True Colors Come Shining Through In Time

By: Chris Mahlmann Last Updated: July 2, 2010

Isn’t it funny how certain words all of a sudden resonate with you because of what is happening in your life that day, that week, that whatever.  You might not have thought of those words, that phrase, those lyrics of a song, or anything similar in ages, but all of a sudden it hits you that words like True Colors did for me this evening.   Maybe it was seeing the sunset and the light of my laptop that made me delirious, but those words, followed a few seconds later by Phil Collins “Your True Colors Come Shining Through” hit me upside the head.

I had just gotten off the phone with a guy who I have only really known for the last year or so, but has become one of my closest buddies, Fred Cicco.  I like people that are comfortable in their own skin, fun to be around, smart, candid, and as are interested in helping others as they are themselves.  I can be about as natural and honest with Cicco as I can be with anyone other than my wife, yet I have not known him that long, and with our varying schedules, we don’t even get to spend a ton of time together.  We fill in when we can on the phone checking on how each other are doing, we jabber a little bit online, but life right now does not allow for enough Cicco time, and that is for sure one of those goals I am working towards.


Earlier this week, my daughter called me in the evening very excited on the phone, checking on some insurance questions, and details, as she was buying her first car.  After we chatted for a couple minutes, she jumped right back into it working out everything with the dealer for insurance, financing, the works.  When she called me back from the new car later that night, I could see her beaming even though I only heard her voice.  She needed it, she wanted something new and safe, she did it, she loved it, and she was proud of it without even saying so.  And damn right she should be.  This is a girl that has stayed consistently on track at every step of her life, no matter how the wind blows, and this was just one more moment where her very normal rational hard working logic showed itself.  That feeling of sadness that comes from watching daddy’s little sweetheart grow up was there for sure.  Mostly amazed at how much the 44 year old wishes he were as smart and balanced as the 22 year old is.

Being a small company, you are nothing if you are not quick and able to juggle.  What we face, our pace, and what we embrace in one week would make a reality show for a season on TV.  Great people that make you love what you do, and folks that don’t have a clue, people that are crazy about good news, and others who, well, aren’t.  In the office, on the phone, at an event, on facebook, via emails, meetings, and everything in between.  We probably have thousands of interactions a week across our small team, with people and organizations of every shape and size throughout a couple of towns.  It is almost like having a real time thermometer of what is going on in the community, and a running indicator of what people are like.  When you have one interaction you gain an impression.  When you connect to thousands of interactions you get a pretty clear picture.

Every person in all of these examples shows their True Colors over time, whether that time be 22 years, the last year, or last month.


You may meet someone that seems like a jerk or does not impress you at all, and it turns out their heart and their head is in the right place and they have good ideas. You may meet someone who says it is lovely to see you while envisioning your demise.  You will meet some where it takes a while to figure that out, though many you can tell pretty quick if you just listen.

Give em all time though, and they will show you their True Colors.