Classic Influence: Timeless Lessons from the Legends

Classic Influence: Timeless Lessons from the Legends

Classic Influence explores the timeless lessons learned from the legends of leadership, power, hustle, and grit. Listen in as your host—the Harvard and Columbia trained researcher, author and speaker, Dr. Johnny Welch—works to unearth the wisdom and insights of the hustlers and heroes of history to discover the strategies, tactics, tips and tools you can use to master the power of influence to achieve your own most daring dreams and goals.... Show More

Episodes

September 19, 2020 23 min

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 ...

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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 ...

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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...

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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 f...

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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 conque...

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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 help unveil....

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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 ...

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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, legend and myth, and how a compel...

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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 unquencha...

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Swamped with political ambition and romantic intrigue, the saga of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh, Cleopatra VII, has captivated historians and storytellers throughout history, from Plutarch in ancient Greece, and Shakespeare in early 17th century England, to screenwriters in Hollywood to this day. Cleopatra remains one of the most famous female rulers in history. Often portrayed as a sexy femme fatale, however, Cleopatra was not the...

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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 ...

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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 br...

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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 bran...

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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 sc...

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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 direct...

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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 ach...

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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 independen...

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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. Yo...

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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...

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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...

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