Pranks I’m Afraid Will Get Lisa David Olson Killed

Pranks I’m Afraid Will Get Lisa David Olson Killed


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My guest for Episode #54 is Lisa David Olson a business humorist and the author of the new book Laughs On Wry: An Improviser's Memoir. She's an appropriate guest for today, given that it's the first day of National Humor Month.

Later this month (April 12th), my guest will be Art Bell — creator of the Comedy Central channel (which is celebrating its 30th anniversary today). I wish I had an entire month of funny guests… but there's two for you.

Lisa is a speaker, author, podcaster (“Stranger Connections“), and creative partner, who loves coffee and pranks! (the exclamation point is hers).

In today's episode, Lisa shares her “favorite mistake” of not writing her book earlier because she thought nobody would read it. I think my favorite mistake from the conversation was Lisa talking about a prank at her workplace, a police station, that I'm afraid could get her killed if she repeats it. We talk about those mistakes and topics including:

  • Why are you afraid of scaring the introverts?
  • Humor as her escape from a traumatic childhood
  • Helping businesses (and individuals) reignite their ideas… and their projects — how?
  • Humor as a connector
  • The risk of making mistakes when trying to use humor at work?
  • What are you doing for fun?
  • Humor as a gift vs something that can be developed?

Scroll down to find:

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  • Quotes
  • How to subscribe
  • Full transcript

You can listen to or watch the episode below. A transcript also follows lower on this page. Please subscribe, rate, and review via Apple Podcasts or Podchaser! You can now sign up to get new episodes via email, to make sure you don't miss an episode. This podcast is part of the Lean Communicators network.



"A mistake I made was not writing [my book] because I thought no one would read it. And I thought I don't have a bunch of letters after my name. Why should I write a book?"

"For the longest time, I wouldn't write my book because I had that inner voice... it was winning. I named my inner voice 'Sherman' and I learned how to say, 'Get lost Sherman.'"

"Well, another favorite mistake is pranking a police officer and fracturing my tailbone."

"You find that a lot of it is genetic. You know, some people are great storytellers and they can tell the story. And in the pieces that build up to an outcome and some people are great joke tellers."

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contain Mistakes)

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.