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Mike Lawhead

You can tell Mike Lawhead is a people person when you first meet him.

  He has a quick sense of humor, he’s straightforward, and he’s effortlessly dynamic.  This was all very apparent to
 
 "I'm not a desk guy."
me when I asked him to identify the thread that runs through his exciting career.  "I'm not a desk guy," he offered with a frank smile.

It's true:  Mike has spent very little time sitting behind a desk.  He's been on the move a lot, but his home is Memphis.  No matter how far he's gone or what ambition he's seen to fruition, he's been destined to make his home in the city that he assured me he knows backwards, forwards, and upside down.

After graduating Mamaroneck High School in Mamaroneck, New York, in the mid 60s, Mike headed to the University of Denver and began his studies in Broadcast Journalism. After one year, Memphis called him home, and he enrolled at Memphis State to complete his degree.

Mike says that shortly after starting classes he had an epiphany. He was on campus making his way to a geology lab, when he realized he had no motivation or desire to spend any time sitting in a classroom--or in school for that matter. Mike immediately turned around and got himself to the naval recruiting office.

After taking an aptitude test, the Navy recruiters found that Mike had a gift for languages.

Mike had taken a little Spanish in High School, so he began training to be a Spanish Linguist and Cryptanalyst.  He excelled, and his foreign language choice served him well, as he remained stationed in Guantanamo during the Vietnam War.

Following his service in the Navy, Memphis beckoned for him to return, and he came back with the inspiration he needed to pursue Broadcast Journalism. Mike became the play-by-play announcer for

 
The Memphis Blues, The Memphis Tams, and Memphis State Basketball, all while finishing up his degree at Memphis State. 

Mike recalls doing radio broadcasts of basketball games after the games were over.  He would get the game details and record the play by play with no video footage. 

 
I think it's safe to say Mike's a natural performer, and he must have been adept at making it all seem real over the radio waves.

 

When Mike finished up his degree in 1972, he went to work as a Public Relations Assistant at First Tennessee Bank.

 
It was here that he conclusively decided he would not and could not ever be the "desk guy." 

When he was indirectly urged to get rid of his resplendently stylish 70s moustache, he took it as a sign and quickly nabbed a position at WREG-TV in Memphis as a Sports Reporter.

He naturally found his stride in television broadcasting, and it wasn't long before Mike was the top Investigative Reporter in Memphis.  Ultimately, he became WREG's Anchorman.  

 
Vintage Footage of Mike as a New Anchor at WREG-TV

 

After 14 years on television, sitting at the news desk must have reminded Mike that he was meant to keep moving, so he left his highly successful television career to work as a Public Relations Director for Chandler Simmons & Company.  The next year, he got a job as U.S. Representative Harold Ford's Press Secretary and spent the next two years on Capitol Hill.

Returning to Memphis in 1990, Mike once again took up his passion for broadcast media, as Sports Director at WMC-AM Radio Memphis.  He also got his Broker's License.  He was with Coldwell Banker Hoffman Properties from 1991 until 2009, when Sowell & Company was lucky enough to have him join our team.  

As good as Mike Lawhead is at delivering information, he insists he's a listener and not a talker.  One would think the opposite when referencing his incredible career in public communication.  But if you consider his great career and success as a Real Estate Broker, it's clear that he's absolutely right.  It is this fact, rather than his "I'm not a desk guy" personality, which is the true thread that runs through all of his accomplishments; Mike knows how to listen.  If he weren't so good at it, he wouldn't have been so successful delivering information to people over the radio, on television, and in print all these years.  It is my opinion that the best talkers are always the best listeners.  Receptive to their audience's preferences and desires, a good listener always gives back the right stuff.

Mike's real estate clients are certainly lucky. When they come to him with questions, concerns, and preferences about buying or selling a home, he becomes their best ally.

He is equipped to personalize his real estate expertise to the specific needs and communicate the most necessary information.  And with that, there is plenty of proof that Mike Lawhead is much more than the "Non-desk Guy."  Mike Lawhead is the highest order of "Ear Guy" that one can aspire to be.

Mike is honored to have served on the Boards of Directors of The Memphis Oral School, The Memphis Arts Festival, and Theatre Memphis.  He has also served on The Memphis Area Association of Realtors Government Affairs Committee, Board of Directors, and Education Foundation.

Mike still does play-by-play announcing for Memphis University School football, but he says his real passion is being a grandpa to two little princesses.  I visited Mike's Facebook page in search of photos to post here, but every photo featured a little blond cutie dressed in pink.  I found one of Mike--holding a little blond cutie dressed in pink.  You can tell he's an attentive grandpa too.

 To contact Mike or learn more about him click here.

Posted by Katie Lambert at 1:32 PM

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