dhiman, Satinder (2018). Engaged Leadership: Transforming through Future-Oriented Design Thinking. San Francisco: Springer Publishing. Pg. 122. In his own words, Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
  17. Kouzes, James M. & Posner, Barry (2009, January). “To Lead, Create a Shared Vision.” Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2009/01/to-lead-create-a-shared-vision Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Kouzes and Posner put it this way: “The only visions that take hold are shared visions—and you will create them only when you listen very, very closely to others, appreciate their hopes, and attend to their needs.”

Music Credits: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com): "Heroic Age," "Take a Chance," "Fife and Drum," "Danse Macabre," "MJS Stings," "Cartoon Battle," “Sweeter Vermouth.” Rafael Krux (incompetech.com): “Fantasy Theme.” Alexander Nakarada (incompetech.com): “Jokull-Metal Version.” Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Voice Credits:: Female Voice Outtro: LauraPro @Fiverr.com

CIP 041.

Build Habits of Mastery and Self-Control: The Making and Unmaking of The Knights Templar, the Most Formidable Military Order of the Middle Ages

On Christmas Day in 1119 A.D., countless prayers were finally answered when a French knight known as Hugh of Payns banded together with 8 other knights in a brotherhood of highly skilled religious warriors. The nine knights all took “vows of poverty, chastity and obedience” and pledged themselves to protect the Christian pilgrims who were traveling on the roads to Jerusalem. Operating as a sort of elite special forces of the Middle Ages, the exceptionally disciplined and well-trained military order was unlike any religious order that had come before. In this episode of Classic Influence, we’ll travel back to the Holy Lands during the Crusades to explore the key factors that led to the surprisingly rapid rise of the Knights Templar, the most formidable military order in the history of the world. This episode also reveals the one central factor that best explains the Templars’ eventual downfall and their scandalous, vicious end.



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.


  1. Plutarch (1894 [c. 1st century]). Stewart, Aubrey (Translator). Plutarch’s Parallel Lives, Volume I. New York: George Bell and Sons. Pg. 23.
  2. Baumeister, Roy F. and Tierney, John (2011). Willpower: Why Self Control is the Secret to Success. New York: Penguin. Pg. 87.
  3. Gollwitzer, Peter M. et al (2009). “When Intentions Go Public: Does Social Reality Widen the Intention-Behavior Gap?” Psychological Science, Volume 20, Number 5. Pgs. 612-618.
  4. Fadiman, Clifton and Bernard, Andre (eds.) (2000). Bartlett’s Book of Anecdotes. New York: Little, Brown and Company. Pg. 20.
Music Credits: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com): "Heroic Age," "Take a Chance," "Fife and Drum," "Danse Macabre," "Evening Melodrama," "MJS Stings," "Cartoon Battle," “Sweeter Vermouth.” Rafael Krux (incompetech.com): “Fantasy Theme.” Alexander Nakarada (incompetech.com): “Jokull-Metal Version.” Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. Sound Fx Credits: “Harbor-Ambience” by CliftonMcarlson at FreeSound.org, Creaking-sailing-boat (by jimsim at FreeSoundOrg), Rough Baltic Sea (by GirlwithSoundRecorder at FreeSoundOrg), kemah-harbor (by cactusclef at FreeSoundOrg), Forest Fire Inferno (FreeSoundOrg By Dynamicell). Voice Credits:: Female Voice Outtro: LauraPro @Fiverr.com

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.
  1. Greene, Robert (2006). The 33 Strategies of War. New York: Penguin Books. Pg. 34.
  2. Dolan, Samuel K. and Hense, Jim (2009). “Blood and Guts.” Patton 360. Documentary. History Channel.
  3. Rice, Earle (2013). George S. Patton: Great Military Leaders of the 20th Century. New York: Chelsea House. Pg. 19.
  4. Walker, Harold Blake (1962, April 23). “Living Faith.” Chicago Daily Tribune, Part 1, Page 4. http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1962/04/23/page/4
  5. Robbins, Anthony (2014). Money: Master the Game. 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom. New York: Simon and Schuster. Pg. 183.
  6. Blumenson, Martin (1985). Patton: The Man Behind the Legend, 1885-1945. New York: William Morrow. Pg. 113.
Music Credits: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com): "Heroic Age," "Take a Chance," "Fife and Drum," "Danse Macabre," "Evening Melodrama," "MJS Stings," "Cartoon Battle," “Sweeter Vermouth.” Rafael Krux (incompetech.com): “Fantasy Theme.” Alexander Nakarada (incompetech.com): “Jokull-Metal Version.” Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. Voice Credits:: Female Voice Outtro: LauraPro @Fiverr.com

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.
  1. Watts, Steven (2013). Self-Help Messiah: Dale Carnegie and Success in Modern America. New York: Other Press. Pgs. 7, 65-69.
  2. Miller, Laura (2013, October 20). “The Father of Self-Help: The First Independent Biography of the Regular Guy who Shaped 20th-Century AMERICA, Dale Carnegie.” Salon. http://www.salon.com/2013/10/20/the_father_of_self_help/
  3. Carnegie, Dale (1984 [1944]). How to Stop Worrying and Start Living: Time-Tested Methods for Conquering Worry. New York: Pocket Books. Pgs. xvi, xvii.
  4. VanHaren, Roger (2031, November 27). “Today’s society is swamped by weather predictions.” Oconto County Times Herald. http://octimesherald.com/articles/2013/11/27/today%E2%80%99s-society-swamped-weather-predictions
Music Credits: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com): "Heroic Age," "Take a Chance," "Fife and Drum," "Danse Macabre," "Evening Melodrama," "MJS Stings," "Cartoon Battle," “Sweeter Vermouth.” Rafael Krux (incompetech.com): “Fantasy Theme.” Alexander Nakarada (incompetech.com): “Jokull-Metal Version.” Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. Voice Credits: Female Voice Outtro: LauraPro @Fiverr.com

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—).
  1. Nohria, Nitin and Champy, James (2000). The Arc of Ambition: Defining the Leadership Journey. Cambridge: Perseus Books. Pg. 32. Quote: Depicting his belief in flight as a disease, “the cure for which would be success,” writes Harvard Business School professor Nitin Nohria, Wilbur Wright was completely captivated by this dream, “the miracle of literally flying in the face of everybody else’s disbelief.”
  2. Gates, Bill (2001). “Great Minds of the Century: The Wright Brothers.” In Isaacson, Walter (ed.) TIME American Legends: Our Nation’s Most Fascinating Heroes, Icons and Leaders. Pg. 90.
  3. Keller, Gary (2013). The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. Austin: Bard Press. Pg. 12. Quote: “Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.”
  4. Schifrin, Matthew (2010). The Warren Buffetts Next Door: The World's Greatest Investors You've Never Heard Of and What You Can Learn From Them. New York: Wiley. Pg. 3. Warren Buffett Quote: “Diversification is protection against ignorance. It makes little sense if you know what you are doing.”
  5. Andrew Carnegie (1902). The Empire of Business. New York: Doubleday, Page & Co. Pg. 17. Andrew Carnegie Quote from Speech entitled, “The Road to Business Success”: “And here is the prime condition of success, the great secret—concentrate your energy, thought and capital exclusively upon the business in which you are engaged. Having begun on one line, resolve to fight it out on that line, to lead in it, adopt every improvement, have the best machinery, and know the most about it. The concerns which fail,” Carnegie continued, “are those which have scattered their capital, which means that they have scattered their brains also. They have investments in this, or that, or the other, here, there and everywhere. ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ is all wrong. I tell you ‘put all your eggs in one basket, and then watch that basket.’ Look round you and take notice; men who do that do not often fail. It is easy to watch and carry the one basket. It is trying to carry too many baskets that breaks most eggs in this country.”
  6. Tarcher, Jeremy P. (Ed.)(2007). The Prosperity Bible: The Greatest Writings of All Time on the Secrets to Wealth and Prosperity. New York: Penguin. Pg. 799. P.T. Barnum Quote: “Engage in one kind of business only,” wrote P.T. Barnum, “and stick to it faithfully until you succeed, or until your experience shows that you should abandon it. When a man’s undivided attention is centered on one object, his mind will constantly be suggesting improvements of value, which would escape him if his brain was occupied by a dozen different subjects at once.”
  7. Engel, Tara Dixon (2015). “Pioneers of the Air.” In History of Flight, Special Collector’s Edition. New York: Harris Publications, Inc. Pg. 16, 19.
  8. Tarcher, Jeremy P. (Ed.)(2007). The Prosperity Bible: The Greatest Writings of All Time on the Secrets to Wealth and Prosperity. New York: Penguin. Pg. 18. Quote from Napoleon Hill: “One sound idea is all that one needs to achieve success.”
  9. Tarcher, Jeremy P. (Ed.)(2007). The Prosperity Bible: The Greatest Writings of All Time on the Secrets to Wealth and Prosperity. New York: Penguin. Pg. 799. P.T. Barnum Quote: “Many a fortune has slipped through a man’s fingers because he was engaged in too many occupations at a time. There is good sense in the old caution against having too many irons in the fire at once.”
  10. Keller, Gary (2013). The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. Austin: Bard Press. Gary Keller Quote: “ “Success demands singleness of purpose. It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world.” Gary Keller Quote, Pg. 17: “So when you think about success,” writes Keller, “shoot for the moon. The moon is reachable if you prioritize everything and put all of your energy into accomplishing the most important thing.”
  11. Hill, Napoleon (1928). The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons. Meriden, Conneticut: The Ralston University Press. Law 15, Pg. 34. John D. Rockefeller Quote: “Singleness of purpose is one of the chief essentials for success in life, no matter what may be one's aim.” Napoleon Hill similarly said, “Singleness of purpose is essential for success, no matter what may be one's idea of the definition of success.”
Music Credits: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com): "Heroic Age," "Take a Chance," "Fife and Drum," "Danse Macabre," "Evening Melodrama," "MJS Stings," "Cartoon Battle," “Sweeter Vermouth.” Rafael Krux (incompetech.com): “Fantasy Theme.” Alexander Nakarada (incompetech.com): “Jokull-Metal Version.” Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. Voice Credits: Female Voice Outtro: LauraPro @Fiverr.com

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.
  1. Tarbell, Ida M. (1917). The Life of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 1. New York: The Macmillan Company. (ALTarbell) Quote: His long-time law partner, William Herndon, later recalled, “The whole thing was so revolting that Lincoln moved away from the scene with a deep feeling of ‘unconquerable hate.’ Bidding his companions follow him, he said: ‘Boys, let’s get away from this. If ever I get a chance to hit that thing’ [meaning slavery], ‘I’ll hit it hard.’”
  2. Guelzo, Allen C. (2009). Lincoln: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press. Pg. 1. Quote: One biographer wrote that “No man could have loved fame more than Abraham Lincoln.”
  3. McGovern, George (2009). Abraham Lincoln. The American Presidents Series. New York: Henry Hold and Company, LLC. Pg. 2. Quote: Another said that Lincoln was “the most ambitious man in the world.”
  4. Goodwin, Doris Kearns (2005). Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. New York: Simon and Schuster. Pg. 92. (Rivals)
  5. The Political Debates Between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas: In the Senatorial Campaign of 1858 in Illinois Together with Certain Preceding Speeches of Each at Chicago, Springfield, etc. (1912) New York: The Knickerbocker Press. Pg. 50. (LincolnDouglasDebates) Quote: As Lincoln himself said, “I have always hated slavery, I think, as much as any abolitionist. I have been an Old Line Whig. I have always hated it, but I have always been quiet about it until this new era of the introduction of the Nebraska Bill began.”
  6. Nelson, Michael (Ed.)(1996). The Presidency: A History of the Office of the President of the United States from 1789 to the Present. London: Salamander Books Limited. Pg. 99. Quote: “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” he said in his address, quoting Christ from the Synoptic Gospels.Mark3:25 “I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved; I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.”
  7. Stengel, Richard (Editor)(2009). Abraham Lincoln: An Illustrated History of His Life and Times. New York: Time Books. Pg. 70. Quote: As is often the case with charismatic and transformational leaders, Abraham Lincoln had given voice to the conclusions that many Americans had already come to themselves, “but no major politicians had yet dared to express.”
  8. Mieczkowski, Joe (2011). Lincoln and His Cabinet. Pediapress. Pg. 15.
  9. Covey, Stephen (2004). The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness. New York: Free Press. Pg. 76. (CoveyEight) Quote (Aristotle): “Where talents and the needs of the world cross, therein lies your vocation.”
  10. Wren, J. Thomas (1995). The Leader’s Companion: Insights on Leadership Through the Ages. New York: The Free Press. Pg. 188. Quote: John W. Gardner put it this way: “A loyal constituency is won when people consciously or unconsciously judge the leader to be capable of solving their problems and meeting their needs…”
  11. Flynn, Pat (2016). Will It Fly: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money. San Diego: Flynndustries, LLC. Pg. 145. Quote: American business executive and marketing maven Jay Abraham once said, “If you can define the problem better than your target customer then they will automatically assume you have the solution.”
  12. Spradlin, Dwayne (2012, September) “Are You Solving the Right Problem?” Harvard Business Review. Cambridge: Harvard Business Publishing. https://hbr.org/2012/09/are-you-solving-the-right-problem (EinsteinHour) Quote: As Albert Einstein reportedly said, as quoted in Harvard Business Review, “If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it.”
  13. Churchill, Winston S. (1943, September 6). “The Gift of a Common Tongue.” Harvard University Address. https://www.winstonchurchill.org/resources/speeches/1941-1945-war-leader/the-price-of-greatness-is-responsibility/ (ChurchillHU) Quote: He seemed to understand intuitively what Winston Churchill once said in an address at Harvard University in 1943. “The price of greatness,” he said, explaining America’s rapid historical rise, “is responsibility.”
Music Credits: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com): "Heroic Age," "Take a Chance," "Fife and Drum," "Danse Macabre," "Evening Melodrama," "MJS Stings," "Cartoon Battle," “Sweeter Vermouth.” Rafael Krux (incompetech.com): “Fantasy Theme.” Alexander Nakarada (incompetech.com): “Jokull-Metal Version.” Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. Voice Credits: Female Voice Outtro: LauraPro @Fiverr.com

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.
  1. Rickles, Don (2007). Rickles' Book: A Memoir. New York: Simon and Schuster. Pgs. 4-5. Quotes: “‘My God. There’s Frank Sinatra! Do you know him?,’” Rickles date gushed, obviously starstruck. “Do I know him? We’re like brothers,” Rickles said. Frank Sinatra and Don Rickles dialogue: “‘Hello, Don.’ That’s it, Frank. Two words, ‘Hello, Don,’ and everything will be beautiful.” Writing in his autobiography, Rickles explains what happened next: “The violins stopped. The clinking glasses stopped. Everyone stopped talking. Everyone stared at us. Time stopped. And then, God bless him, Frank fell down laughing. Two minutes later,” he writes, “two security guards and a couple of Frank’s pals came over, picked me up, and carried me over their heads and out of the Sands. I never saw the gal again.”
  2. Baruch, Bernard Mannes (1962). Baruch: The Public Years. Pg. 261. President Franklin Roosevelt Quote: “A good leader can't get too far ahead of his followers.”
  3. Rubenzer, Steven J. and Faschingbauer, Thomas R. (2004). Personality, Character, and Leadership in the White House: Psychologists Assess the Presidents. Washington, D.C.: Brassey’s Inc. Pgs. 45, 243, 305. Quotes: In fact, according to psychologists Rubenzer and Faschingbauer, authors of Personality, Character and Leadership in the White House, assertiveness “is the single best predictor of Presidential Success” (pg. 45). “Though some dislike such qualities, high Assertiveness is a clear asset in a president” (pg. 305). “…It can be thought of as a general capacity for leadership,” the authors conclude regarding their study of successful U.S. presidents (pg. 45). “Those who score high on this scale have emerged as a leader at many times in their lives and naturally take charge” (pg. 45).
  4. Greene, Robert (1998). The 48 Laws of Power. New York: Penguin Books. Pg. 233. Quote: In Napoleon’s case, he was also timid and self-conscious in social situations, particularly in society and around women, “but he overcame this and practiced boldness in every part of his life because he saw its tremendous power,” writes Robert Greene in The 48 Laws of Power, “and how it could literally enlarge a man (even one who, like Napoleon, was in fact conspicuously small).” Quote: “Your fears of the consequences of a bold action are way out of proportion to reality,” writes Greene, “and in fact the consequences of timidity are worse. Your value is lowered and you create a self-fulfilling cycle of doubt and disaster. Remember: The problems created by an audacious move can be disguised, even remedied, by more and greater audacity” (pg. 234). If you hope to tap your greatest potential, if you hope to succeed at your highest level, “you must practice and develop your boldness…Do not wait for a coronation,” writes Greene, “the greatest emperors crown themselves.” (pg. 233). “People of all classes threw themselves at his feet…Volunteers swelled the ranks of his new army. Delirium swept the country. In Paris, crowds went wild” (pg. 63).
  5. Tarcher, Jeremy P. (Ed.)(2007). The Prosperity Bible: The Greatest Writings of All Time on the Secrets to Wealth and Prosperity. New York: Penguin. Pg. 945. Quote: “We lose our capacity to have visions if we do not take steps to realize them,” Robert Collier writes in The Secret of the Ages.
  6. Dennis, Felix (2006). How to Get Rich: One of the World’s Greatest Entrepreneurs Shares His Secrets. New York: Portfolio. Quotes: Millionaire entrepreneur Felix Dennis, author of How to Get Rich, writes, “After a lifetime of making money and observing better men and women than I fall by the wayside, I am convinced that fear of failing in the eyes of the world is the single biggest impediment to amassing wealth. Trust me on this” (pg. 39). “If you shy away for any reason whatever, then the way is blocked. The gate is shut—and will remain shut. You will never get started. You will never get rich” (pg. 39). And when fear or discomfort rears its ugly head, remember what Felix Dennis said, “You either get over it, go around it, go at it, mount it, duck under it, or cozy up to it, but [do not] surrender to it” (pg. 39).
  7. Dennis, Felix (2010). The Narrow Road: A Brief Guide to the Getting of Money. New York: Penguin. Quote: “Fear…” he wrote in The Narrow Road, “it will cripple you. You must confront and harness it” (pg. 108).
  8. Roberts, Andrew (2015, June). “Why We’d Be Better Off if Napoleon Never Lost at Waterloo.” Smithsonian Magazine. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/we-better-off-napoleon-never-lost-waterloo-180955298/ Quotes: Soldiers from other regiments sent by order of the king to arrest Bonaparte also “switched sides the moment they came into contact with the charisma of their former sovereign." “Suddenly very simple carriages without any escort showed up at the wicket-gate by the river and the emperor was announced…The carriages enter, we all rush around them and we see Napoleon get out. Then everyone’s in delirium; we jump on him in disorder, we surround him, we squeeze him, we almost suffocate him.” Routier referred to it as a “magical arrival, the result of a road of over two hundred leagues traveled in eighteen days on French soil without spilling one drop of blood.” “That night Napoleon sat down to eat the dinner that had been cooked for Louis XVIII, who had fled Paris only hours earlier. Not one shot had been fired in the Bourbons’ defense.”
  9. Markham, Felix (1963). Napoleon. New York: Penguin. Pg. 223. Quotes: “Never before in history,” wrote Balzac, the French novelist and playwright, “did a man gain an empire simply by showing his hat?” For his own part, Napoleon later said of the march from Cannes to Paris, known today as “Route Napoleon,” it was “the happiest period in my life” (pg. 223).
  10. Colson, Bruno (2015). Napoleon: On War. Translated by Gregory Elliott. New York: Oxford University Press. Pg. 151.
  11. Sinatra, Frank. “My Way.” My Way: The Best of Frank Sinatra, Warner, 1996.

Music Credits: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com): "Heroic Age," "Take a Chance," "Fife and Drum," "Danse Macabre," "Evening Melodrama," "MJS Stings," "Cartoon Battle," “Sweeter Vermouth.” Rafael Krux (incompetech.com): “Fantasy Theme.” Alexander Nakarada (incompetech.com): “Jokull-Metal Version.” Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Voice Credits: Female Voice Outtro: LauraPro @Fiverr.com

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.
  1. Porter, Linda (2010). Mary Tudor: The First Queen. London: Hachette. Pgs. 107, 123-130. Quotes: “The truth was,” writes historian Linda Porter, “he gave her little chance of success. Everything he heard made him think she would be lucky to survive, let alone become queen.” “Much of her adult life had been passed in opposition,” writes Porter, “but now there was a need for clear thinking and boldness, not protests and tears.” She knew “…she had good reason to fear the duke of Northumberland…If she stayed, he would come for her and she would almost certainly be imprisoned, perhaps worse.” With growing hope and anticipation, “careful plans were made to evade and outwit the authorities, to wrestle the initiative from the preoccupied council in London.” “The throne of England was hers by right of law and of descent.”
  2. Marsh, Katharine (Editor)(2018). Everything You Need to Know About the Tudors, 1st Edition. Bournemouth: Future Publishing Limited. Pg. 66.
  3. Ackroyd, Peter (2012). Tudors: The History of England from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I, Volume II. London: Macmillan. Pgs. 143-145. Quotes: “It is reported that the lords looked into one another’s faces uneasily, and that their wives sobbed. A reply was sent ordering Mary not to ‘vex and molest’ the people of England with her false claim.” “Northumberland had decided to detain Mary, by force, and bring her to London.” “Mary stood her ground. She was,” writes historian Peter Ackroyd, “resolute and defiant on the model of her father; she had a stern Tudor sense of majesty, allied with an awareness of her religious mission…” “Yet she was still in the utmost danger. If she had been defeated and come to trial,” writes Ackroyd, “she would have been declared guilty of treason. The fate of the nation, and of her religion, was now at stake.” “Some of the councilors secretly doubted [Northumberland]. Others were confused and uncertain. William Cecil armed himself and made plans to flee the realm.” In fact, before long, droves of supporters were turning to Mary, “with the earl of Sussex and the earl of Bath among the first of them. The people from the towns and villages of the region took up their weapons. It seemed that the whole of East Anglia had risen for her. The city of Norwich proclaimed her as rightful sovereign. A small navy of six ships, sent out by Northumberland to guard the seaways off the Norfolk coast, defected to Mary’s camp. When she went out to review her new troops the cry went up ‘Long live our good Queen Mary!’” “I beseech you all to bear me witness, that I die in the true Catholic faith.” He then turned to the executioner, who “wore a white apron, like a butcher,” and said, “I have deserved a thousand deaths.”
  4. Beer, Barrett L. (1979, Spring). “Northumberland: The Myth of the Wicked Duke and the Historical John Dudley.” Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies, Volume 11, Number 1. Pgs. 1-14.
  5. Whitelock, Anna (2009). Mary Tudor: Princess, Bastard, Queen. New York: Random House. Pgs. 139-140. Quotes: “The following morning,” as his own anxiety grew, “Northumberland set out from Durham Palace with munitions, artillery, field guns, and more than 6,000 men. The imperial ambassadors wrote to Charles V, ‘We believe that my Lady will be in his hands in four days’ time unless she has sufficient force to resist.’” “She was,” essentially, writes British historian Anna Whitelock, “an isolated figure in East Anglia, surrounded only by her household servants. The ambassadors sent by the emperor were pessimistic about her safety. Believing Northumberland had secured French support, they feared nothing could be done to prevent Jane’s accession and considered Mary’s chances ‘well-nigh impossible.’”
  6. Samson, Alexander (2020, April). “Mary: Brutal But Brilliant.” BBC History Magazine. Bristol: Immediate Media Co. Pgs. 32-35. Quote: In fact, according to historian Samson Alexander, “Ultimately…Mary’s greatest achievement may have been to provide a model for her younger sibling, Elizabeth, to follow. Mary and Elizabeth had a troubled relationship…Yet the older sister set down the statutory foundations of female rule on which the younger sister built, offering a prototype of strong, independent, royal government, and an assiduous and involved monarch, unswayed by the powerful male courtiers who surrounded her.”
  7. Gristwood, Sarah (2016). Game of Queens: The Women Who Made Sixteenth-Century Europe. New York: Basic Books. Pgs. 241-243. Quotes: She also had her sublime self-confidence, her faith in God, and the Tudor heritage, and “everything in Mary Tudor's heritage told her the crown was a prize worth fighting for.” Despite her daring readiness to fight, many found it ridiculous “to tackle a powerful and well-prepared enemy…” “Most of her contemporaries thought she was mad when she unfurled her standard at the castle of Framlingham in Suffolk…” Indeed, “to cooler observers the thing seemed impossible. The Habsburg ambassadors reported that all the country's forces were in the hands of the men who had proclaimed Jane Grey.” Still, if there was ever a chance to seize the initiative, this was it. “She had a chance to act. To act as her mother Catherine had wanted; and act as her grandmother Isabella had done”GameOfQueens241 when she seized the throne of Castile in 1474 under similarly perilous circumstances. People continued to flock “to what they saw as the true Tudor monarchy. As the Genoese merchant Baptista Spinola reported: ‘The hearts of the people are with Mary, the Spanish Queen’s daughter.’” As Tudor historian Sarah Gristwood writes, “Isabella of Castile represented a precedent that must have been ever-present in her granddaughter Mary's mind”
  8. Loades, David (1996). John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland 1504–1553. Clarendon Press. Pg. 261.
  9. Tallis, Nicola (2017). “Bloody Mary on Trial: Henry VIII’s Deadliest Daughter or Victim of Protestant Propaganda?” All About History, Issue 48. Bournemouth: Imagine Publishing, Ltd. Pgs. 35-38. Quotes: She was now at Framlingham Castle, a well-fortified stronghold in Suffolk, East Anglia, “where she was a major landowner, and incredibly popular; this proved to be a wise move.” “His mission proved to be fruitless. Rather than gaining support as he had hoped, Northumberland’s forces began to desert him in favor of Mary. As soon as he left London, sensing the mood of the people and hearing of the increased support for Mary, the Privy Council finally decided to abandon Jane.” By July 19, 1553, “Mary had won the day without a drop of bloodshed.” Lady Jane, now remembered as the “Nine Days’ Queen,” was ousted, and “Mary was proclaimed queen to the great joy of her subjects.” “As queen she had asserted her authority as the first female monarch to reign supreme.”
  10. Richards, Judith (2007, December) “Edward VI and Mary Tudor: Protestant King and Catholic Sister.” History Review. Pg. 22.
  11. Braddock, Robert C. (1974, Winter). “The Character and Composition of the Duke of Northumberland's Army.” Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies, Volume 6, Number 4. Pgs. 342-356. Quote: “Northumberland’s puny force was no match for the thousands who, in the greatest mass-demonstration of loyalty ever accorded to a Tudor, flocked to Mary’s camp….”
  12. Solly, Meilan (2020, March 12). “The Myth of ‘Bloody Mary’: History remembers the English queen as a murderous monster, but the real story of Mary I is far more nuanced.” Smithsonian Magazine. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/myth-bloody-mary-180974221/ Quote: Mary, of course, known by her enemies as “Bloody Mary,” is rightly criticized for her barbaric crackdown on religious dissent, which included burning nearly 300 people at the stake. But she was also an “intelligent, politically adept…trailblazer, a political pioneer whose reign redefined the English monarchy.”
Music Credits: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com): "Heroic Age," "Take a Chance," "Fife and Drum," "Danse Macabre," "Evening Melodrama," "MJS Stings," "Cartoon Battle," “Sweeter Vermouth.” Rafael Krux (incompetech.com): “Fantasy Theme.” Alexander Nakarada (incompetech.com): “Jokull-Metal Version.” Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. Voice Credits: Female Voice Outtro: LauraPro @Fiverr.com

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.
  1. Sidey, Hugh (2004), Hugh Sidey’s Portraits of the Presidents: Power and Personality in the Oval Office. TIME, Special Collector’s Edition. Des Moines, IA: Time Books. Pg. iv.
  2. Rubenzer, Steven J. and Faschingbauer, Thomas R. (2004). Personality, Character, and Leadership in the White House: Psychologists Assess the Presidents. Washington, D.C.: Brassey’s Inc. Pgs. 240-242.
  3. Wolraich, Michael (2014). Unreasonable Men: Theodore Roosevelt and the Republican Rebels Who Created Progressive Politics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Pg. 12.
  4. Goodwin, Doris Kearns (2014). The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism. New York: Simon and Schuster. Pg. 156.
  5. Smith, Joseph (2011). “The Assistant Secretary of the Navy and the Spanish-American War Hero.” Chapter 3 in A Companion to Theodore Roosevelt. Blackwell Companions to American History. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. Pgs. 47-49.
  6. Hogan, Bill (Editor) (2018, Summer). “How the Rough Riders Got Their Name.” Military History Quarterly, Volume 30, Number 4. Pg. 36.
  7. Gardner, Mark Lee (2016). Rough Riders: Theodore Roosevelt, His Cowboy Regiment, and the Immortal Charge Up San Juan Hill. New York: HarperCollins. Pg. 39.
  8. Dennis, Felix (2010). The Narrow Road: A Brief Guide to the Getting of Money. New York: Penguin. Pg. 38.
  9. Roosevelt, Theodore (1922). Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. Pg. 52.
  10. Murray, William Hutchison (1951). The Scottish Himalayan Expedition. London: Dent. Pgs. 6-7. Full quote: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”

Music Credits: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com): "Heroic Age," "Take a Chance," "Fife and Drum," "Danse Macabre," "Evening Melodrama," "MJS Stings," "Cartoon Battle," “Sweeter Vermouth.” Rafael Krux (incompetech.com): “Fantasy Theme.” Alexander Nakarada (incompetech.com): “Jokull-Metal Version.” Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Voice Credits: Female Voice Outtro: LauraPro @Fiverr.com

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.
  1. Williams, T. Harry (1981). Huey Long. New York: Random House. Pg. 35.
  2. White, Richard D. (2006). Kingfish: The Reign of Huey P. Long. New York: Random House. Pgs. 8-14.
  3. Greene, Robert (1998). The 48 Laws of Power. New York: Penguin Books. Pg. 227.
  4. “The ‘Famous Five’ Now the ‘Famous Nine.’” United States Senate. http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/Famous_Five_Seven.htm
Music Credits: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com): "Heroic Age," "Take a Chance," "Fife and Drum," "Danse Macabre," "Evening Melodrama," "MJS Stings," "Cartoon Battle," “Sweeter Vermouth.” Rafael Krux (incompetech.com): “Fantasy Theme.” Alexander Nakarada (incompetech.com): “Jokull-Metal Version.” Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. Voice Credits: Female Voice Outtro: LauraPro @Fiverr.com

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.
  1. Roberts, Andrew (2014). Napoleon: A Life. New York: Viking. Pg. 724.
  2. Smith, Timothy Wilson (2007). Napoleon. London: Haus Publishing Limited. Pg. 125.
  3. Headley, Phineas Camp (1858). The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte. New York: Derby & Jackson. Pg. 333.
  4. Gifford, Jonathan (2011, March 19). “Leadership and Courage: Napoleon Returns from Exile in Elba.” Jonathan Gifford: Business. Leadership. History. https://jonathangifford.com/leadership-and-courage-napoleon-returns-from-exile-in-elba/
  5. Scott, Sir Walter (1836). The Life of Napoleon Buonaparte, Emperor of the French. Exeter: J&B Williams. Pg. 302.
  6. Englund, Steven (2004). Napoleon: A Political Life. New York: Scribner. Pg. 428.
  7. Markham, Felix (1963). Napoleon. New York: Penguin. Pg. 226.
  8. Dietrich, William (2015). Napoleon’s Rules: Life and Career Lessons from Bonaparte. Burrows Publishing. Pg. 77.
  9. Singal, Jesse (2017, July 11). “Daniel Kahneman’s Gripe with Behavioral Economics.” [Interview.] The Daily Beast. https://www.thedailybeast.com/daniel-kahnemans-gripe-with-behavioral-economics
  10. Greene, Robert (1998). The 48 Laws of Power. New York: Penguin Books. Pg. 228.
  11. Jackson, Curtis and Greene, Robert (2009). The 50th Law. New York: HarperCollins. Pg. 19.
  12. Frost, Robert (1961, January 20). “The Gift Outright.” Poem recited at John F. Kennedy's Inauguration. https://www.jfklibrary.org/learn/about-jfk/life-of-john-f-kennedy/fast-facts-john-f-kennedy/the-gift-outright-by-robert-frost
  13. Dennis, Felix (2010). The Narrow Road: A Brief Guide to the Getting of Money. New York: Penguin. Pg. 44.
Music Credits: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com): "Heroic Age," "Take a Chance," "Fife and Drum," "Danse Macabre," "Evening Melodrama," "MJS Stings," "Cartoon Battle," “Sweeter Vermouth.” Rafael Krux (incompetech.com): “Fantasy Theme.” Alexander Nakarada (incompetech.com): “Jokull-Metal Version.” Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. Voice Credits: Female Voice Outtro: LauraPro @Fiverr.com

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.
  1. Olson, Lynne (2013). Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and Americas Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941. New York: Random House. Pg. 211.
  2. Roosevelt, Franklin D. (1940, July 19). “Radio Address to the Democratic National Convention Accepting the Nomination.” The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=15980
  3. Fairhurst, Gail (1996). The Art of Framing: Managing the Language of Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  4. Axelrod, Alan (2003). Nothing to Fear: Lessons in Leadership from FDR. New York: Portfolio. Pg. 204.
  5. Beerel, Annabel (2009). Leadership and Change Management. Thousand Oaks: Sage. Pg. 72.
  6. Bolman, Lee and Deal, Terrence (2017). Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership, 6th Edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Music Credits: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com): "Heroic Age," "Take a Chance," "Fife and Drum," "Danse Macabre," "Evening Melodrama," "MJS Stings," "Cartoon Battle," “Sweeter Vermouth.” Rafael Krux (incompetech.com): “Fantasy Theme.” Alexander Nakarada (incompetech.com): “Jokull-Metal Version.” Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Voice Credits: Female Voice Outtro: LauraPro @Fiverr.com

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.
  1. Bruns, Roger (2006). Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Biography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Pgs. 41-42. Quote: “In some ways it was the most important hour of his life. His own home had just been bombed, his wife and baby could have been killed; this was the first deep test of his Christian principles and his theories of nonviolence.” Quote: One elderly grandmother said at the time, “It used to be my soul was tired and my feet rested; now my feet’s tired, but my soul is rested.” Pg. 40. Quote: “We cannot solve this problem through retaliatory violence. We must meet violence with nonviolence. Remember the words of Jesus: ‘He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword.’ We must love our white brothers, no matter what they do to us. We must make them know that we love them. Jesus still cries out across the centuries, “Love your enemies.” This is what we must live by. We must meet hate with love.”” Pg. 42.
  2. Oates, Stephen B. (1982). Let the Trumpet Sound: A Life of Martin Luther King Jr. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. Pgs. 66, 89-90. Quote: “My wife and baby are all right;” he paused, “I want you to go home and put down your weapons.” Pgs. 89-90.
  3. King, Martin Luther (2010 [1958]). Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story. Boston: Beacon Press. Pgs. 43, 54. (Stride) Quote: For his Sunday sermons, he said that he “needed at least fifteen hours to prepare.” Pg. 48. Quote: Now, in what he described as “the most decisive speech of my life,” he had “only twenty minutes to prepare.” Pg. 48.
  4. King, Martin Luther (1998). The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: Warner Books. Quote: “As I thought further,” King himself explains in his autobiography, “I came to see that what we were really doing was withdrawing our cooperation from an evil system, rather than merely withdrawing our support from the bus company. The bus company, being an external expression of the system, would naturally suffer, but the basic aim was to refuse to cooperate with evil.” Pg. 44. “At this point,” King recalls, “I began to think about Thoreau’s ‘Essay on Civil Disobedience.’ I became convinced that what we were preparing to do in Montgomery was related to what Thoreau had expressed. We were simply saying to the white community, ‘We can no longer lend our cooperation to an evil system.’” Pg. 44. “I jumped in my car and for almost an hour I cruised down every major street and examined every passing bus. […] Instead of the 60 percent cooperation we had hoped for,” he wrote, “it was becoming apparent that we had reached almost 100 percent. A miracle had taken place.” Pg. 45. “Men were seen riding mules to work, and more than one horse-drawn buggy drove the streets of Montgomery.” Pg. 45 “They knew why they walked,” King said, “and the knowledge was evident in the way they carried themselves. And as I watched them I knew that there is nothing more majestic than the determined courage of individuals willing to suffer and sacrifice for their freedom and dignity.” Pg. 45. Quote: “It had happened so quickly I did not even have time to think it through. It is probable that if I had, I would have declined the nomination.” Pg. 45.
  5. Menand, Louis (2018, April 4). “When Martin Luther King, Jr., Became a Leader.” The New Yorker. https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/when-martin-luther-king-jr-became-a-leader Quotes: “What had given King pause about endorsing the boycott was a concern that it might be unethical and unchristian,” writes Harvard historian Louis Menand. “The boycott might be unethical because, if it shut down Montgomery buses, it would deprive other riders of a service that they depended on, and deprive bus drivers of the way that they made a living. It might be unchristian,” he continues, “because it was a response to an injury by inflicting an injury. It was revenge. King felt that he had to work through these worries about the movement before he could lead it.” Quote: …Including, at the very least, “a room in the basement of his church for the organizers to meet.” Quote: “He says in his autobiography that he wasted five of those twenty minutes having a panic attack. Fifteen minutes later, he was picked up and driven to the Holt Street Church.”
  6. Shelby, Tommie (2018, April 4). “10 Historians on What People Still Don't Know About Martin Luther King Jr.” TIME Magazine. https://time.com/5197679/10-historians-martin-luther-king-jr/ Actual quote: “Everyone knows King was a Baptist minister, movement leader, and master orator. But he was also a philosopher.”
  7. Gardner, Howard (1995). Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership. New York: Basic Books. Quotes: “Once you become dedicated to a cause, personal security is not the goal. What will happen to you personally does not matter. My cause, my race is worth dying for.” Quote: “King hailed the decision as a victory for all Americans…”Pg. 207. Quote: Which helped him to better adapt his message to them, “depending on whether he was speaking to his home congregation, an unfamiliar congregation, a sympathetic interviewer, a hostile reporter, the viewers of a television talk show, or the readers of an elite magazine.” Pg. 210. Quote: Taking time to stop and step back also enabled King to develop a better “sense of when to listen, when to compromise, and when to hold his ground,” writes Howard Gardner in Leading Minds. Pg. 210. Quote: “King repeatedly had to decide where to go, whom to confront, how hard to push, when to turn on the heat, and when to allow things to cool off.” Pg. 212.
  8. Finkleman, Paul (2009). Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present. Oxford University Press. Pg. 360.
  9. Payne, Charles (2005, December 2). “Unsung Heroes of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.” [Interview.] NPR. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5035704
  10. Tassell, Nige (2016, March). “Martin Luther King and the March on Washington.” History Revealed, Issue 27. Pg. 29. Quote: As the bus “boycott’s chief architect,” King “became nationally recognized as one of the Civil Rights Movement’s most high-profile leaders.”
  11. Edwards, Sharon (2017, May 17). “Reflecting differently. New dimensions: Reflection-before-action and reflection-beyond-action.” International Practice Development Journal, Volume 7, Issue 1, Article 2. https://doi.org/10.19043/ipdj.71.002
  12. Taylor, S. E.; Brown, J. D. (1994). “Positive illusions and well-being revisited: Separating fact from fiction.” Psychological Bulletin. 116 (1). Pgs. 21–27. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8078971/
  13. Sobel, Andrew and Panas, Jerold (2012). Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Pg. 81.Quote: As the celebrated management consultant Peter Drucker put it, “Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”
  14. Borton, Terry (1970). “Applying the Process Approach” Chapter 8 in Reach, Touch and Teach. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  15. Bennett, William J. (2001). Virtues of Leadership. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc. Pg. viii.
  16. Phillips, Donald T. (1998). Martin Luther King, Jr. On Leadership: Inspiration & Wisdom for Challenging Times. New York: Warner Books. Quote: King found close to a thousand people crammed into the church, “spilling into the aisles, standing on the sides and in the back. An estimated four thousand more people were crowded together outside on the lawn and in the streets listening to what was being said from a loud-speaker that had been mounted on the church’s roof.” Pg. 38.
  17. King, Martin Luther (1967, November). The Trumpet of Conscience. Quote: “The limitation of riots, moral questions aside,” he said, “is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary,” King continues, “but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.”
  18. Greene, Robert (2018). The Laws of Human Nature. New York: Viking. Quote: You are easily “infected by all of the drama that others churn up; you are continually reacting to what [other] people give you…” Pgs. 22, 184. Quote: Without a clear purpose and framework “to guide your decisions, you never quite reach the goals that you set.” Pg. 22. Quote: Rather than “reacting to what others give you,” or being constricted and controlled by the grip of your emotions, you will find, “with a calm spirit,” that you are able to “entertain a wide range of options and solutions.” Pg. 21. As Robert Green writes in The Laws of Human Nature, “like an athlete continually getting stronger through training, your mind will become more flexible and resilient. Clear and calm, you will see answers and creative solutions that no one else can envision.” Pg. 21.
  19. Heifetz, Ronald A. (1994). Leadership Without Easy Answers. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Pg. 252. Quote: “Rather than maintain perspective on the events that surround and involve us, we often get swept up by them.” Pg. 252.
  20. Greene, Robert (2006). The 33 Strategies of War. New York: Penguin Books. (GreeneWar) Pg. 19. Quote: When you get outside of the game, when you “elevate yourself above the battlefield,” (Greene P. 19) or get “on the balcony,” as Heifetz puts it in his book, Leadership Without Easy Answers (P. 252)…
  21. Gergen, David (2001). Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership Nixon to Clinton. New York: Simon & Schuster. Pg. 42. Quote: In short, getting some distance, “observing the patterns of action from afar,” writes Harvard Kennedy School professor David Gergen, helps to foster more effective action.
  22. Thoreau, Henry David (1910). Walden. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co. Pg. 427. Quote: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,” Thoreau later wrote, “to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
  23. Twain, Mark (1961). Twain: Wit and Wisecracks. White Plains, New York: Peter Pauper Press. Pg. 7. Quote: “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.”
  24. Bennett, William J. (2001). Virtues of Leadership. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc. Pg. viii. Quote: “A night that had been on the verge of chaos came to a quiet, if uneasy, close. Pictures of King urging calm from his shattered porch made the newspapers across the country, and support for the civil rights movement swelled.”

Music Credits: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com): "Heroic Age," "Take a Chance," "Fife and Drum," "Danse Macabre," "Evening Melodrama," "MJS Stings," "Cartoon Battle," "Sweeter Vermouth." Rafael Krux (incompetech.com): "Fantasy Theme." Alexander Nakarada (incompetech.com): "Jokull-Metal Version." Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Voice Credits: Female Voice Outtro: LauraPro @Fiverr.com

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.
  1. Perkins, Dennis N.T. (2000). Leading at the Edge: Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition. New York: Amacom. Pgs. xiii, 42-43, 45, 48, 51, 79, 81.
  2. Ainsberg, Arthur (2010). Shackleton: Leadership Lessons from Antarctica. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse. Pgs. 5, 60.
  3. Morrell, Margot and Capparell, Stephanie (2001). Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer. New York: Viking. Pgs. 5, 39, 77, 107-108.
  4. Alexander, Caroline (1998). The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Pgs. 54-56, 153, 164-165, 171, 182-183.
  5. Butler, George (2000). "The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition" [Documentary Film]. United States: Discovery Channel Pictures.
  6. Worsley, Frank Arthur (1931). Endurance: An Epic of Polar Adventure. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. Pgs. 1-4, 6, 49-50, 53, 88, 97-100, 183.
  7. Coonradt, Charles A. (2007). The Better People Leader. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher. Pgs. 11-12.
  8. Frankl, Viktor (1984). Man's Search for Meaning. New York: Pocket Books. Pg. 86.
  9. The Holy Bible. 1 Corinthians 15:33.

Music Credits: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), "Heroic Age," "Take a Chance," "Fife and Drum," "Cold Journey (by Alexander Nakarada)," "Bonfire (Medieval Bonfire Music)" by Alexander Nakarada, "Jokull-Metal Version" by Alexander Nakarada, "Dungeons And Dragons (Epic Fantasy)" by Alexander Nakarada, "MJS Sting," "Fantasy Theme" by Rafael Krux, "Pennsylvania Rose (Happy Ending)," "Land Of Pirates" by Alexander Nakarada, "Sweeter Vermouth," and "Cartoon Battle." Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Sound Effects: All at FreeSound.org: "Wood Colliding Tall Ship Crashing" by Jagadamba, "Wind Gust" by Crashoverride61088, "Wind Loop" by Mrlindstrom, "Cold Howling Wind" by Alan McKinney, "Door Slam" by Adriann, "Rough Baltic Sea" by GirlwithSoundRecorder, "sailing-boat-bow-wave-close-perspective" by Pfannkuchn, "Sea lions screaming in the port of Iquique (Chile)" by Felix-Blume, "Wind" by Deku.

Voice Credits: Female Voice Outtro: LauraPro @Fiverr.com

Show Tags/Keywords: elephantisland, endurance, ernestshackleton, georgiaisland, hope, influence, leadership, optimism, polarexplorer, shackleton, southpole

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.


  1. Schwarzenegger, Arnold (2007). "Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Reg Park." Office of the Governor of the State of California. https://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=8164
  2. Schwarzenegger, Arnold (2013). Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story. New York: Simon and Schuster. Pgs. 31, 59-60, 117.
  3. Pancho, Kelly Lynn (Director). (2009). "Still Pumping." (Arnold Schwarzenegger) Documentary. UK: Lionsgate Home Entertainment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvOUVil7W5s
  4. "Reg Park Biography." IMDb, An Amazon Company. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0661918/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

Music Credits: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), "Heroic Age," "Take a Chance," "Fife and Drum," "Egmont Overture Finale," "Behind The Sword" by Alexander Nakarada, "Better Times (Africa Inspired Slow Start Upbeat Later)" by Alexander Nakarada, "As I Figure (Spanish Acoustic)," "MJS Sting," "Long Road Ahead," "Morocco Sting," "Thaxted" "Sweeter Vermouth," and "Cartoon Battle." Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Sound Effects: All at FreeSound.org: "Rooster" by Kangaroovindaloo, "Fitness Room" by J.Zazvurek, "Rolling Metal" by Vincentbikerider, "man-laughing-heartily" by Craigsmith.

Voice Credits: Female Voice Outtro: LauraPro @Fiverr.com

Show Tags/Keywords:commitment, committed, leadership, power, purpose, success, winning, winner, champion, champ, mentor, apprentice, master, Arnold, Schwarzenegger, classic, influence, Greek, titan, Hercules

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.
  1. Marden, Orison Swett (1908). He Can who Thinks He Can, and Other Papers on Success in Life. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co. Pg. 92.
  2. Tarcher, Jeremy P. (Ed.)(2007). The Prosperity Bible: The Greatest Writings of All Time on the Secrets to Wealth and Prosperity. New York: Penguin. Pg. 24. Quote: "Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to burn his ships" writes Napoleon Hill, "and cut all sources of retreat. Only by doing so can one be sure of maintaining that state of mind known as a burning desire to win, essential to success."
  3. Brown, Robin (2019). "Cortes vs. Moctezuma." All About History Aztecs, First Edition. Bournemouth: Future Publishing Limited. Pg. 87.
  4. Knipping, Toine (2012). Mind Your Business: Thoughts for Entrepreneurs. Bloomington: Balboa Press. Pg. 247. Quote: "We cannot be sure of having something to live for unless we are willing to die for it." —Ernesto "Che" Guevara
  5. Stahn, Carsten Easterday, Jennifer, & Iverson, Jens (Editors)(2014). Jus Post Bellum: Mapping Normative Foundations. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Quote is from Seneca the Younger. Pg. 90. "To be everywhere is to be nowhere." — Seneca
  6. Brooks, David (2014, January 13). "The Leadership Revival." The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/14/opinion/brooks-the-leadership-revival.html?emc=eta1&_r=0 "Only the masters of renunciation leave an imprint," writes New York Times journalist David Brooks, "only those who can say a hundred Nos for the sake of an overwhelming Yes."
  7. Hunter, Mark (2015). The Brink: How Great Leadership is Invented. New York: Morgan James Publishing. Pg. 109. Quote: "We go home in Persian ships, or we die." —Alexander the Great
  8. The Holy Bible. Matthew 10: 9-11
  9. Marden, Orison Swett (1911). Pushing to the Front. Petersburg, NY: The Success Company's. Pg. 569. Quote: "We should never leave any bridges unburned behind us, any way open for retreat to tempt our weakness, indecision or discouragement. If there is anything we ever feel grateful for, it is that we have had courage and pluck enough to push on, to keep going when things looked dark and when seemingly insurmountable obstacles confronted us."
  10. Fisher, Mark (2010). The Instant Millionaire. New World Library. Kindle Edition. Kindle Locations 327-330. Quote: "If you want to succeed in life," writes Mark Fisher, "you have to make sure you have no choice in the matter. You have to put your back to the wall. People who vacillate and refuse to take risks because they don't have all the elements in hand never get anywhere. The reason is simple. When you cut off all your exits and put your back to the wall, you mobilize all your inner powers. You want something to happen with every fiber of your being."
  11. Branson, Richard (2007). Screw It, Let's Do it: Lessons in Life and Business. London: Virgin Books. Pg. 67, 78. Quote: "It was challenges that took us from being cavemen to reaching for the stars."
  12. Nowlan, Robert A. (2016). The American Presidents from Polk to Hayes: What They Did, What The Said, & What Was Said About Them. Denver: Outskirts Press. Pg. 377. Quote: "If there is not the war, you don't get the great general. If there is not a great occasion, you don't get a great statesman. If Lincoln had lived in a time of peace, no one would have known his name." —Theodore Roosevelt
  13. Brown, H. Jackson (1990). P.S. I Love You: When Mom Wrote, She Always Saved the Best for Last. Nashville: Rutledge Hill Press. Pg. 13. Quote attributed to Mark Twain, but may be apocryphal: "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines [Bowl Lynns]. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Music Credits: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), "Heroic Age," "Take a Chance," "Fife and Drum," "Five Armies," "Impending Boom," "Midnight Tale," "As I Figure (Spanish Acoustic)," "MJS Sting," "Long Road Ahead," "Morocco Sting," "Thaxted (Bilbo Baggins Sad Adventure Needed)" "Sweeter Vermouth," and "Cartoon Battle." Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Sound Effects: All at FreeSound.org: "Forest Fire Inferno" by Dynamicell, FreeSound.org, "Breaking Tree" by Robinhood76, "Wood Colliding Tall Ship Crashing" by Jagadamba.

Voice Credits: Female Voice Outtro: LauraPro @Fiverr.com

Show Tags/Keywords:alexander, alexanderthegreat, aztec, boats, burnyourbridges, burnyourships, cannibalism, challenge, cheguevara, command, commitment, committed, conquer, conqueror, conquistador, crisis, cuba, diegovelazquez, empire, explorer, generals, glory, goethe, gold, governor, hernandocortes, humansacrifice, kingcharles, leadership, macedonian, marktwain, mexico, orator, power, purpose, renunciation, ritual, roosevelt, ships, spanish, success, suntzu, theodoreroosevelt, veracruz, wealth, winning

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.
  1. Bigler, Henry William (1962). Chronicle of the West: The Conquest of California, Discovery of Gold, and Mormon Settlement. Berkeley: University of California Press. Pg. 82.
  2. MacLowry, Randall and Longsworth, Laura (2006). "The Gold Rush." [Documentary Film]. American Experience. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/goldrush/filmmore/pt.html
  3. Brands, H. W. (2003). The Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream. New York: Anchor Books. Pg. 38.
  4. Wiegand, Steve (1998, January 18). "The California Gold Rush: An Era Remembered." The Sacramento Bee. http://www.calgoldrush.com/part1/01overview.html
  5. Hendrickson, Nancy (2013). How the California Gold Rush: Changed the Face of America. San Diego: Green Pony Press, Inc. Pg. 16.
  6. Gillon, Steven M. (2006). 10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America. The History Channel. New York: Three Rivers Press.
  7. Butler-Bowdon, Tom (2008). 50 Prosperity Classics: Attract It, Create It, Manage It, Share It. Wisdom from the Best Books on Wealth Creation and Abundance. London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing. Pg. 144, 295.
  8. Downey, Kirstin (2014). Isabella: The Warrior Queen. New York: Anchor Books. Pg. 9
  9. DeMarco, MJ (2011). The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live for a Lifetime. Phoenix, AZ: Viperion Publishing Corporation. Pg. 130.

Music Credits: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), "Heroic Age," "Take a Chance," "Fife and Drum,""Danse Macabre,""MJS Sting," "Long Road Ahead," "The Parting," "Whistle," "Morocco Sting," "Greta Sting," "Wizardtorium," "Achilles," "Sweeter Vermouth," and "Cartoon Battle." Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Sound Effects: "Bow River Windy" by Lwdickens @ FreeSound.org, "Wind Loop' by MrLindstrom @FreeSound.org, "Hissing Snake" by AaronGNP @FreeSound.org, "Angry Snake Hiss Pass Long" by Csaszi @FreeSound.org, Ragnar Lothbrok Speech Scene Vikings Series, "Wind Gust" by Crashoverride61088 @FreeSound.org, "Rattle Snake" by 7h3_Lark @FreeSound.org.

Voice Credits: Female Voice Outtro: LauraPro @Fiverr.com

Show Tags/Keywords:create, produce, owner, ownership, mindset, influence, leadership, power, purpose, success, grit, GoldRush, Gold, LeviStrauss, SamBrannan, SuttersFort, mine, miner, pioneer, California

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.”


  1. Nasaw, David (2006). Andrew Carnegie. New York: Penguin. Pgs. 33-40.
  2. Yardley, Jonathan (2006, October 15). "Andrew Carnegie. By David Nasaw." (Book Review). The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/12/AR2006101201097.html
  3. Carnegie, Andrew (1908). The Empire of Business. New York: Doubleday. Pg. 77.
  4. Goodwin, Doris Kearns (2014). The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism. New York: Simon and Schuster. Pg. 34.
  5. Jackson, Bennett; Deming, Norma; Bemis, Katherine (1919). Thrift and Success. New York: The Century Co. Pg. 242.
  6. Roosevelt, Theodore (1922). Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pg. 13.
  7. Ward, Geoffrey C. & Burns, Ken (2014). The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (Based on a Documentary Film by Ken Burns). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Pg. 6.
  8. Morris, Edmund (1979). The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. New York: Random House. Pg. 32.
  9. Robinson, Corinne Roosevelt (1921). My Brother, Theodore Roosevelt. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pg. 50.
  10. Marschall, Rick (2011). Bully! The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc. Pg. 40.
  11. Russell, Richard (1964, May 27). "Telephone Conversation Between President Johnson and Senator Richard Russell," Document No. 52. Tape F64.27, Side B PNO 121 and F 64.28, Side A PNO 1. Recording and Transcripts, Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library. https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v27/d52#fn1
  12. Boller, Paul F. (1996). Presidential Anecdotes. New York: Oxford University Press. Pg. 194.
  13. Beschloss, Michael R. (2003). The Presidents. Pg. 299.
  14. Oaklander, Mandy (2019). "23 Surprising Things that May Extend Your Life." The Science of Living Longer, Time Special Edition. New York: Time, Inc. Pg. 36.
  15. Chandler, Steve (1998). Reinventing Yourself: How to Become the Person You've Always Wanted to Be. Franklin Lakes, NJ: Career Press. Pg. 49.
  16. Hardy, Darren (2011). The Compound Effect: Multiplying Our Success, One Simple Step at a Time. Philadelphia: Vanguard Press. Pg. 18.
  17. Burns, James MacGregor and Dunn, Susan (2001). The Three Roosevelts: Patrician Leaders Who Transformed America. New York: Grove Press.Pg. 26.

Music Credits: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), "Heroic Age," "Take a Chance," "Fife and Drum,""Danse Macabre," "Midnight Tale," "Hero Down," "MJS Sting," Thaxted," "Long Road Ahead," "The Parting," "Whistle," "Morocco Sting," "Greta Sting," "Wizardtorium," "Achilles," "Sweeter Vermouth," and "Cartoon Battle." Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Sound Effects: "Bow River Windy" by Lwdickens @ FreeSound.org, "Wind Loop' by MrLindstrom @FreeSound.org, "Hissing Snake" by AaronGNP @FreeSound.org, "Angry Snake Hiss Pass Long" by Csaszi @FreeSound.org, Ragnar Lothbrok Speech Scene Vikings Series, "Wind Gust" by Crashoverride61088 @FreeSound.org, "Rattle Snake" by 7h3_Lark @FreeSound.org.

Voice Credits: Female Voice Outtro: LauraPro @Fiverr.com

Show Tags/Keywords:action, dreams, goals, influence, leadership, mission, power, purpose, story, success, vision, TheodoreRoosevelt, AndrewCarnegie, strenuouslife, hardwork, discipline, Rousseau, Edison, Kennedy, JFK, JohnFKennedy, WinstonChurchill, character, effort, grit

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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