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Were Teddy Roosevelt, James Garfield, and Winston Churchill Capital-F "Fools"?

By Motley Fool Staff – Oct 26, 2016 at 8:27AM

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Oh, yes: They may not have been investors, but the certainly challenged the conventional wisdom of their day, notes author Candace Millard.

In this special episode of the Rule Breakers podcast, Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner talks with Candace Millard, whose latest gripping dive into history is Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill. In this segment, he circles back to the Motley modus operandi of non-standard thinking, and asks how much of that she saw in her subjects. 

A transcript follows the video.

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This podcast was recorded on Oct. 1, 2016.

David Gardner: All right, let me switch gears, because that's what we do on this podcast, and Candice, I want to go to Foolishness, so here we go with some capital-F Foolishness. So the nature of The Motley Fool, you may or may not have gathered, but particularly of Rule Breaking, is that we have a lover's quarrel with our industry. Sometimes the world at large. Our modus operandi is that as Fools, we challenge conventional wisdom and it's from this challenge that new ideas and sometimes better solutions emerge. So do you see some of this Foolish streak running through Teddy Roosevelt, or James Garfield, or Winston Churchill?

Candace Millard: I actually do agree with that very much, and I think what's interesting they have in common...these three that they're all very much their own men, and they weren't concerned what other people thought. They weren't concerned with tradition -- what had happened in the past -- to the extent that they were going to sort of forge their own path.

And what I think is interesting to them, and to me, and sort of a leadership role which I think that your company is taking is that not only did these men sort of radiate confidence, themselves...they have a natural, innate confidence...but they inspire confidence in other people.

And so when they say, "Look, I think that you are capable of being very brave. I think that you are very resourceful. I think that you have an extraordinary amount of determination," people believe it. They believe them, and then they suddenly find themselves capable of doing things that they didn't think they could do. And I think that, especially for Churchill, that's what he's famous for doing in World War II. You know, it really shows the power of words. 

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