The Cloutology podcast was created by Max Foster, a London-based CNN Anchor & Correspondent, to lift the lid on success and prove that anyone can break through. He speaks to people who have gained clout in a wide range of fields. It came out of his book ‘It’s All About Clout in which he thinks prominent people have in common.

You will also find here a feed of Max’s popular #successhack Instagram microblog.

More about Max

Max’s day job is hosting a the pioneering daily news debate show CNN Talk with Max Foster which is simulcast on CNN International and Facebook. He expertly moderates a panel of guests and brings in viewer comments from all around the world. He also hosts the London edition of the newscast ‘CNN Newsroom.’

Max has played a pivotal role in CNN’s international coverage, often anchoring live from the scene of major breaking news including the wave of terror attacks that struck Europe from 2015 to 2017 and special events including the marriage of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle in 2018.

He has interviewed everyone from Donald Trump to Taylor Swift, Prince William, Prince Charles, Queen Margrethe of Denmark, Diddy, David Cameron, Tony Blair, Dolly Parton, George Lucas, Amitabh Bachchan, Michael Cain, Judy Dench, Julie Andrews, Elton John and business leaders including Apple’s Steve Jobs, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, BP’s Bob Dudley and Tom Enders of Airbus.

Prior to joining CNN, he was a Business Reporter and Presenter for the BBC, most notably with World Service radio and BBC Breakfast TV.

Max's approachable yet authoritative style has made him one of CNN’s most popular faces and speakers. He has presented and moderated at major conferences for the United Nations and World Travel Market as well as more intimate events for Google, London Business School, The Elders and Victoria and Albert Museum.

Max also holds masterclasses in news anchoring for CNN’s international affiliates and he mentors aspiring reporters through the Media Trust charity.

Follow Max's personal accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

How Queen Elizabeth Acceded & Succeeded

In this extract from his book 'It's All About Clout,' Max Foster explores how The Queen manages to command such reverence around the world.

Generally speaking, we have no idea what The Queen thinks which prompts the question, how does she manage to connect with such a broad audience without ever expressing how she feels?

Imagine she’s out on a public engagement and is being shown around a new skyscraper. You know she cares enough about the building to accept the invitation but you don’t know whether she likes skyscrapers or not. What you see is someone familiar failing to show any emotion but our natural instinct is to fill that void with our own way of thinking – we project our feelings on to her. If you like skyscrapers, you therefore assume she does too. If you don’t, then you sense that she shares the same view. It’s like looking in to a mirror. She’s managing to empathise and connect with you at the same time as everyone else. That’s what gives her such universal appeal.

On the occasions she has let herself go in public, a tear at a memorial service for example, she’s expressed the majority view which only adds to her appeal.

The Queen’s ability to avoid controversy has earned her respect at every level. I was in Normandy, France with her for the D-Day war commemorations in July 2014 and saw how world leaders deferred to her. She was the longest serving head of state which brings with it a certain reverence but there’s also a respect there for the way she’s inhabited the position.

As the leaders came together for the requisite ‘family photo,’ a space was reserved for her in the centre of the shot next to host Francois Hollande. After the picture was taken, President Obama escorted her down the steps as if he were a member of her staff and President Putin of Russia allowed them to go ahead. Yes, they were both probably acting on their gentlemanly instincts but it also felt like an acknowledgement of The Queen’s personal status. She’s been at the centre of so many conversations for such a long period of time, it’s hard to imagine a world without her and it all adds to her rare cachet.

‘The Queen has been in my life longer than any other person apart from my elder sister,’ notes actress Helen Mirren who has studied Elizabeth closely for her portrayals of the monarch on stage and screen.

That omnipresence explains why it’s so unsettling for people when The Queen doesn’t appear when she’s expected, such as after Diana’s death or when she missed a regular church appearance on Christmas Day in 2016. All we were told that time was that she had a cold, but speculation soon mounted that it could be more serious, not helped by a vacuum of information from the palace.

When The Queen failed to appear again at the New Year service, newsrooms around the world started deploying teams to Buckingham Palace. It really was just a cold but the over-reaction illustrates the towering presence The Queen has in the public consciousness.

Monarchy isn’t a system anyone would recreate now in a major western liberal democracy but people don’t seem ready to let go of it either, at home or abroad.


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