pornn

Dr Merlot 237x237 circle banner

Dr. Merlot

The straight talking alter ego of Loyd Rawls, Dr. Merlot blends sarcasm and truth with heart and emotion. He consults with The Rawls Group and their clients in those hard to hear business succession planning conundrums. Loyd believes truth without compassion is pure brutality; however, Dr. Merlot believes truth is truth.

drmerlot@rawlsgroup.com

Bio

       

              

 


Dr. Merlot’s Perspective: New Year Reflections

Another year has gone. As a I “mature” (a doctor’s way of saying, “get older”) I realize how fast time passes us by. As a kid, summers seem to last forever, school breaks during the holidays were like real “holidays” and the school weeks just seem to drag on, and on. Now I realize that it may seem that same way for many of us adults in the work place, however how many of us get to a new year and look back and ask, “Where has the time gone?”

Reflecting on 2017 I’m reminded of the wonderful relationships I continued to build with my family, friends, colleagues and clients. I, of course, carry fond memories of my time on the golf course with my pal, Loyd, and all our pontifications on how to solve the world’s behavioral business problems. As I’m here sipping on the juice, I realized, however, looking back is good for reflection, but visioning the future has much more possibilities.

Continue reading

Dr. Merlot’s Perspective: Finding Holiday Cheer

As we enter the holiday season, I reflect on the past year and all the Merlot enjoyed, pontifications with friends, and memories created. I have enjoyed working through some significant client challenges, helping them right the ship out of the storm, and of course beating Loyd at golf is always a memory worth cherishing.

We have experienced a year filled with some challenges with hurricanes, flooding, fires, shootings, and political unrest. However, we have also seen a year of exponential growth in our economy and record highs with the stock market. Industries, that just several years ago were flailing, are now thriving. Technologies continue to develop new and innovative ways to work and live. And entrepreneurship and home ownership are attainable.

I often find myself working clients “out of the dumps” with the 24-hour news cycle. Too often, we are faced with only the messages of negativity, and all that is positive is being lost. It is for this reason, I challenge us all to spend some time reflecting this holiday season on the silver linings and uplifting events we have experienced in the last year.

For example, with mother nature being a force to be reckoned with this year, one of the most amazing outcomes our clients and I witnessed, was communities coming together. Strangers helping their neighbors, businesses helping their communities and non-affected individuals and companies banding together to help. We may not all have the same opinions and beliefs. But what we all do when it matters most, is care for and take care of our communities and our people..

Continue reading

Dr. Merlot’s Perspective: Changing Face of Leadership

Loyd and I have not had the opportunity to get together as much as I would like over the last several weeks. Between our work schedules and the fact that he had surgery, not once, but twice, we have not been doing our regular golfing or commiserating. It does not mean that we have not been jabbing at each other whenever we get the chance, we just have not been on the golf course or having dinner where we can just sit and contemplate the problems of privately held businesses as much as we like.

Talking to Loyd recently, the subject of leadership came up and we reminisced about what “leaders” have looked like through the years we’ve been working with them. We could not help but think about how much the roles have changed from what was in the 70’s and 80’s what seemed like a “good ‘ole boy” style to where we are today. To clarify, when I say “good ‘ole boy” what I mean is business owners having power and influence through their relationships with their various sources that touch the business.

Today, that mantra of leadership has long since passed. We can blame some of it on the economic turn in 2008-2009, but all blame does not fall entirely there. The downturn did cause manufacturers and franchisers and business owners to face the hard fact that relationships, although important, will not sustain your business in a downturn. So, you could say that what we experience then has probably helped us prepare for what we are experiencing today, but it is not the most significant change we are seeing.

Working with second and third generation owned businesses, we run into a common theme of trying to run the business the way it has always been run. But what is taking place is a rapid change of leadership due to the expansive retirement of Baby Boomers. Combine this with the next generation of leaders that require leading and doing business differently. I like to call this a paradigm shift. Not only are we being forced to change the way we lead due to market changes, but we are being required to change the way we lead due to how the up and coming leaders wish to lead.

Continue reading

Dr. Merlot’s Perspective: Servant Leadership

The last discussion Loyd and I had revolved around leadership style. Specifically, we discussed the impact of those that manage from a position of power versus those who manage with personal influence. Today, businesses may hire employees, but what both the business and employee wants are to be team members. Therefore, a paradigm shift is taking place as it relates to managing people in a way that motivates and inspires.

In comes the practice of servant leadership. If I was in the grip of the grape with Loyd, I am sure he would tell you that servant leadership is how we work together. He believes very much that I serve him and that he serves me (and no, I am not just talking about the wine here).

Loyd had taken a few days off, which is a very rare occasion, so we took the opportunity to talk some smack on the golf course. On the 18th hole, just as I was taking a few practice swings, Loyd started to comment on my swing. Loyd had been riding my butt all day, so I could not help but look back at him in complete disgust. I was sure he was trying to flub me up because, since Loyd double bogeyed on 17, I was surely going to win by two strokes!

“Whoopsie, my bad,” Loyd let’s out with a devious smirk. I teed off, ball landed perfectly in the fairway and I started walking towards him with a confident swag and my club tightly gripped in my hand. Not knowing yet if I was going to smack him with it or not, he let out the question that was lingering in his mind. He mentioned our past discussions on leadership and wanted to know my perspective on leaders who miss the “servant” nature of leadership. Now I am intrigued.

After a few minutes, I responded to Loyd:

Continue reading

Dr. Merlot’s Perspective: Leading from a place of Position vs Personal Power

I knew it was not going to take long for Loyd to get me back for my, ehhem, outburst the last time we spoke. How was I to know that he had the client on speaker, while golfing? Thankfully, the client did not seem offended as he ended the call with a little trash talk in expressing I am a better golfer than Loyd, which probably sent Loyd into golf orbit. I suspect Loyd has been practicing his game, since I was on my way to join him for a round while I was in Orlando.

Even though, Jack our client seemed fine at the end of our last conversation, I still couldn’t shake the feeling my Dr. Merlot “straight talk” had potentially offended him. Normally, I don’t care much because truth is truth and people need to hear it, but since I talked so freely not knowing Jack was on the phone in addressing Loyd’s question last month about “Is enhancement of personal lifestyle reasonable motivation for growth?” I was certain I had stepped in it somehow. This made me reflect more on a topic we are seeing more and more when clients are focused on building teamwork. What has become increasingly clear, especially with the multiple generations in a workspace, is the impact of tone and communication and how it relates to strong leadership.

Before Loyd could get his firs t-shot off, I thought this might be a good topic to dive into, while also offering myself up as the sacrificial token in a means of saying I was sorry. For the next eighteen holes, Loyd and I discussed how management style impacts people, attitude, recruitment and retention and overall culture of the business. Loyd also asked me to express my thoughts on leaders who try to rule from a place of positional power. Needless to say, this conversation took up the majority of our golf round, and could have continued into the dinner we had later that evening.

Loyd and I first focused our discussion on managers who “rule” from a place of positional power. What I shared with Loyd is it’s a touchy subject. It requires leaders to identify their style, and in most cases, make adjustments because positional power, or influence, is commonly a factual or implied superior role. We see it directly with owners, department managers, bosses, older siblings, or parents. It is, in simple terms, a “power” position where the leader uses their title or standing to influence those around them, and it often leads to malicious compliance.

Continue reading