1927 New York Yankees

With the baseball season underway, we thought it would be fun to go back in time and describe the personalities of two of the most popular players from the famous 1927 New York Yankees. Quick Code Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, be one of the first 10 readers who correctly code the players and you  will win a Color Code t-shirt of your choice. Be sure to include the answer, the t-shirt size and the t-shirt color you prefer when sending answers.

In 1927 Lindberg completed his first solo across the Atlantic; new cars were being sold for $375.00; and the New York Yankees won the World Series.

The 1927 Yankees have been called the greatest team in the history of baseball, with an all-star line-up dubbed Murderer’s Row.

Two of the players on the team, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, both contributed to the win in big ways. Babe was the first player to hit 60 home runs in one season (714 lifetime). Lou Gehrig was the American League’s MVP that year and went on to set a lifetime record of 2,130 consecutive games.

Babe Ruth was larger than life and enjoyed the spotlight. While dominating the game on the field, he lived recklessly off the field. His eating, drinking, and carousing have contributed to his legacy. He was quoted as saying, “I’ll promise to go easier on drinking and to get to bed earlier, but not for you, fifty thousand dollars, or two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars will I give up women. They’re too much fun.”

As a student Ruth was often dubbed “incorrigible” and continued to be undisciplined his entire professional life. One night, when he was supposed to be in his hotel room, he was out carousing. When stopped by a policeman for driving the wrong way on a one-way street, Babe said, “Well, I was only going one way!”

At the beginning of the 1922 season, Ruth, frustrated by a heckler in the stands, kicked dirt at the umpire and then went after the heckler. He was quoted as saying, “I didn’t mean to hit the umpire with the dirt, but I did mean to hit that bastard in the stands.”

Lou Gehrig is also remembered as one of the most talented and phenomenal baseball players of all time. More than that, however, he is remembered for his kind heart, humility, and winning attitude. “Lets face it. I’m not a headline guy. I always knew that as long as I was following Babe to the plate I could have gone up there and stood on my head. No one would have noticed the difference. When the Babe was through swinging, whether he hit one or fanned, nobody paid any attention to the next hitter. They all were talking about what the Babe had done.”

Regarding Gehrig, New York Yankees manager Joe McCarthy said, “I had him for over eight years and he never gave me a moment’s trouble. I guess you might say he was kind of my favorite.”

When actor Edward Hermann played Gehrig in a movie, he had trouble capturing the essence of the reserved, quiet Gehrig. “What made it so tough is I could find no ‘key’ to his character. There was no strangeness, nothing spectacular about him. As Eleanor Gehrig told me, he was just a square, honest guy.”

Both players were extraordinary on the field and off, but in two very different and distinct ways.

Ruth has gone down in history as a hard-living, hard-playing man with a big ego and big talent to match. He is still considered by many to be the greatest baseball player ever. He died August 16, 1948 at the age of 53. At his death the New York Times called  Babe Ruth, “a figure unprecedented in American life. A born showman off the field and a marvelous performer on it, he had an amazing flair for doing the spectacular at the most dramatic moment.”

Gehrig’s legacy will be his quiet dedication to the sport he loved, exemplified by his record of consecutive games. Tragically, he will also be remembered as the person who has a hideous disease named for him. Lou Gehrigh Appreciation Day was held July 4, 1939 when nearly 62,000 fans wished their dying hero goodbye.

References
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babe_Ruth
www.baberuth.com/flash/about/biograph.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou_Gehrigh
www.lougehrig.com/about/bio.htm
www.baseball-almanac.com/quotes/quoruth.shtml

 

It’s Not My Fault!

Who is to blame? It wasn’t my fault! Far too many of today’s organizations are afflicted with this pandemic of finger pointing. If it is not a person, it is a circumstance or somehow an act of God. Similar to the backseat that creativity has taken in many organizations; the lack of personal accountability has been even subtler and more elusive in the manner by which it has infiltrated businesses worldwide. Although it is difficult to quantify the hard costs, we understand that the lack of personal accountability within an organization has a drain on time, resources and overall employee morale.

Understanding this, we as leaders, must be willing to practice what we preach. We must take on the challenge of teaching responsibility.  The first principle that we must embrace is that each individual has specific tasks that define the expectations of their role within that organization. The individual is completely responsible for their behavior within these expectations. Because behavior is only skin-deep, we must examine the motive of each individual when these expectations have not been fulfilled.

All motive-types can have difficulty taking on responsibility, each for different reasons. Reds by nature tend to be responsible but can choose to not take responsibility for a specific task if they think it is superfluous and doesn’t directly contribute the bottom line. Blues can choose irresponsibility if they have cornered themselves into a victim role. They can tend to blame outside forces that are out of their control to justify why something did not get accomplished. Whites can choose irresponsibility by not taking the necessary steps to accomplish the task for fear of the potential conflict, which might arise. In the moment, it is easier to choose to avoid conflict in the hopes that no future repercussion may take place. Yellows are at somewhat of a disadvantage because they are innately irresponsible. They tend to fly below the radar hoping to take on just enough responsibility to get by but not enough to drive them to overwhelming success within the organization.

The second principle that we must master as leaders is to support each individual to be successful. This may be difficult due to natural biases we have with specific motive types but our goal is to achieve a balanced expectation for all employees so that they are held accountable in an impartial and consistent manner.  If you begin to implement 100% Responsibility within your organization but do not hold all employees (yourself included) to one ultimate standard of accountability, you are undermining its efficacy in your organization.

The third principle is the most crucial and can be the most difficult to master effectively. This is the understanding that fear only creates compliance, not learning. Employees need to learn to be accountable for their own actions but must also be allowed to make mistakes as they learn and develop. Among the greatest enablers of irresponsibility is fear. Fear of backlash or punishment is the justifier of the majority of employees in today’s workforce. If they only take responsibility for just enough to get by, it creates as safe, comfortable, habitual pocket, which disables them from achieving their full potential.

As a leader, you must understand that employees will make mistakes. Mistakes can be opportunities for growth. Recently, I spoke with a former classmate from college about his current employer. He talked with such exuberance about his company and his boss and I asked him what made his organization so different. He related to me that he made a business deal with a distributor back East. The deal was all but done but due to a mistake, which he made, he lost the deal. His mistake cost the company nearly $65,000 in profit and he believed that he was going to be let go. When he was called into his manager’s office, believing that he was in for a tongue-lashing, he was surprisingly met with humorous understanding. His boss had made the same mistake 6 years prior but rather than costing the company $65,000, it was nearly double that. He told him the same thing that his previous manager had told him. There is no way that he could fire him after making that kind of investment into his business education.

As you lead your employees and organization to adopt the daily practice of 100% Responsibility, you must understand that the results will not be immediate. You must also accept that this may be too much for some. An individual’s inability to embrace accountability is by no means a reflection of your leadership ability if he or she chooses failure.  If they choose this path, at least permit them to fail with dignity without the additional distress of being judged.

As leaders, we have a distinct opportunity to increase moral and employee commitment by teaching them to be responsible. For the first few months, the employees will skittishly test the water on a daily basis like deer in the forest.  As long as it is enforced consistently on the principles provided above, you will find an overwhelming change overtake your organization.

In the case of my classmate, he told me that it would take an act of God to pry him away from his current employment. He is safe to take responsibility and engage for the greater good of the company.  Invest in your people today by teaching them 100% Responsibility and they will undoubtedly earn back the “$65,000” you spend on their business education for the future. ✜

 

This Journey We Call Life

How Color Code Changed My Life

Becky:

In this journey we call life, we believe what we have been taught and conditioned to believe. We give little conscious thought to our behaviors and actions; we respond subconsciously and often speak before we think. It usually takes some major event happening in our lives (such as the death of a loved one, divorce, job loss, or life-threatening illness) to stop us in our tracks and make us reflect on who we are and exactly what it is that makes us tick.

Prior to me knowing the Color Code, I spent 20 years in a sales and marketing role in the corporate world. I considered myself fairly intuitive about people, though I never really gave it much thought. I connected with those people I wanted to. I understood the value of showing empathy and compassion because it got me where I wanted to be. I knew I was decisive and that my passion was often interpreted as arrogance or aggression. I scared some people, but I didn’t quite know why. Then I experienced my fair share of life-changing events, and that got me seeking answers.

I lost my mum to lung cancer, my job became redundant, I started my own business, and then within 6 weeks my husband announced he didn’t think our relationship was working and he wanted to leave. As a core Red with secondary Blue, you can imagine what an insult that was to my need for respect and intimacy. I dealt with the loss of my mum in a very pragmatic way (Red), which left me feeling guilty (Blue). I was totally frustrated, annoyed, and hurt regarding my husband. I felt that I had spent 10 years of my life trying to support him and then when I needed him most, he was running away (at least that’s how I saw it at the time).

And then I found the Color Code. It made total sense to me and in the space of only a few days, I had decided I was going to attend the Color Code Trainer Certification Course. My business partner, Gwen, was unsure of my decision, but as a nursing professional, she recognized there was a need within me to go. And so I did. When I got back, naturally I imparted my newfound awareness to her. My enthusiasm was contagious and Gwen soon found her own life changed by the Color Code.

Gwen:

The Color Code not only changed my life and the life of my better half, but it is still impacting my family daily. Having been a nurse for over 30 years, I understood emotional intelligence, intuition, and compassion. But I had no idea why I was so successful in changing people’s lives, or why my husband, Stuart, and I would get entangled in arguments that created a rift in our usually great and close relationship.

I spent a day with Becky talking about her passion for people and the Color Code course she had attended. While I thought I might feel “boxed in” after taking the profile, instead I felt free to be me. After studying my profile results, I was different. And Stu could see it. He wanted to know what had happened—yep, you guessed it, he took the profile too. Finding out I am a core Yellow with a secondary Blue and he is a core Blue with a secondary White really altered how we behave.

The Color Code explained my erratic, impulsive, joyful sense of fun. It also helped me discover that I often let the Blue in me overshadow my best Yellow characteristics. I finally understood Stu’s silent stubbornness and how to chase him out into the open. I can use my compassion to help him know his opinion is important to me and that confrontation can be good, as long as it is healthy. Stu appreciates that we can embrace my unpredictable, impulsive side and that I’ve learned to contain it when he needs space to simply be.

Of course we couldn’t stop there. Stuart’s brother James took the profile, then my four siblings, and the rest of his family too. We are successfully negotiating each other through our improved communication. My relationship with our family was already pretty good, but it has improved even more by talking through what is happening and why we all respond the way we do in certain situations. I am more sensitive to the strengths and limitations of each of them. Things Stu says that I might have taken personally before, I now recognize as his logical White secondary color coming through.  And he is way more patient with my ebullience, when at one time he might have thought I was deliberately winding him up.

I can strongly recommend this profile to others for an instant better understanding of their loved ones, with the added bonus of developing relationships at work. It is a user-friendly, practical, and extremely accurate way to understand yourself, and those around you. Go for it!

Becky Lacey is based in the UK, a serial Entrepreneur who is passionate about people and dedicated to challenging the status quo, through thinking differently. Solutions 42 Ltd is her UK Healthcare business focused on education and practical application. She is just launching Dynamic People in support of The Color Code for the UK.

 

 

Ask the Expert

Dear Jeremy,

I work in a company with a little over 10,000 employees, and in the top leadership tier I have two VPs that I’m currently dealing with that I’m not sure how to handle. They are both Red, and when they run their individual teams, they’re amazing, but when they work together on our executive team, they are constantly butting heads. What can I do to make this work?
Gavin

Dear Gavin,
What you have described to me sounds like a classical Red on Red issue that actually isn’t too tough to resolve. Here’s what typically happens. Reds by nature love to fit into leadership roles, and why not? They are driven, assertive, focused, and so visionary that they are always thinking five years down the road. That’s the positive side. On the flip side, they will also battle for control and believe that they are always right. When left alone to manage their respective teams, they are great, because they are in charge, which others readily recognize, and they call the shots. When forced to work together, however, what you are running into is basically a turf war. Here’s what I mean. They both are convinced that their way is better. Plus, they are highly competitive, and are therefore willing to fight for their ideas. So how do you solve this? Remember to always go back to the Driving Core Motive of the people involved. In this case, they are both Red. They are both driven by Power. They both want to get from “A to B”. Well what is “B”? In this case, it is likely that they want the company and the executive team to be successful. They want a positive result. And, by the way, they want to look good to their superiors and/or the board of directors. You can use this knowledge to your advantage when you discuss this with them.

Here are a couple of things to remember when you have the conversation with them, which you can do with them together, by the way. First of all, you want to keep the conversation, brief, factual, and to the point. Do not spend the meeting talking about how valued they are and how people look to their example, and therefore it’s important that they get along. Just stick to the facts. Tell them the truth, “The company needs this team to be successful, and the two of you aren’t working so well together,” might be a way of opening the conversation up. If you are not Red, this may seem difficult or too bold, perhaps, but the point is you must communicate in a way that will mean something to them in their Red “language”. You can tell them that it is obvious that they are both highly successful in their own teams, and that you expect them to lend their talent in a more positive way to the executive committee. Here’s the part where you assert your leadership. Give each of them a specific set of responsibilities within the committee, and tell them that they are to allow each other room to operate in their respective areas. When the team comes together to discuss things that need to be done, both of them can participate openly, but once decisions are made, they are individually responsible for their portions only. Really, all you are doing is separating the turf. If they really are both highly capable and produce results, chances are that they have mutual respect for each other. If they don’t respect each other, you have a deeper problem, especially because they are both Red, but we won’t get into that in this column. The point is they have to rely on each other to get the job done. They both hate to waste time. They both want to get to “B.” You decide who is in charge of what, or which type of issues, and clearly delineate the line of responsibility. This will actually free both of them to not get caught up in what doesn’t reflect on them individually. Consequently, they will both work to make their respective assignments successful just as they do with their own teams.

Continued Success!

Jeremy Daniel

 

Jeremy Daniel (Core Color: Yellow) has been working with the Color Code since 1998 in various capacities from training in the field personally with Dr. Taylor Hartman to designing customized corporate solutions and new training programs for various industries.  To ask about Jeremy’s training or speaking services, please email and inquiry to jeremy@colorcodetraining.com.

Confessions of a Red—Wedding Plans

My oldest son is getting married in June. He is forty years old and this is his first marriage. No, he isn’t ugly, stupid, or unmarriageable in any obvious way. He is a White. He has been in long-term relationships before, but nothing ever happened. He seemed content, and as is with many Whites, that was enough. Not so for the other halves of those relationships.

Finally, he found his Blue fiancé—or to be more precise, she found him. They have been together for 3 years and it looked to me as if the relationship would be the same as the others, until one night he called to let me know that he had proposed. Stunned, I didn’t ask why, but my guess is she wasn’t as complacent with the status quo as he. Thank goodness for Blues.

She is the perfect companion for my White son. On the surface it appears as though they have nothing in common—he loves music, she loves sports; he is a bit granola, she is all girl. What they do have is a mutual respect for each other’s needs. He attends concerts—she, baseball games. Like many White/Blue relationships, there is no forced companionship and each is content to do what they enjoy—without reprisal. They are each comfortable in their own skins.

But wedding plans are a different story. It is a stressful time for all brides and grooms, but particularly for my White son. Imagine his delight when his father-in-law-to-be offered the couple an outrageous amount of money to elope. Then imagine his confusion when his Blue fiancé flatly refused. Like many women, she wants the storybook wedding. Like many men (especially White men), he is ambivalent.

My son lives three states away from me and consequently we use Skype as our communication method of choice. A few months ago, I detected a strain in his voice and I have to admit, it made me a bit nervous. “Ma,” he said, “I need you up here. I can’t take all this wedding planning stuff.” Turns out, my son was being overwhelmed by all the Blue emotion and was in need of a logical ally. When I confided to a friend my unwillingness to go, she asked me if my son had ever asked me for anything. I had to admit, he hadn’t.

Being the Red that I am, I figured I could make all the necessary arrangements for my part of the wedding (flowers, tuxedos, rehearsal dinner, etc.) using my BFF, Google, and my other BFF, iPhone. I don’t need that warm fuzzy feeling that comes from constant discussions and committee meetings. Look it up, get it ordered, cross it off the list.

Still, as my carbon-based friend reminded me, my son has always been one of those maintenance-free kids. With all the maintenance his Yellow brother has required throughout the years, I figure my White has an account with interest. I went.

Because we decided to opt for suits rather than the traditional tuxedos, my only goal for the trip was to purchase a suit for the groom. And because all the wedding party would be wearing suits, the mother, father and brother of the bride asked if they could come along on the shopping trip. It didn’t take me long to quick-code them as Blues. All of them. I know that any White would be overwhelmed by the idea of shopping with six other people, but in this case he was made to shop with five Blues and a Red. I could already see the silent stubbornness starting to assert itself. We hit the stores and immediately we had as many opinions as we did people. I commented in a sarcastic tone that only waiters and undertakers wore solid black suits and that the suits should have a subtle pin strip. The mother of the bride felt that a solid black suit was more formal. You get the picture. It wasn’t long before my son shut down completely. Being the procrastinator that some Whites are, he wanted to postpone the purchase indefinitely and go eat.

The next day the three of us went shopping. I stayed in the tie department and left the suit decision to my son and his bride. Mission accomplished, and lesson learned.

With all the different personalities that go into planning a wedding, it is best to recognize and respect the needs of each color. Reds, like me, need to get the job done, cross it off our list with as little fanfare as possible. Blues need think about and discuss each decision made, going through all the possible problems that might arise. Yellows…well they will love the bringing together of a party, and will happily leave the difficult decisions to others. And Whites? Well, they need to have space and distance from all the Blues and Reds that pester them.

So, in conclusion, my advice to brides and grooms is that if you can survive the wedding, the marriage should be smooth sailing.

 

How to Conduct a Harmonious Workplace

One textbook definition of harmony is a situation in which there is agreement…a worthy goal for any effective work environment. However, when I hear the word harmony, I think of my husband, the choral conductor. He has developed his natural talent and acquired remarkable skills in creating harmony out of disparate student voices from years of education and experience. The process is not so dissimilar in the workplace. Using the Color Code, leaders can become talented conductors, of a sort. Understanding how various core colors interact with each other can build on your natural talents and help you acquire greater skills to minimize conflict and bring more harmony to your organizations.

Similar to the Color Code, choral music has essentially four voices: soprano, alto, tenor and bass. The process of bringing those voices into accord begins first within each section. For example, the conductor must discover the differing range and quality of each voice in the soprano section. With that information, he or she is better able to position each member of a section in the most advantageous configuration to achieve the highest quality of sound. So too must managers understand how each motive type interacts with others who share their core color. Each color interacting with another of their same motive type has areas of natural synergy and areas of natural conflict.

Reds working together share vision, leadership, determination and high levels of motivation. On the flip side, they can encounter power struggles if each must always be right. The combination of Blues on a team brings unparalleled quality, creativity and commitment. However, they can become self-critical and overly preoccupied with details. Two or more Whites interacting on a project lend objectivity, balance and problem solving skills. On the other hand, productivity can suffer if both fall into the trap of silent stubbornness. Each can quietly refuse to budge on an issue and neither one will be likely to raise the issue to find resolution. Yellows working with other Yellows bring boundless enthusiasm, optimism and social skills. They can also be unfocused and irresponsible, neither willing to step up and lead. This understanding empowers managers to anticipate both the strengths and limitations brought to bear when you have two or more of the same core motive type on a team. And, like the conductor, you are better able to position members of a team to their best advantage to maximize the desired result.

Complementary Similarities

Women’s voices, alto and soprano, combined and men’s voices, tenor and bass, combined represent complementary similarities. They each enjoy an ease of blend and enhanced quality that provides a richness of sound surpassing that of individual parts singing alone. Likewise, certain combinations of colors are naturally drawn together for their shared strengths to produce a better outcome than either could achieve individually. Reds and Yellows share strong verbal skills, are excited about change and enjoy freedom from emotional clutter. Blues and Whites are able to set ego aside, share an interest in team success and are in tune with others. Understanding how these complementary similarities function together lends insights into how to make the most of team members’ natural skills.

Complementary Opposites

Sopranos singing with basses and altos singing with tenors yields the kind of results seen with complementary opposites. The higher range of a soprano blending with the opposing deep, resonant sound of a bass provide a quality of sound that is at once intriguing and beautiful. You will, no doubt, note similar complementary opposites among your co-workers. Reds like to lead and Whites are happy to follow. Whites’ sense of calm and balance tends to temper the fiery disposition of the Red. The steadiness of Blues helps ground the flightiness of Yellows. The spontaneous fun of Yellows helps to pull Blues out of their intense focus on duty and perfection. Complementary opposites are obviously great for teams as these combinations compensate for each other’s limitations and enhance each other’s natural strengths.

The Stars

Every singing group has their soloists and others who we will call “blenders.” Soloists have the talent and skill to stand alone and sing. They can be the rainmakers in an organization, the ones who get noticed. Others sometimes resent their prima dona attitude and apparent egotism. “Blenders” are those who are not particularly interested in or proficient at singing alone but are capable of skillfully singing multiple parts. They are the ones, who when added to any musical line, make everyone else singing that line sound immeasurably, almost inexplicably, better. It is not difficult to draw a work/life analogy here. Reds and Yellows are most often the soloists. They like to look good in their respective ways and are often self-centered. Blues and Whites tend to be the “blenders” or worker bees. Whatever the project or assignment, they are very capable at multiple assignments and able to set ego aside for the good of the team. With their assistance, the outcome is always improved. Who are your soloists and “blenders?”

Consonance and Dissonance

Western music is written in such a way to provide both consonant  and dissonant harmony. Consonant harmony is the kind that sounds pleasing to the ear. Dissonant harmonies are those that sound almost as if a mistake has been made. Some color combinations also work together in a way that can seem almost as if a mistake has been made. The example most often cited is Reds and Blues. While the potential for a powerfully positive  combination exists, this duo can readily be resoundingly dissonant. From their foundation they conflict in logic versus emotion. Reds are all about high productivity. Blues tend toward strong perfectionism. They are polar opposites regarding sensitivity. Reds lacking and Blues possessing an overabundance. The list goes on. Learning how to recognize the areas of natural synergy between this sometimes dissonant color combination is critical to success when confronted with these two power house colors. Reds and Blues are both dependable and oriented toward high achievement. They both have great loyalty: Reds to tasks and Blues to relationships. Reds provide vision and Blue can be counted on for quality. A manager must understand these shared strengths to then help the Red and Blue co-worker recognize and respect the positive traits and not focus unduly on the areas of potential conflict.

Resolution

What conductors understand and managers must learn is that creating harmony in the workplace does not mean the absence of conflict or dissonance. Singers, irrespective of their part, can be dissonant with other parts or even within their own section. Likewise, all colors have the potential for discord with other colors or even someone who shares their core color. An awareness of the potential for consonant or dissonant harmonies within your organization can help to minimize unproductive differences. That same awareness can also help to explain how some disagreements can provide a dynamic source of strength as each color works through the dissonance. As with Western music, the resolution of the dissonance is where the most beautiful music is found. The same can be true in your organization.

Similar to the Color Code, choral music has essentially four voices: soprano, alto, tenor and bass. The process of bringing those voices into accord begins first within each section. For example, the conductor must discover the differing range and quality of each voice in the soprano section. With that information, he or she is better able to position each member of a section in the most advantageous configuration to achieve the highest quality of sound. So too must managers understand how each motive type interacts with others who share their core color. Each color interacting with another of their same motive type has areas of natural synergy and areas of natural conflict.

Reds working together share vision, leadership, determination and  high levels of motivation. On the flip side, they can encounter power struggles if each must always be right. The combination of Blues on a team brings unparalleled quality, creativity and commitment. However, they can become self-critical and overly preoccupied with details. Two or more Whites interacting on a project lend objectivity, balance and problem solving skills. On the other hand, productivity can suffer if both fall into the trap of silent stubbornness. Each can quietly refuse to budge on an issue and neither one will be likely to raise the issue to find resolution. Yellows working with other Yellows bring boundless enthusiasm, optimism and social skills. They can also be unfocused and irresponsible, neither willing to step up and lead. This understanding empowers managers to anticipate both the strengths and limitations brought to bear when you have two or more of the same core motive type on a team. And, like the conductor, you are better able to position members of a team to their best advantage to maximize the desired result.

Complementary Similarities

Women’s voices, alto and soprano, combined and men’s voices, tenor and bass, combined represent complementary similarities. They each enjoy an ease of blend and enhanced quality that provides a richness of sound surpassing that of individual parts singing alone. Likewise, certain combinations of colors are naturally drawn together for their shared strengths to produce a better outcome than either could achieve individually. Reds and Yellows share strong verbal skills, are excited about change and enjoy freedom from emotional clutter. Blues and Whites are able to set ego aside, share an interest in team success and are  in tune with others. Understanding how these complementary similarities function together lends insights into how to make the most of team members’ natural skills.

Complementary Opposites

Sopranos singing with basses and altos singing with tenors yields the kind of results seen with complementary opposites. The higher range of a soprano blending with the opposing deep, resonant sound of a bass provide a quality of sound that is at once intriguing and beautiful. You will, no doubt, note similar complementary opposites among your co-workers. Reds like to lead and Whites are happy to follow. Whites’ sense of calm and balance tends to temper the fiery disposition of the Red. The steadiness of Blues helps ground the flightiness of Yellows. The spontaneous fun of Yellows helps to pull Blues out of their intense focus on duty and perfection. Complementary opposites are obviously great for teams as these combinations compensate for each other’s limitations and enhance each other’s natural strengths.

The Stars

Every singing group has their soloists and others who we will call “blenders.” Soloists have the talent and skill to stand-alone and sing. They can be the rainmakers in an organization, the ones who get noticed. Others sometimes resent their prima dona attitude and apparent egotism. “Blenders” are those who are not particularly interested in or proficient at singing alone but are capable of skillfully singing multiple parts. They are the ones, who when added to any musical line, make everyone else singing that line sound immeasurably, almost inexplicably, better. It is not difficult to draw a work/life analogy here. Reds and Yellows are most often the soloists. They like to look good in their respective ways and are often self centered. Blues and Whites tend to be the “blenders” or worker bees. Whatever the project or assignment, they are very capable at multiple assignments and able to set ego aside for the good of the team. With their assistance, the outcome is always improved. Who are your soloists and “blenders?”

Consonance and Dissonance

Western music is written in such a way to provide both consonant and dissonant harmony. Consonant harmony is the kind that sounds pleasing to the ear. Dissonant harmonies are those that sound almost as if a mistake has been made. Some color combinations also work together in a way that can seem almost as if a mistake has been made. The example most often cited is Reds and Blues. While the potential for a powerfully positive combination exists, this duo can readily be resoundingly dissonant. From their foundation they conflict in logic versus emotion. Reds are all about high productivity. Blues tend toward strong perfectionism. They are polar opposites regarding sensitivity. Reds lacking and Blues possessing an overabundance. The list goes on. Learning how to recognize the areas of natural synergy between this sometimes dissonant color combination is critical to success when confronted with these two power house colors. Reds and Blues are both dependable and oriented toward high achievement. They both have great loyalty: Reds to tasks and Blues to relationships. Reds provide vision and Blue can be counted on for quality. A manager must understand these shared strengths to then help the Red and Blue co-worker recognize and respect the positive traits and not focus unduly on the areas of potential conflict.

Resolution

What conductors understand and managers must learn is that creating harmony in the workplace does not mean the absence of conflict or dissonance. Singers, irrespective of their part, can be dissonant with other parts or even within their own section. Likewise, all colors have the potential for discord with other colors or even someone who shares their core color. An awareness of the potential for consonant or dissonant harmonies within your organization can help to minimize unproductive differences. That same awareness can also help to explain how some disagreements can provide a dynamic source of strength as each color works through the dissonance. As with Western music, the resolution of the dissonance is where the most beautiful music is found. The same can be true in your organization.

Wendy C. Archibald, J.D., CCP, is the Dean of Students at BYU School of Law. Her involvement with Color Code began 20 years ago.

Color Code T-shirt Contest

As you may or may not be aware, we are on the verge of launching our newly re-designed website at the end of this month-unless our web developer is playing a mean April Fool’s trick on us.

But seriously, we can’t wait for you to see the new look and features we’ve added. And along with this new look will come new t-shirts, mugs and all sorts of fun Color Code products.

So in the spirit of our new look, for our “At Play” section of the blog this month we’ve decided to hold a contest:

Whoever can come up with the best phrase(s) for our t-shirts or mugs will win a new t-shirt of their choice!

At the end of the month, our team will vote on the ideas you post below and pick a few winners!

Note: of course these shouldn’t be offensive or improper and should be true to each Color Personality. Here are some examples from our current shirts:

Happy brainstorming and good luck!

The Color Code Team