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201: Throne Story

game of thrones


What secrets can you learn from Game of Thrones? More than you can imagine.

This episode reveals some fascinating gems in the finale of the epic series, Game of Thrones. There are powerful lessons in the show about life, power, and storytelling.

First, we must answer the question, “Who won the Game of Thrones?” We know that Bran the Broken was named emperor of six kingdoms. Many audience members were shocked and appalled by this choice.

But, did Bran really win the throne? I don’t think so. I believe that true leader and winner of the game is Tyrion Lannister. The last episode demonstrates this beautifully. And, it is perfect.

Tyrion is the only character fit to rule. Here’s why:

  • Compassion – Tyrion is a deeply compassionate person. He genuinely cares about people.
  • Intelligence – No one in the seven kingdoms is smarter than Tyrion Lannister.
  • Diplomacy – Tyrion has proven himself as the ultimate diplomatic negotiator throughout all eight seasons o Game of Thrones.
  • Violence – Though not essentially a cruel person, Tyrion will use violence if it is his only option to survive or serve the common good.

The events of the finale that point clearly to Tyrion’s victory:

  • Tyrion is condemned to death for treason.
  • Tyrion persuades John Snow to betray Daenerys  Targaryen, the dragon queen.
  • Tyrion talks his way out of execution
  • Tyrion persuades a ruling council to appoint Bran the Broken emperor
  • Bran appoints Tyrion his Hand

Those five events are crucial steps in Tyrion’s deft maneuvers to claim the empire’s true power. Bran will serve as figurehead king. Tyrion will pull the strings behind the scenes as his advisor.


One of the most profound and brilliant insights in the episode is revealed in the monet when Tyrion explains why Bran is the perfect choice as emperor. Tyrion says that the true power of nations is not in gold or flags. It is in stories. Nothing is more powerful than a great story.

Bran’s story has mythological qualities. He began as a mere mortal boy who survived a fall from a great height that should have killed him. Then, he developed prophetic powers. That story makes him more than human.

Tyrion knows that people don’t follow leaders. They follow the story in their heads about those leaders. Civilizations are built and destroyed based on stories. Think of the Bible and the Koran.

Tyrion has mastered the psychology of leadership. He knows that his own story will not inspire people, but Bran’s story will. He also knows that he can have a powerful influence on Bran’s thoughts and actions.

Tyrion rules! As he should.


The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

The Game by Neil Strauss

123: Authentic Leadership


Being fearless isn’t the lack of fear. Rather, it is about acknowledging, facing and conquering fears. Fearlessness is being open to the results of the experience whether it be good or bad. There are so many lessons to learn from failure and adversity, but you will not give yourself the chance to grow if you keep yourself safe in what’s known and secure. Overcoming adversity is what makes a leader a great leader.

Today’s guest is a man who harnesses the power of fear. He is an expert on authentic leadership. His highly popular book, The Crucible’s Gift: 5 Lessons from Authentic Leaders Who Thrive in Adversity is empowering people to face what scares them, embrace it, and use it as a stepping stone for leadership. He also delivers this important message in his podcast, Executive After Hours. Get ready for expansion, growth and inspiration from Dr. James Kelley.

In this podcast, Dr. James Kelley reveals how to become and authentic leader.
You will discover:

  • Major adversities that helped Dr. Kelley become the man he is today
  • How a DUI experience helped him grow
  • The power of “flipping” to combat fear.
  • Your lizard brain’s dangerous agenda
  • How Enlightened Warrior Training Camp changes lives in five days
  • How your darkest moment can become your greatest gift
  • How life in the Middle East redefined James Kelley’s comfort zone
  • Secrets of Dr. Kelley’s Authentic Leadership model
  • How to spot your false narratives on happiness and success
  • The power of micro-moments of meaning
  • How crucible moments can enrich your life
  • How thinking about your eulogy can make you a better leader
  • The importance of self-compassion


“We all have moments. The bigger question is not if we have them but if we are able to reflect on them and find a good in them to expand who we are as human beings.”

“You are allowed to have your pity if you want it but the important thing is not to wallow in it.”

“We are all creatures of our social construction that we’ve been created and raised in.”

“We only know our truth based on the environment that we are raised in.”

“Don’t let fear conquer you. You conquer your fear.”

“Fear is a fundamental factor on many of the choices that we make.”

“The world changes when your mind changes.”

“Somebody always has it worse than you.”

“If you are not evolving, you are dying.”

“When we have adversity, we often don’t know that that moment is transformational.”

“Money doesn’t actually equate to happiness.”

“Authenticity is trying to be a better version of yourself for the greater good of society.”

“Crucible moment is any fundamental moment in your life that forces you to take pause and re-evaluate and fundamentally shift who you are.”

“It’s so hard to take care of yourself. But when you do, it makes it easier to take care of other people.”

“To be right with yourself means you can be right with other people.”

“Do what is right but you don’t have to be right.”



The Crucible’s Gift: 5 Lessons from Authentic Leaders Who Thrive in Adversity by James B. Kelley

The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker

Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy by Mo Gawdat

Triggers by Mark Reiter and Marshall Goldsmith

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

Conversations Worth Having by Cheri B. Torres and Jacqueline M. Stavros



Don’t let fear conquer you. Conquer fear.” – Dr. James Kelley



Dr. James Kelly’s Website –



Executives After Hours Podcast
Millionaire Mind Intensive
The Quantum Leap Program
Life Without Limbs // Nick Vujicic

122: Jazz Giant


Jazz is not a mainstream art form. Jazz musicians practice for thousands of hours honing their craft. When they improvise, it is the dance between the heart and the mind that creates the magic. A strong foundation is essential, and that is built by mental skills sharpened by diligent practice.

Today’s guest is Pat LaBarbera, an internationally known jazz giant. According to Elvin Jones,  “Pat has tremendous musical ability beyond technical facility. He has great power of concentration to detail and is totally committed with body and soul.”  Pat LaBarbera’s life is music and what sweet music it is!

Pat LaBarbera is a saxophonist, flutist, clarinetist, composer, and jazz educator. He is well-known for his solo work with the bands of Louis Bellson, Woody Herman, and the Buddy Rich Band.

Pat has played on every major network television show including The Ed Sullivan Show and Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show several times. He has worked with the biggest entertainers in the business including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Chick Corea, Woody Shaw, and McCoy Tyner.

He has performed and recorded consistently with Elvin Jones since 1975 and rejoined Elvin Jones’ ‘Time Machine’ in 2001. His album, Deep in a Dream, won the 2000 Juno Award for Best Mainstream Jazz Album.

Listen to get a peek into the life of a jazz giant. You’ll be entertained and enriched by what you discover. Here are just a few stops on the journey:

  • How Pat’s father influenced him into pursuing music
  • Is Jazz considered as outsiders’ music?
  • Jazz – for listening or for dancing?
  • Music as a form of intense personal expression
  • Was there racial division in jazz?
  • Gaining respect in the jazz industry
  • Toronto-based jazz musicians
  • Teaching music and moving the music forward
  • Are today’s jazz students different than before?
  • Pat’s upcoming CD



“Some people really listen to music for what’s going on harmonically, if there’s a meaning or message behind it. Other people just listen with their feet.”

“You basically gain respect by performance.”

“Teaching music is like having tentacles that are out there searching and giving you all the latest input on what’s going on and what’s current in the music scene.”

“The most beneficial thing is trying to get together with guys and play.”

“The interaction with other musician is the one thing that you can’t practice in a practice room.”



Mark Twain’s Own Autobiography by Mark Twain

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Stan Getz: A Life in Jazz by Donald L Maggin



Every day, in every wayI’m getting better and better.” – Émile Coué



Pat LaBarBera on Facebook



Pat LaBarbera on Humber College
Pat LaBarbera Biography and Discography
Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album

110: Life After Death


Life after death is not a theory or a fantasy for Josh Mantz, the soldier who died from a sniper bullet in Iraq and came back to life after fifteen minutes.

Josh is today’s guest, and his stranger than fiction story reveals many lessons and secrets that can empower and enrich your life today.

You’ll be riveted by the things you’ll hear and the discoveries you’ll make as you listen to Josh talk to you straight from his heart. Here are a few of the fascinating things you’ll learn:

  • The true meaning of an experience we have all had – TRAUMA
  • The haunting story of the Santa Claus interpreter
  • How trauma changes your beliefs about the world
  • The root of leadership in everyone
  • The different levels of leadership
  • The real meaning of rejection
  • How the feeling of abandonment touches all our lives
  • How the feeling of shame may be secretly controlling your life
  • What it means to be a “pirate of joy.”
  • The new paradigm for living
  • Powerful lessons of hope

These gems are only a few of the highlights of my conversation with Josh Mantz. You’ll be moved and uplifted by the humility and gratitude he gained from his life after death experience.

You’ll see and feel the bright ray of light behind the words, “beauty of a darker soul.”


The Beauty of a Darker Soul: Overcoming Trauma Through the Power of Human Connection by Joshua Mantz

Healing the Shame that Binds You by John Bradshaw

The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus

The Universe Story by Brian Swimme

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl


107: Whistle Blower

WHISTLE BLOWER: A person who informs on a person or organization engaged in an illicit activity.

You won’t find a neutral reaction to a whistle blower. You love him, or you hate him.

Today’s podcast guest is Richard Caruso, a loved and hated important whistle blower.


Caruso blew the whistle on the SHU. It stands for Security Housing Unit. Richard was a prison guard in the most violent SHU in America, Corcoran State Prison in California.

Check out this irony. Corcoran opened  with a seemingly progressive approach to incarceration. The idea was to integrate the prison population by allowing white, hispanic, and African American inmates to mingle in the yard.

Sounds great, right? It turned into a nightmare. There were daily racial explosions that led to brutal inmate fights followed by violent “discipline” from prison staff. Discipline? Yeah. The guards stopped fights by shooting into the yard from a watchtower.

We’re not talking about warning shots. We’re talking about direct aim with lethal weapons that injured and killed prisoners. Some of the guards got a major adrenaline rush from this action. The result? Downtime in the yard became gladiator combat staged by corrupt prison officials.


Listen to Richard’s story. It’s more engaging than a dose of Netlflix fiction. You’ll discover:

  • The surprising reason Richard Caruso became a proud marine
  • Richard’s meeting with Colonel Don Conroy, the real Great Santini
  • How Caruso secretly gather evidence against his violent colleagues
  • The murderous hit put on Richard’s life
  • The whistle blower’s friendship with Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes
  • Caruso’s relationships with Charlie Manson and Sirhan Sirhan
  • Charlie Manson’s connection to Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys
  • How the good guys and the bad guys switched roles
  • The history making results of Richard’s actions
  • Why Hollywood reached out to Richard Caruso and made the movie, Felon, based on his story

These are only a few highlights of Richard Caruso’s memorable story.

You’ll be inspired when you hear how Richard helped a despairing veteran, Larry Hinkle, find hope, passion, and purpose. Hinkle started Walking With the Wounded, the walk across America that is happening right now to support war veterans worldwide.

Find out how this noble enterprise attracted the attention of Prince Harry, and how he became actively involved.

There are many more rich life lessons in this podcast. You will not only enjoy it; you will want to share it with people you care about.


The Great Santini by Pat Conroy


“It is what it is.”


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