John La Valle – Punch Up Your Persuasion
– If you’re going to be bold and brazen in your own career and whatever else you do you’d better be able to take hits. And I’ve told people the same thing. If you can’t laugh at yourself everyone else will do it for you.
– Welcome to the “Humourology Podcast” with me, Paul Boross and my glittering lineup of guests from the worlds of business, sport and entertainment who are going to share their wisdom and their use of humour. Humourology is the study of how humour can dramatically improve your business success and your life. Humourology puts the fun into business fundamentals. increases the value of your laughing stock and puts up punchline back into your bottom line. Please remember to like, subscribe and leave a review wherever you get your podcasts. My guest on this episode of the “Humourology Podcast” is renowned author, trainer and promoter. As one of the world’s most respected corporate consultants he’s co-authored one of the most seminal books on sales and influence in the business. He is the president of the Society of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and manages the International System of Licenced Trainers internationally, as well as co-training with Dr. Richard Bandler, He’s a native of New Jersey who has a natural nuanced nous. His voice may initially sound like he could be a regular cast character from “The Sopranos,” but if you’ve ever trained with him and heard his fantastically wonderful facility for linguistics and laughs, you would never in the words of Tony Soprano, “Forget about him.” John La Valle, welcome to the “Humourology Podcast.”
– Hey, thanks a lot, Paul. Great to be here.
– Oh, it’s my pleasure, John. We’ve known each other for a while and I’ve always been a fan of your work. I’m a really huge fan of your book that you wrote with Richard, “Persuasion Engineering.” What part do you think that humour plays in persuasion?
– Probably the biggest part of all, I would think. I’ve been using humour as far I can remember, from when I was a kid. Whether you want to persuade somebody or anything, but it all really has a lot to do with… ’cause people have asked me the questions, you know “Why do you use humour? “How do you use humour, blah, blah?” It’s not something I’ve ever planned on doing. It seemed to be kind of natural for me when I was young. So if I was going to persuade people, well the first thing I’d have to notice would be, “Is it going to be just with one person? “Is it going to be with a group of people? You know, “What’s my basic plan for this?” And trust me, I’ve messed up sometimes, too, attempting to use humour in a persuasive situation. But most of the time it works out.
– If you can go a little bit more into how you use humour in order to persuade and how you, because I’ve sat in on many of your amazing lectures and your amazing trainings, and there’s so much humour in there, why are you doing it? Is it state change?
– It’s all about state change. And it’s also about group rapport, let’s say that, although that takes a little bit longer sometimes, especially if I’m overseas coming from New Jersey, you know, it takes a little bit longer. But I’ve got that pretty well down now. And as a matter of fact, I’m going to mention that the person who probably did me the biggest favour about, you know, being who I am, because for a while, you know, getting overseas, I would try to, which wasn’t very easy to do actually, try to, you know, change my New Jersey accent and all these things. And then a bunch of years ago, and I know Paul McKenna real well, and I knew Michael Breen and those guys and Richard said, “Hey, why don’t you bring La Valle over?” And Paul said, “Oh, I don’t know, man, “you know, he’s got that New Jersey, that “Soprano” thing “going on, I don’t know, Richard, I don’t think “that’s going to go really well in London.” And Richard, of course, said, well, “Let’s find out.” I thought at that, and that was a really good moment for me actually, and I thank Paul for that, because it gave me the opportunity to capitalise on my New Jerseyness, you know, and use it. ‘Cause I figured, “Hey, what better place? “I’m going to London, why not?” And so, and they all would always introduce me, “Well, you know, you would think he’s from “The Sopranos” “and yada, yada, yada.” And I would start off with saying, “I’m John La Valle, I’m from New Jersey, “it’s the attitude capital of the world.” And, and then I would tell them, I’d do it, I’d just say, “A lot of people ask me if I watch The Sopranos? “And I tell them, no, we are “The Sopranos.’” And that would get people to, of course, laugh because they, you know, they’re all making those connections kind of thing. But the real thing about it is about state change, and that’s based upon, and I don’t get too technical about this, ’cause I’m not, I have a scientific mind, but I’m not a scientist, I’m not a doctor or anything like that. It’s all about neurochemistry because if you can get people laughing it changes their neurochemistry. They start making a little bit more dopamine a little more serotonin and all these neurochemicals. And if we can get people to do that, and I thought about this for years and years, if we can get people to laugh at least while they’re learning and get that state change then they’re going to learn faster, quicker, easier and remember things. And at least it seems like they do as long as we can keep them in that state.
– You talked about that you’ve been doing it since you were a kid and you’d get it. Do you think that, actually, there is a basic DNA of people who are funny? They hear funny, they are, were you that funny kid who was always you know, saying, a wise guy as they say, you know, in class?
– Well, no, not in class, not so much. I went to parochial school. I went to Catholic school and, oh yeah, and I just remember making it through Catholic school. And I tell people, I ask people in classes, I say, “Did you go to, who went to parochial school, “raise your hand. “Did you go to the same one I went to?” And they all look at me like, “Well, how could I go to the same one you go?” But that’s got them searching in their brains, you know. And I say, “Well, I went to Our Lady of Perpetual Torture.” And then they laugh and I say, “And my first grade teacher’s name was Attila the Nun.” And they laugh. So, that kind of sets all of that up. But the truth is I got to tell you, most people that I know, at least in New Jersey, as I was growing up anyway, have a sense of humour. First of all, we’re very direct. If you say to me, “Hey, how do you like my tie?” We don’t say, “Gee, I don’t know, “maybe if you had a different coloured jacket with it?” No, no, we go, “I like it” or “It sucks.” Those are your choices, you know.
– So what makes you laugh, John?
– Everything, just about everything. I can find humour, seriously, I can find humour in lots of things. And I can say that easily because I don’t try that much to create humour, something brand new out of it, I feed off an audience. And the audience could be one person. So I feed off of them. And that’s how I can develop something very, very fast to make it to make something humorous or humourfull or funny. Oftentimes I may stop and tell a joke because it might fit that particular moment in time. But I usually feed off of, or I have things I already do that I’ve already done and tested out and find out how they work.
– Is everyone funny?
– No, . Nah, nah. They could be, I believe they could be. Some people try to be funny and just don’t have the knack. I’ve made a couple of distinctions over my life, we try to teach as best we can people like, for example, if they’re going to do presentation platform skills, we do what we can to get them to be funny. And most of them make it. Most of them make it. But I connected long time ago that if you have a sense of humour and vice versa, if you have a sense of humour, you’re very flexible.
– Okay, yes–
– And if you’re somewhat flexible, then you have a good sense of humour and then vice versa, the other thing. So now, if you’re not very flexible you probably don’t have a good sense of humour. And if you don’t have a good sense you’re probably not very flexible, flexible in your own behaviour, you know. And so to me, that gives me a good indication with someone. The other category of people that I know, noticed anyway, is that they tell jokes for them. So it’s more like, “I’m going to slight you,” you know, “I’m going to mock you, da, da, da.” And they’re not really that funny. So there are people who will say something about, it gets personal or whatever the case is, and to them, you’re supposed to laugh, but I’ve also found that these were people who are not good at laughing at themselves, is one thing.
– So it’s a more an aggressive act, is it?
– It’s, sort of, like, you’re putting down somebody else in order to make yourself, sort of, the big man.
– Yeah, yeah. And the other one I’ve noticed is, so they’ll tell a joke or they say something that’s supposed to be funny, and then they either laugh or snicker before you get a chance to, they even laugh. So that tells me that they’re there to entertain themselves . Like I’m laughing now about something I just said about it, but if I were to do that in presentations and did it consistently like that, Oh my gosh, I don’t know what the repercussions would be?
– So I mean, a lot of our audience and you work with, you know, big businesses all over the world and you advise them. And a lot of our audience are going to think “What can I take away from this?” And I know you’re a great man for giving takeaways and things. How can anybody be slightly, not necessarily funnier, but slightly, you know, better at getting rapport, “better at connecting, by using humour?
– Someone asked me one time, they said, “To what do you contribute most of your success, “both in business, getting deals you’ve gotten, “contracts you’ve gotten, and in seminars, “and you seem to take a lot of maybe unnecessary risks “in doing things, but I also know “you’re somewhat successful?” I said, “Well, I’ve learned very simply that I don’t care. “I just, I don’t care. “And I’m prepared to walk away “and leave the deal on the table.” So now what that does is that gives people enough confidence that they’re going to probably come back and get the deal. You know, if you’ve done a good job, rapport is easy enough, I’m not talking to body matching things, you know. Rapport stuff is easy enough, people don’t go in, if they go in with their PowerPoint all ready to show their slides and everything, they should stop and go do something else if they can’t feed off the group and everything else. When I’ve gone into business meetings, let’s say, let’s say I’m going to go in with a group of executives, and I always make fun of them by the way, I always make fun of the guys at top, and some of them object to this, but I don’t care, I said, I don’t care, is to get, I want to talk to their boss because that’s ultimately where my contract comes from. Because if the guy hiring me, right, if he doesn’t like what I’m doing, he could say you’re out, but I can say, “Excuse me, this is what your boss wants, “and you didn’t get the message. “So I’m actually helping you out.” But I have had that attitude where, “There’s loads of business out there, you know, “and I can choose who I want to work for, “not work for, work with and everything else.” And I think for people who have that, that confidence, I guess, one might be part of that, that they’re free to feel and be funny, you know, they just feel that, yeah.
– So I know that you and I have had this discussion over the years, the attitude is really important. What part does attitude play in great humour, or great warmth, or great connection?
– Well, if I were to define the word attitude, in its first literal meaning, it comes from aeronautics, and it means the angle of approach. So how you begin, your angle of approach with the person or people is going to demonstrate your attitude. And that sets everything up right from the get go. So, because it comes from aeronautics, everybody else talks about attitude and all the other extrapolations of the word and what it could mean and everything else. But I like to go back to the first original, kind of, meaning and then think, “Now, how did it become what it is today?” But it really comes out of angle of approach, that’s what it is. So you and I first meet, what’s my angle of approach with you? And what’s your angle of approach with me? Okay, and that would demonstrate attitude. So when people first say, “Well, I don’t like your attitude.” I’d say. “Which one?” Which gets them thinking different, differently anyway, right. When I first meet people, you know, I meet people outside the seminar room, and I might go up to them say, “Hi,” and they go, “Hi.” And I go, “Are you having fun?” And I want to know the answer to that question when I asked that. And they go, “Are you having fun.” And they go, “Well, I’m going to have fun later,” but no, you’re not having fun. I go, “Then you’re.” Or I’ll ask them, “Are you having fun in your job?” And they say, “Hmm, not really.” I go, “Then you’re probably not following instructions, “’cause your boss keeps telling you “he wants you to have a good time on your job and have fun. “You’re probably going to get fired for not having fun.” I mean, I ask a different question ’cause I want to find out how are they going to respond to me, you see? I don’t want them to respond in any certain, you know, in a narrow, kind of, a way, I want to find out how they’re going to respond to me? And sometimes I don’t introduce myself. I don’t say “Hi, I’m John La Valle.” I just go up them, I go, “Hi, are you looking forward “to the seminar?” And they might answer a bunch of questions before they say, “Who are you anyway?” ‘Cause I don’t have a name tag name. “I’m John La Valle.” And they go, “Oh my gosh.” And I go, “Oh my gosh, what? “I thought we’re having a nice conversation here.” All of that by the way is to get them to relax, to relax a little bit, you know.
– And I like the attitude being the angle of approach because you’re going to have to listen to know which angle of approach to take don’t you?
– Well, depends on how you start off, I mean, to me, I’m always testing. So I wait to see what comes back. Have I blown it? Of course, you know. Have I ever had to go back say, “I was just joking around?” Of course, of course, because I only have so many different ways I can put a test in there, you know, and I want to find out how much of a sense of humour you have? Or how much of a sense, how flexible can you be? I had a guy, it was a company, got a big contract from it, I was actually introduced to him by another consultant, and the consultant said that they had brought in a big I don’t know who could have an Anderson or one of those, and said, “You need to bring in somebody who doesn’t know “that they know nothing about your business, “they know nothing about your product or services, “but they know about selling, “they can teach you to sell just about anything, “and they’ve got to be crazy, “and maybe a little bit dangerous.” In other words, they can take your people and tip them over the edge of the cliff, but not let go, except for the ones that might be worth letting go. And the guy said to me, “When we Googled those criteria,” he said, “Your name came up.” So I thought immediately, this guy has got a sense of humour. Now, by the way he was from another country in Scandinavia, and some of those they have their own different kinds of senses of humour, but the Danish are very close to the Americans in language, and possibly, of course, even the English, because they can translate very fast. They learned how to do it very quickly because the languages are very similar. The structure is anyway. And so he said, “But I only have one question “before I decide whether I’m going to bring you in or not.” And I said, “What’s that?” And he said, “Well, I hope this is not “the American way of selling.” And my answer to him was, my question back to him was, “What does that mean? “Because if I’m doing the American way of selling “I wouldn’t call it that, so what is it?” And he said, “You guys, you go too fast, too quick, “you get right to that bottom line, “and that’s not going to work in Europe.” And I said, ‘Okay, great, I appreciate you telling me that.” He said, “Okay, good.” I said, “But let me just me just finished now. “You’ve got to decide right now “whether you want to hire me or not, ’cause you know what” “I’ve got about five others on the hook.” So I said, “If you want to book it, get your book out, “get your date book out, get your pen, ink, okay, “and let’s book the date.” And he said, “Okay.” And he did. And after it was all done, I flat out said to him, “Excuse me, Mr. Vice President, “I taught the American way of selling, “wasn’t going to work with you guys.” He called me a son of a bitch, actually. He said, “You son of a bitch.” He said, how did you do that? I said, “ah, ah, ha, not until the first check clears.” And he laughed again, just like that. But the next thing was, when I went on that gig, the first day, actually the first half day, I was put on in the afternoon, in the morning they bored everybody with the raising the company flag, you know, here’s our five-year plan. I told them, “What do you guys want to a five-year plan for man?” “You get one more 911 happening, that plans out the window.” But, okay, so I’m on in the afternoon, and he introduces me as the American cowboy. I don’t know why, I have no idea, I didn’t even worry about it. And I’ve looked at the group and they’re all like this. And I thought, “Got to loosen this gang up.” Now, prior to this, the guy says to me, ’cause he, everybody gives me what I need, said to me, oh, and Paul I’m sure you’ve had offers like this one. You booked the contract, and then it’s a, “Oh, by the way, can you also.” I think they call that scope creep or something. And he said, “Oh, by the way, you know, “these people are all from different countries. “So if you can get them to work together, “boy, I’d consider that a real bonus.” I said, “How much of a bonus?” And he laughed, he said, “No, no, no, not like that.” I said, “Oh, yes, yes, yes.” And he laughed, he said, “Well, let’s see what you can do?” I said, “Sure.” Now I figured this was ultimately what he wanted. Ultimately, you know. It’s always the, “Oh, by the way.” People write you an email, at the bottom it says, “Oh, ana FYI, blah, blah, blah, also blah.” That’s the whole email right there, whatever they really want comes out, boop. Peaks out from one to that crazy onion skin. So I start off and I look around, I say, “Okay, I’m going to give it my best shot,” because he told me, he said, “I want one of these, “if this goes good, I’m going to want two more. “I’m giving you 40 or 35 or 40 of my top managers, “and if you can make this happen, I want two more of these.” I said, “Sure.” So I looked around the class and I said, “Listen, we’re going to be here for the next five days, “we might as well get to know each other a little bit.” And I looked around and I said, “Where are you from?” And they said, “Oh, I’m from Belgium.” I go, “Belgium, that’s a part of France, isn’t it?” And they go, “No.” I go, “I’m sorry, part of Germany?” They go, “No.” I go, “I’m sorry, you’re one of those “little Benelux countries, that’s right.” And, of course, “Now they’re steaming.” I look around, I go to the Italians. I said, “Hey, where you from?” They go, “Italy.” I go, “Italy, hm.” This was back a long time back, I said, “When you guys are going to change your money around, “you’ve got to take a lot of those zeros off. “2,500 of anything to pay for a newspaper is stupid.” And they go, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” I go, “And what’s what that car, that Fiat? “You guys got to be kidding.” ‘Cause they had the Fiat up back then. I said, “Do you know, that’s an acronym for, “fix it again, Tony.” And they laugh, and I go, “You do have that other good car though, “that Testosterosa.” And they go, “You mean, Testarossa.” I go, “You’ve never driven one. “It’s a Testosterosa.” And they go, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.” Then I go over to the Dutch, I go, “Where are you from?” They go, “Netherlands.” I go, “Oh.” I look over to the Germans, I say, “When are you bringing back their bicycles?” I do all this stuff that nobody else wants to talk about, okay. Oh Sweden, “Where you from?” They go, “Sweden.” I go, “Oh, yeah, the neutral country .” And then there’s typically somebody there from France. And there was somebody there from, a couple from France, and they’re going , I said, “Excuse me, Francois, “you have something to say, while I’m speaking?’ And they go, “Well, you know, you Americans, “you think, you know who you are?” I said, “Oh no, we know who we are. “You’ve forgotten. “You see if it wasn’t for us, “you’d be speaking German today, isn’t that right Frans?” And they jump, they they go “Yeah” and all this. Then I thought “They’re really getting pissed off now, “it’s time to take a coffee break.” And I said, “Why don’t we take a quick break, “and come in back here in 12 minutes,” whatever. They go out there, and I see them all cahootsing, all cahootsing, I’m thinking, “Boy they’re plotting and scheming man.” Nothing like becoming, you know, you know how it works, take the divided and bring them all together “against one enemy, and that was me.” It was very purposeful. Taking my chance. And so I bring them all back, and by the way, when they come back now they’re all mixed up where they’re sitting, before it was the Italians are here, the Germans are here, now they’re all mixed up talking to each other. “We’ll get this guy. “Five days with this guy? “No, way, we’ll be lynching him by tomorrow.” Then I said to them, ‘Well, let me tell you “about the Americans, by the way, we’re about the craziest “and stupidest people going in the whole world “because, you know, and we get away with these things “because you guys feel sorry for us, you know.” Which is partly true by the way. And then they all laughed and they thought, ” he got us.” And we all had a great time for the next five days. I go to dinner that night with this vice president. And his first line was, I’m sitting down with the consultant guy, and we sit down at dinner and the and the vice president says to me, which were the wrong words to begin with, at least initially, but he probably didn’t know it, he says, “I don’t know what you think you’re doing.” And I thought, “Well, here comes, there’s the door,” he says, “I don’t know what you think you’re doing “but I want 35 more of these programmes.”
– And I looked at him and I said, “I don’t want to work that much .” And he said, “We’ll figure it.” so the guy happened to have a good sense of humour, you know, and he got what he wanted, all his people–
– And danger and pushing the boundaries is actually part of the gig isn’t it?
– Yes, it is.
– And having seen you work all over the world and the way you do it, that’s, I think, I mean, for our listeners to take away is, be prepared to take chances because that’s where humour comes from is when you push the boundaries. And sometimes you’re going to go over the boundaries, but that’s, you know, if you’ve got enough rapport at that point, you can bring it back. Here’s something that I think that you and I discussed before, but we’re go into for our listeners, is the fact that if you never come out of your comfort zone humor-wise you never learn anything. And a lot of people, I think, have been told as children that, you know, it’s like, Richard’s thing about, you can’t sing, or you can’t hold a note, I think comedy is exactly the same. You’re not funny. And people take it to heart. Could you just expand on that a little bit for me?
– Yeah, I’ve never had anybody, even growing up, my mom loved my… I would tell her jokes, you know. we would all watch different TV programmes when I was a kid, we watch “Red Skelton,” you know, Johnny Carson, by the way, he had to be one of the best, and he wasn’t doing so much direct humour, he was very indirect. And he would, and he had anchoring down before he probably knew what that was, and he had a look on his face that he could make somebody, he’d say something, or he had somebody else to say something and he’d go like that. And they’d laugh. He had that pretty well down. As a matter of fact, I forget who it was, it was Arnold Palmer’s wife on there. And he said, you said, “What do you do before “he goes on a major tournament to encourage him?” She goes, “I kissed his balls for good luck?”
– Thinking, Johnny was going to be stumped, and Johnny says, “Well, I bet that makes his putter rise.”
– Nice, bang.
– No, he was very quick. He was really quick. People have asked me where’s my comfort zone? And I usually say, “You’re in it.” So I don’t know. I don’t know. I mean, I do know where it is most of the time but that’s the only with the police and people in major authority. I think if I was to meet any major politicians or I’ve met loads of so many different people, you know, in higher upper positions, all kinds of ways, what kinds of formats, but I’ve always treated them like an equal. I met Muhammad Ali once, this guy, and I tell people he was not only a gentlemen, he was a gentle man, okay. And brilliant, the guy was just brilliant. He had a sense of humour like no one else. I mean, it was just, it was his own, it was his own and he knew how to pour it on. And I got to meet him once, I was on a long line, it was at a political thing, dinner, fund raising thing. And as I got closer to him, you know, he was signing autographs. I didn’t care about autographs. And and as I got up to him, before I could say anything, he looked up at me and he said, ’cause he was sitting, I was standing, he said, “You have a question on your mind son?” I said, “Yeah, I do.” He said, “What’s your question?” I said, “Well, first of all “let me just say you are the champ man, “you are the champ. “You are the champ.” “I mean, listen, and champ, this I’ve got to tell you, “and Norton did get you that one good one, though, “I got to tell you.” Joking around. And he looked at me and he kind of gave me this little wince look like, “You had to bring that up?” And he kind of of snickered a little bit and said, “Yeah, but I got him back.” And I said, “Yeah, you did.” And he says, “So what’s your question?” And I got to ask my question. And he spent, I’d say he spent probably spent a good six, seven minutes with me, and there were still people behind me. But this was a guy who had a fantastic sense of humour. He had to, you know. That’s the other thing, you know, if you’re going to be bold and brazen in your own career and whatever else you do you’d better be able to take hits. And I’ve told people the same thing. If you can’t laugh at yourself everyone else will do it for you. And you better get used to this because, and why not? When I talk about New Jersey and this and that and the other thing I’m making fun of me in a different way, so people know it’s okay.
– Well, that’s brilliant. So, I mean, I think, and for our listeners to take away you know, being able to laugh at yourself is crucial to this because, you know, if you haven’t got a sense of humour about yourself, how can you actually make it about somebody else? What would the world be like without humour, John?
– Hold on, I’m here, easy.
– I can’t help it you know that. It’s just, you give it to me, man. You feed me, feed me a line, feed me the line. It’d be brutal. It really would. I mean, just the things that are going on or not, we’re not going in the right direction, let me just say that. At least, you know, people don’t even find many things funny. We’ve all but gotten rid of political, the political correctness seems to have taken over a whole bunch of things. I don’t really care about political correctness. Like I said, I don’t care. That’s one of my modus operandi right there, I don’t care. And I’ve had people say, “Well, you know, you can’t say that. I go, “Well, it’s kind of late, I just did.” Or, “It already came out.” And they go, “Well, I don’t like it.” I go, “You don’t have to.”
– Well, that’s it. And, by the way, in order to, you need to live that life to actually understand and connect with people, to broaden your horizons. And by the way, your time, you know, you and I constantly make mistakes, which is–
– That’s, you know, I look forward to making mistakes. I always say, when I’m training sort of executives to go on stage and deliver a big conference speech or something, I’m going to look forward to stuff going wrong, and you would say the same thing, ’cause that’s when you’re going to have the fun, that’s when it’s going to humanise you, that’s when you’re going to, people are going to go, “He’s a real person.” And I was, because I’m such a fan of your book, “Persuasion Engineering.” I wondered if there was any connection with what we’re saying, “Whatever you’re selling “you’re always selling feelings.” You know, whether it’s comfort or safety, is humour involved in that selling feeling of lightness or?
– What it is is when people give you criteria, in other words, if you said, you know, “What can I do for you? “How can I help you? “What is it you want?” And they say, they say, “Car dealership.” And they go, ‘Well, I’m looking at new cars.” And I say, “Well, what’s important to you in there?” And they go, “Ah, I want to blue one, “I want this kind of an interior, “I want the stereo system, everything else.” Those words alone, okay, represent a feeling. Especially if I say, “What’s important?” It immediately logs into their brain, okay, and they go, “What I really want is this.” Don’t be too complicated, but then our language anyway, we teach with are our NLP things? Then there’s modal operators in there, and that tell to me that strength of the word, you know. So if you said, I want this, I need this, or I’d like to have that. Those all have a different strength to them. So those words have a feeling associated with them. So what people tend to do, and I have this in the book, I think paraphrasing is an insult to people. When they say, “Oh so basically what you’re saying.” No, that’s not basically what I’m saying. I’ve done this in court because you know the lawyers try to turn it around. So I could say “Yes, I know Paul Boross. And they go, “So basically what you’re saying is, you’ve been.” “No, no, no, that’s not what I said at all. I said, “I happen to know Paul Boross. “If you don’t, if you forgot what I said “have the lady over there, read it back to you. “She’s doing the court thing, you know, the transcripts.” And let me tell you why this is. So in our brains, you know, we have all these nice words in there and whatevers and nobody really knows how they get in there. They know a lot of other things, but they don’t know how the words, how does a word get in a particular spot in your brain? They don’t know. I’ve asked doctors. I’ve asked neurosurgeons. I go, so I’m a little, I grown up. Maybe I’m six months old, my parents were walking me down the street and they see a dog, and they go, “Oh, look a dog.” I look over at the dog, I now have a picture of a dog. I don’t even have the word. I only have the sound dog. I don’t have the word D-O-G ’cause I’m not, you know, I’m six months old. How does that thing know where to go? Boom, in my brain, they don’t know. They don’t know. I said that’s fair. That’s okay. So if I, so if the whole basis of rapport has a lot to do with not just body matching, but matching certain things not everything, but certain things. So if I were to go and, and I’ve done this before, I worked with a company in the U.S. They’re the second largest home builder in the U.S., this is back in the early ’90s, so somebody would come in and they’d say “What can I do for you? I go, “I’m looking for a home.” And they go, “Okay, well what do you want in your new home?” They go, let’s say, for example I need three bedrooms, I want two full baths, I also want a large family room and a large living room. Oh, we’d like to have a fireplace in outside patio deck. And they’d say, “Okay, let me see if I got it now,” ’cause I would teach them they must pace it back. They go, “Okay. “So you want to have at least three bedrooms “where people can sleep?’ Well that’s not saying I need three bedrooms, you’re going to match it back, baby, you better match it back because if they need three bedrooms, first of all the word need just by itself means it’s really not going to be that negotiable, okay. You might have four, but you ain’t giving them two, right, that’s not happening. So, that whole idea is about giving back those words.
– Yeah, and what do people want in life? People will say to you, “I want to have more fun.” You go, “Well, book, John La Valle–
– Yeah right.
– As soon as you like. I was going to ask you a question, do people, you’ve worked in workplaces all over the world, do people have enough fun or laugh enough in the workplace?
– They’re not, only if they’re allowed.
– So it comes from the top, so it’s leadership needs to do that.
– Always. I’ve often wondered, how can, let’s say the guy at the top screw up a company in a day, in a day, and it could take them three, four, five years to build it back up. How does this happen? I had the pleasure of working for a corporation, of course, and maybe I would say five, maybe five guys, they were executives that I actually enjoyed working with. I didn’t report to them, I might’ve been a couple of levels down, whatever, and they were tough. They were tough. But if I got in trouble, not serious trouble, they’d go, “Come on in the office, go to the board “draw out what happened, tell me what happened, “set out the strategy, blah, blah, blah.” But they did it in a fun way. And I never asked for help from them. They took me under their wing. The last guy I worked for was a vice president, he came from world headquarters, his reputation was the hatchet man because his job was slicing heads. So we went through a merger and acquisition, so he shows up and he says, “I’m your new boss, “my name is Len.” He said, “And tomorrow, “you have a 30 minute meeting with me, okay.” Points, and he goes around points, points to me first, “You seven o’clock, you’re at 07:30, “Boross, you’re eight o’clock, “you’re at 08:30, next one, right.” And then he walks out, he leaves, goes home for the day. And everybody’s like, “Oh my God we’re going to lose our jobs. “We’re going to get fired.” And they looked at me and they said, “You first, oh my God, are you worried? I said, “No, no, I’m not a worrier. “I was looking for a job when I came, “I’ll be looking for one when I leave. “So, eh, how bad could it be?” And so I went in the following morning, I was there about 15 minutes early and he was already there, and he says, “Oh, you’re here early.” I said, ‘Yeah, I beat the traffic, everything else.” He goes, “Oh, you want to get started?” I said, “Sure.” He goes, “Come on, come in the office.” I go in there and he says, he says, “I’ll tell you right now, “I hear a lot of good things about you, “but I don’t know that I’ll be keeping you.” And I said, “That’s okay.” He said, “What?” I said, “That’s okay.” I was going to say to him, “Are you deaf?” But I didn’t , I didn’t want to go that far. And I said, “I said, that’s okay.” He said, “Really?” I said, “Yeah.” He said, “Why is that?” I said, “Well, listen you heard a lot of good things “about me, I have not heard a lot of good things about you.” I did. And I said, “And quite frankly I have no idea “where you’re taking the ship.” And he sat back, like this, looked at me, sizing me up, I guess, you know, running through his, “This is a new one, thing.” And he looks at me and he says, “Well this is going to be an interesting answer for you, “isn’t it?” I said, “It already has been hasn’t it?” And he looked at me and he said, “Huh. “If I were to decide to keep you “what would I have to do to manage you?” And I said, “Well, that depends.” You took the hook . He’s not used to this. They’re not used to being interviewed themselves. He took the hook. I said, “That depends.” He goes, “On what.” I go, “What do you truly value in the people “that you manage?” And he gave it to me. He said, “I like self-starters, “I don’t want to have to manage people. “I want them to complete their projects. “I want them to deliver, you know, “something to the bottom line kind of thing, “You know, not just pissing money out the door, “yada, yada, yada.” And I said, “Okay.” And I waited. And he goes, “So tell me about yourself.” “Okay, I’m a self starter. “You don’t have to manage me.” I did, just like that.
– Repeated it back.
– But he missed it. I mean, he got, he didn’t say, “Oh, you’re repeating me.” No, no , went right over his head, like a giraffe’s fart, I say. And so he said, “Okay.” And anyway, he said, ‘I’ll let you know what we’re going to,” and he kept me.
– Well, but then you go back to two things, we go back to humour, we go back to listening. And actually, that’s one of the things that I think you probably taught me this many, many years ago, that actually just repeating that stuff back. They, people will tell you everything. But the main problem is the people are so far inside their own heads of, “I’ve got to make a good impression. “I’ve got to do this.” Just listen. If there’s any takeaway from this that is golden, and there’s so much golden stuff in here with you John. It is the listening is crucial, both to humour and both to sales.
– I did tell this guy, I said, “Listen, you can’t just like, ignore me, “you better stick your head in my office “every couple of weeks. “I’m the training guy. “Make sure that I’m doing my job “because, you know, woo-hoo, I’m a training guy, “I mean, I could land up doing all kinds “of crazy weird things.” He takes me out for my first performance appraisal. He says, “I’ve got to do your performance appraisal.” I said, “Well, we don’t really have to, but okay, come on.” So we go to a restaurant, and he was, he liked putting them down. So he puts down the first one, it looks at me and he says, ordered we’re waiting so, he said, “Well, let’s start your performance appraisal.” I said, “Sure.” He goes, “How am I doing?” I go, “What?” He said, “How am I doing?” I said, “I thought this was my performance appraisal.” He said, “It is.” I said, “Oh, you’re doing great. “You stick your head in my office every few weeks and go, “‘What are you up to?’ “You let me have my run of the place, blah-di-blah”. And then this is when I realised what a sense of humour he had. And then he said to me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I said, “I’m probably going to leave, “I don’t know when. “I’ll go out on my own, be a consultant.” He said, “Well, you’ll probably be a decent one. “Pretty good one. He said, “How can I help you?” And I thought, “Oh my God.” I said, “You want to get rid of me already, you’re going to?” He said, “No, no, no. “I want to know how I can help you to go out “and build your own business so that,” oh yeah, oh yeah. It was great, it was the greatest thing. He said, “Because I don’t want you to leave so quick. “So, but I’m happy to guide you along, “you know, blah, blah, blah.” And I did that for probably three, four years.
– You know, I think that’s really important for our listeners as well because it’s all about relationships. And how do you develop your relationships? You have a similar sense of humour, bonds people, you have relationships. Other people were thinking about what they wanted and what they could get and everything. But really, if you concentrate on the relationship everything else comes from it.
– Yup, yup.
– If I asked you to write a business case for humour what would you include?
– Oh boy, I don’t know. Let me see if I had to write a business case? There’s a few of them. I mean, I’m trying to think of, was I doing the selling? Was that the recipient in a business environment?
– Well, no you’re selling, you’re selling why a CEO should pay you and me to come in and introduce more humour into the workplace? What’s the business case?
– After I left this company where this president was that everyone loved, okay, and he said to me, “What do you think I can do to be more effective “as the president and CEO of this company?” And I thought, “Hmm, he was really very good “and people loved the guy.” I said, “Mike, listen, “you’re really good at what you’re doing “and you listen, you go out, you touch base with the people “you know, everybody, you know their families. “You know who’s got kids, Joey’s playing baseball “Mary’s playing football or soccer or whatever. “so what do you think I can do?” I said, “Well, I think if you do a couple of these things, “just a little bit more, I think you’d be doing great.” And he said, “You know, now that I’m paying you “all this fucking money as a consultant, “I’ve got another question for you.” I said, “What’s that, Mike?” He said, “How come you haven’t told me this before?” I said, “Number one, I have, “and two, you never really asked.” I said, “But boss, listen, when I’m an employee “you might give me half an ear, “but now that you paying money, “and you’ve got to account for that, “now you pay more attention. “What can I tell you?” And he said, “So you’re telling me “I should pay more attention.” I said, “To the employees “not to the guys like me.” They loved this guy. And most of them didn’t know what to do when he’d joke around, he’d walk around. He’d walk through the office at six o’clock and say, “Paul, you’re still working here.” You say, “Oh yeah, I have a lot to do.” And he’d say, “Huh, really? “Let me ask you a question. “First of all, you know, I pay you to get your job done “in an eight hour day. “So the only reason you would have more work to do is, “either you can’t do your job in the eight hours I give you, “or your boss is piling too much work on you. “Which one is it?” Nice bind, right? Oh yeah.
– And most people would say, “Oh, well you know my boss, you know,” and I go, “Thank you, Mike, got it.” And I learned a lot about that business relationship and how to do that. I did learn a lot of that from him.
– And is that really the return on investment that companies if they get more humour or humanity into their business that’s the return on investment, is it not?
– Yes, it is. And I think they don’t know that, they don’t realise it, and they would never sit, the first thing I’d say is, “Well, how do you quantify that?” Especially to finance people. “How how do you quantify that return on investment?” And I’d say, “You got to watch the numbers baby, “got to watch the numbers.” They go, “Which ones?” I go, “Oh, let’s start with, “let’s start with absenteeism, “let’s start with turnover–
– Retention. I had one, one boss came to me well, I was actually a consultant again, and it was the same company ’cause I was doing work for them, said to me, “You know, these two departments, typical in a manufacturing environment, production and maintenance engineers, you know, some engineers saying, “Your guys are always breaking our stuff,’ and all the production people saying, “you guys don’t know how to fix stuff.” But now the supervisors, I call them ‘stupadvisors’, supervisors and the managers, well, because of a lot of people make it that way because they’re doing a great job on their job, not ’cause they want to lead people. Why would you take the best guy on the job and take them off the job? And they don’t want to go off the job, they don’t want to manage people. So I said to him, I said, “Okay, I have an idea.” He said, “What’s that?” I said, “I’ll take all the guys out of the plant, “we’ll go to a hotel for a week, five days.” He said, “Oh, that long?” I said, “Sure.” He said, “Who’s going to run the?” I said, “You want to to fix these guys up? “I got to, I really got to work them hard, come on.” And he said, “Well, who’s going to run the place?” I said, “The union.” He said, “What?” I said, “The union.” He said, ” That’s not going to happen.” I said, “I’ll bet you.” He said, “You’re crazy.” I heard that a lot too. I said, “Yeah, I am, “but that’s got nothing to do with this.” I go, “Let me deal with the union, okay.” He says, “Go ahead, have at it.” So I went and talked to the union guys. I said, “Hey guys, you think you can run the place “if none of the managers are here? They said, “You’re kidding, right?” I said, “I’m going to depend on you “because I’m taking them all out to the hotel. “I have no idea what I’m going to do with them. “I might knock their heads together a little bit, “get some sense into them, I don’t know. “Maybe I’ll have them play with little building blocks “on the floor.” Now they’re all laughing, the union guys are laughing. And I said, “But,” I said, “I’m telling those guys, they cannot call you at all “to find out how things are running?” “If they do you say, “‘John said, you’re not supposed to call,’ “and you hang up on them, “and then you call me, here’s my home number. “So I don’t care if it’s three o’clock in the morning, “you call me. “I’m not going to go back and say, “‘Hey, Charlie said, don’t worry.’ “Guys I’m from New Jersey, come on. “You know, we don’t see nothing, “we don’t hear nothing, we don’t say nothing.” And so did it for the week, a couple of the supervisors they were calling in the plant how they running, “John said not to call,” bam. Okay, and hang up. And they call me, go, “Billy called.” I said, “Thanks, just so I know” Never said anything to any of them. Imagine this, that they ran, to say superb is an understatement. Besides breaking all production records, all scrap records, you know, throw away stuff, reducing, no absenteeism, no lateness. These guys were, the union knows they come to you, “Hey, Paul not this week, don’t you show up late this week. “You know me. “I’ll send Bubba to pick your ass up at your house. “Don’t don’t even try it. “You’d better be here every day.” And they did. And here’s the next part. No injuries. And the best one, no equipment breakdown. Now I thought they were probably a few, they didn’t write them down, they probably weren’t major ones. I don’t care. I don’t really, I don’t care. And the president that same guy, Mike comes in at the end of this five days and says, “Hey, how’d you guys like John? He worked with you this week. “You guys learned anything?” “Oh yeah, John’s a great guy.” I’m thinking, “Half of them were full of crap.” And he said, “So I heard you guys broke “all kinds of production records back there. “You did this, you did this. “The people did this, “the people did this, the people did this, “the people did that.” And they said, ‘Yeah.” He said, “So I have a question “for you to think about over the weekend. “What do I need you for?” And he turned around and he walked out .
– Well, I’m going to ask you, I’m going to ask you a question that I’m pretty sure, there’s going to be an answer having known you for a while. Have you ever taken a joke too far and crossed the line John?
– Of course.
– Good man.
– I was asked on two occasions, the first one was when my dad passed away and my mom asked me to do the eulogy. Why? I don’t know. And as I started off the eulogy ’cause they make everybody laugh, this is in a church, okay, I looked down and there’s my mom like this. “What did I ask my son to do this for?” Because the one thing was especially with my dad was, my dad he had a pretty good sense of humour and he would always do anything that he could to have people have a good time, laugh or anything like this, that was dad. And he never got real recognition for that. Except people saying, “Wow, dinner was really good.” So I made everybody stand up and applaud my dad in the church. Yeah, I said, “My dad deserves applause. “So how about all you get off your butts,” priest is laughing by the way, “get off your butts and blah, blah, blah.” And then the second one was when my mom passed away and my sister said to me, “Would you do the eulogy?” And I said, “You were at dad’s eulogy. “Are you sure you want me to do mom’s eulogy?” And she said, “I know you thought mom “didn’t appreciate that when you did dad’s eulogy “that she didn’t really like it, but she loved it. “She wasn’t going to show you that she loved it. “And she said to me, ‘Anything ever happens to me “‘please ask John to do my eulogy.’” And I said, “Well, there’s a compliment for you.” But yes, I have taken jokes too far. My wife said to me, we came back from our honeymoon, and I was married once before for a short time, and my wife said to me, and this was in front of her department of people, she worked in research and development at the time, and said to me, everybody says, “How was your honeymoon?” And I said, “Oh, it was great.” She goes, “Oh yeah.” I go, “Oh, it was really, really good.” And she looked at me. She goes, “Well, you at least had two.” And I said, “Trust me, honey, “the first one’s always the best.” And then said, “Oh, shit.” Because I meant hers was the first one, and she just kind of looked at me and I went, “Oh honey, you know what I meant?” And of course you played it up at that point, she goes, “No, I don’t. “Why don’t you explain it to all of us.”
– Well, actually on the converse of that, have you ever gotten yourself out of trouble by using humour because you got yourself into trouble, that’s obvious, but have you got yourself out?
– Probably, probably with the police, probably>
– Tell me.
– First of all, the last, 14 times or 15 times I counted it, think it was 15, last 15 times I was pulled over by the police I only got one ticket. So I’ve managed to get out of the other 14. And those by the way were with the New Jersey State Police, they’re pretty tough, but they’re very understanding, they truly are. They’re not apt to bust you, they’re looking for drugs and they’re looking for drunk drivers, you know. Speeders, if you’re going a little bit too fast they’re going to pull you over, probably give you a good lecture, or they’re going to give you a ticket depending on your attitude, okay. And I tell the story, I almost got shot once by a state trooper, okay. Yeah, would have been my fault, but my mom would have been really pissed off ’cause I didn’t do anything wrong. As I get out of my car, I was doing about 115 and he radioed ahead because he was already giving somebody else a ticket, and he radioed ahead, another car was up there waiting for me, and I had my friends in the car, so we hear , and I slow down, as I get out of my car, my jacket pocket got stuck on the door handle, and as I turned around, it looked like I was going for a gun in my back, might have been in the back of my pants. And as I turned around, I’ve heard in slow motion, Did you know, I don’t know if you know much about guns, but, you know, we have them here in the U.S. and that’s all right, that the barrel of a 357 is about this big when it’s in your face, you know? And I could hear him slow motion saying, “Freeze,” and then he called me a name. But he taught me some things, he said, “You know, I could have shot you.” I said to him, I said “My mother would have been “really pissed off. “My birthday’s in a few days, man.” But that’s not the one, the one was where I was going fast, it was at nighttime, and I learned something about brains too at this moment, and I was going a little fast, I passed a tractor trailer, nobody was around except for the state trooper who was right behind me, but didn’t have, he didn’t even have his headlights on. And as I passed the truck, I was probably doing about 80 in a 60, you know, something like that, and all of a sudden, boom, there’s the light show, okay. Luckily I knew enough to pull over. But I couldn’t, I really could not think much past that really. It shocked my brain. Had he come up from behind me, I think it would have been different, but he was right, I mean, he probably could’ve smelled my tail lights, bam, all the lights on. I said, “Oh, shit,” and I pulled over. And he comes over to the car, he says, “You know how fast you were going?” I said, “Not now I don’t.” And he said, “What does that mean?” I said, “May I be blunt?” He said, “Please.” And I said, “You scared the living shit out of me.” He said, “What?” You said, “Have you been drinking?” I said, “No.” He said, “Where are you coming from?” I said, “I don’t know.” He said, “You don’t know where you’re coming from?” I said, “No.” “You doing drugs?” I said, “No.” He said, “And you don’t know how fast you were going?” I said, “No, I don’t. I’m sorry, I was trying to get home. He said, “Where you going?” I said, “I’m going home.” He said, “Okay, so you know where you’re going? “You don’t know where you’ve been. “You don’t know how fast you were driving.” I said, “No, that’s it, I’m sorry.” He said, “Step out of the car.” I said, “Sure.” He goes, “Go sit down on a guardrail.” I say, “Okay.” He said, “I’m going to leave you alone “for about five minutes.” He said, “Maybe you can get your memory back.” And I said, “I’m going to tell you again, officer, this is the truth. “You scared the shit out of me. “As soon as everything went on, my brain stopped.” I said, “I don’t know how to explain that to you. “But, my brain’s, not like I went, “‘Oh my God, I’m getting pulled over.’ “Oh no, I was like, .” And he waited five minutes, he just stood there like this, watching me, looking at me, looking at my eyes, you know. He said, “How are you doing?” This is after I been for five minutes, I said, “I’m doing better now.” He said, “Okay.” He said, “You know how fast you were going?” I said, “No, but I know I was going fast “’cause I had to pass that tractor trailer, “and they go fast to begin with, “but I didn’t see anybody else around “except you when put on the light show.” He said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. “Where you coming from?” I said, “Oh, I’m coming from Upsala College, “I was doing, I was teaching a class for a friend of mine.” He said, “Oh good, what’s your friend’s name? I said, “My friend’s name is this.” He said, “Okay. He said, “So can I call them?” I said, “Sure. He said, “Do you have their number?” I said, “Sure, here’ my cell phone.” He said, “All right, I believe you.” He said, and he starts laughing right away, he goes, “I really scared the out of you, huh?” I said, “Well, not literally,” you know. And he said, “Oh, that’s good.” He said, “All right, I’m going to tell you what, “Would you just slow down a little bit,” like that. And he just laughed. He more like chuckled, more like chuckled. And I said, “Yes, officer, no problem.”
– The fact that you got away with it, 14 times out of 15 shows that you are a master of rapport and humour. And that’s what, I love the fact that you can use it in real life as well as in business. We’re going to go to the last part of the show, which is called “Quick Fire Questions.” ♪ Quick fire questions ♪ Okay, who’s the funniest person in business that you’ve met?
– Oh boy, me .
– Great answer, and really quick fire.
– You’re pretty funny yourself.
– You’re very kind, but I’m, can I just be a close second to you?
– No. And you laughed again, it’s okay. You’re so kind.
– What book makes you laugh?
– Probably, “The Godfather.”
– “Godfather” makes you laugh?
– Hell, a movie makes me laugh.
– It’s a comedy to you? Coming from Jersey that’s a comedy?
– It’s like, yeah, of course, ha, ha, you know. I don’t know. I used to read, when I was a kid I used to read a lot, voraciously, but most of those were biographies or autobiographies.
– I’m not sure that Mario Puzo is going to actually want that on the cover. “The funniest book I’ve ever read, ‘The Godfather.’”
– I’d write it for him, if he asked.
– What film makes you laugh? “The Godfather.” There was a film out in the ’60s that was really probably one of the funniest movies, I don’t even know why. I just remember, and I’ve seen it more than once or twice or five times was, “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.” had a load of stars in it, and it was just funny. I laughed, I laughed.
– What word makes you laugh, John?
– I think the one that to mind, I could probably think of a few, but the one that comes to mind is the word can’t. If somebody says to me, you can’t do that or I can’t do that. In other words, if they said, “I can’t do that, I’d laugh.” If they say, “You can’t do that,” I’d really laugh. ‘Cause usually the reason they say it is I’ve already done it. And I think that they just, instead of saying “Why did you do that? Or, “How come you did that?” They just say, “You can’t do that?” I go, “I did it already.” “You can’t ask that question.” I go, “Well, it’s too, kind of, too late “’cause the words are already come out.”
– Okay, we’re going to slightly serious tone on the next quick fire question. No, but what’s not funny?
– Man, people not just not respecting, ’cause that’s you never sure ’cause they’re not respecting, but people disrespecting other people. And I have a solution to that, so that I can laugh if they ever do it especially when it comes to all this racism stuff and, you know, name it sexual harassment stuff and all those things, you know, whatever. And I propose to any judge, who’s watching this at one time or another that they take this very small little bit of advice for me as my idea, and before you sentence someone for any of those crimes have them get their DNA done. Find out what’s in their blood.
– Oh, yeah.
– You bet.
– I know, I completely agree, actually. I think we’re all a mishmash of everything. Yeah, would you rather be considered clever or funny?
– What I rather be considered one of the other? I think I’d rather be considered as funny because then it’s easier to be clever.
– I actually, funnily enough, I believe that in order to be funny, you have to be clever.
– Yes, yes. I learned a long time back the saying is, got it from Richard that, “The best place to hide the forest is in a tree.” Let that sizzle around in there for a while–
– All listeners are going, “Hold on” and everything, and they’ve all gone into deep trance now, in a good way. Okay, the final question on this edition of the “Humourology Podcast” is Desert Island Gags. You can only take one joke with you to a desert island. What is that joke John?
– First thing I’d think about is, whom I going to tell this to? But one of my all time favourites is about Mickey Mouse, and this is a joke, not humour. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse we’re getting divorced and they’re in court, and after a bunch of months in court and everything else the judge comes back and says to Mickey Mouse, he says, “Mickey, I’m really sorry, “we’ve sent Minnie Mouse “for all kinds of psychological tests, “we’ve sent her to NLPers, “we’ve sent her to EMDers, “we’ve sent her to you name it, “we’ve sent her for all kinds of testing “and contrary to what you’re claiming, “Minnie Mouse is not crazy.” And Mickey said, “Your honour, I didn’t tell you she was crazy, I told you she’s fucking Goofy.”
– If you want to put that in your podcast.
– Oh yeah, oh no, that stays in. It stays in.
– It’s one of my. It’s one of my all time favourites.
– Oh, it’s genius. And John you’re one of my all time favourites. You’re a brilliant person, a brilliant raconteur and a brilliant friend. Thank you so much for being on the “Humourology Podcast.”
– You bet. My pleasure being here and loads of respect for you man. Seriously.
– [Paul] The “Humourology Podcast” was hosted by Paul Boross and produced by Simon Banks. Music by Steve Haworth, creative direction by Les Hughes and additional research by Helen Sykes. Please remember to subscribe, like and leave a review wherever you get your podcasts. This has been a Big Sky Production.