Twenty-five years ago, my boss told me we were going to do the Color Code for our organization. I said that was a waste of time. We are running a data center not an HR think tank. As you can guess, I am a Red — I was so Red I believed my Red limitations were some of my best attributes. Well, Dr. Hartman took the challenge to train me as a Color Code facilitator — I’m sure I am the most difficult person he has ever certified.
I had an interesting environment to work in on my road to developing character. My wife is a Blue, and I have a White daughter and a Yellow daughter. My mother is a Blue and my father a Red. Most of my bosses have been White. Dr. Hartman has been my Yellow model.
The road to becoming charactered was a rocky one, and it takes effort every day to make it work. I’d like to share a few examples of limitations I have overcome:
- I could not relax and feel comfortable without producing — I drove myself and others.
- I felt it was more important to be right than to be agreeable.
- I was impatient with myself in completing goals.
I grew up with farmers for grandparents, a police officer father and a mother who worked. When I was not doing homework, I was doing yard work. I enlisted in the Navy right after high school graduation. I got a bootstrap commission. I managed the Navy’s computer operation for all of southern Europe. I developed an automated transportation system that saved the United States Department of Defense $100,000,000. I pushed everyone around me just as hard. But I didn’t understand that I was also pushing them away.
The Color Code provided me with the attributes of listening and being receptive to others, while also having patience. It taught me to take a slower pace and think about the problem and to ask if there was a more beneficial way to solve the puzzle. It taught me that life is an experience to be enjoyed. It made me more people-oriented and agreeable to change.
Color Code has been a life-altering experience. My ability to communicate with business contacts is phenomenal. My family life has become a blessing. My wife jokes that without the Color Code, she would have left me 20 years ago.
The evidence of my being charactered comes at each of my presentations of the Color Code. At the end, I ask the attendees what color they think I am. They all say “Yellow” and are shocked to learn that I am a Red. I now live in my strengths from all four colors and the positive behaviors I have learned from each of the colors of the Color Code.
Color Code Facilitator
LCDR, SC, USN, Ret
Doug Pratt has a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Kansas. He has a Master’s degree in management of information systems from George Washington University. Doug is a retired Navy Supply Officer. After 22 years in the Navy, he has spent 23 years working for Iomega, Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College, Storage Appliance Corporation, Reverse Logistics Association, MarketStar, Lockheed Martin, Home Depot and Weber State University. Doug has done volunteer work for the Red Cross, his Homeowners Association and managing the local library book sales. His core color is Red.