The Funniest Passage in my book MOVE

It’s a wrap!

I was in Los Angeles last week to record the audiobook version of MOVE.

I was locked in this sound booth and this was my view for the 3+ days it took.

Out a small window I could see the brilliant sound engineer/director Ben.

It was all going well, until I got to a passage in MOVE, that while I have always thought was amusing, I have never tried to read out loud before.

When I got to the end of the story, I began to lose it, and then Ben read ahead and also started cracking up!

It took me about 5 takes to get through it, we just couldn’t stop laughing… I needed to think of sad stuff to stop the giggles…

Hire for Creative Thinking Skills

The passage is in the chapter about how to hire the right people, and eliminate the wrong people.

There is no effective antidote for the wrong team, and there is nothing more powerful than the right team.

Here’s the passage. Enjoy 🙂

Here is a story about creative thinking that I love that I heard many years ago. This has become a bit of urban legend and things have been added to it over time. You can find it in wikipedia under “The Barometer Question”.

The Barometer Question

There was a science class and there was a homework problem which was the following:

If you needed to find out the height of a tall building using only a barometer, how would you do it?

The “correct” answer involved measuring the air pressure at the top of the building and on the ground, and using the difference in air pressure to calculate the height of the building. 

Kids that used that approach and got the math right were marked correct and given full credit.

But there were two other answers that stood out to me, that the teacher marked wrong, with no credit. I would have marked these correct and given these two students a job!

The first “wrong” answer:

One student said he would take the barometer to the top of the building, drop it off, count how many seconds it takes to hit the ground, and calculate the height based on the time of the fall. This is probably at least as accurate an answer as using the air pressure based approach.

The second “wrong” answer – even better:

This student said, I would find the general manager of the building and say to him. “If you tell me how tall this building is, I will give you this barometer.”  


Not only did this solution meet the requirements of solving the problem, it was likely to give a far more accurate answer than the correct answer based on air pressure!

What a shame these two students were marked wrong. These are precisely the kind of creative thinking skills that help people solve important problems when the by-the-book way does not work.

When you are hiring identify creative problem solving skills by looking for interesting, non-standard, creative solutions that people have used in the past to create success. Here are some do’s and don’ts I have learned to identify creative problem solving skills, and not get led astray by other tempting, seemingly important factors that are actually far less valuable than creative problem solving…


Release Date

The MOVE Audiobook will be available in a few weeks. I’ll let you know the exact date when I get it!

I’m very proud of how it turned out, and can’t wait to share it with you.

Can’t wait?

You can always order the kindle version or physical version now.

But stay tuned, I’ll let you know when the audiobook is available soon.

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my facebook page.

Patty Azzarello

Patty is available to speak at your company, annual meeting, or customer event. She can also deliver a custom workshop on Leadership or Strategy Execution for your leadership team. Contact Patty.


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Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at, follow her on twitter or Facebook, or read her books RISE and MOVE.

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