Friday, June 24, 2011

Sounders Ticket Winners announced for Sunday's Game against the New England Revolution

I feel like I am still the "Yoyoman" doing school assemblies for kids every time I give away tickets to the Sounders. Today's lucky winners are here with their tickets and their bright smiley faces. I hope that everyone has a fun weekend whatever you do. It is going to be a busy one around Seattle so be sure to check on traffic before you head for Seattle this weekend.  I am still experimenting with how I interact with you all. This was the first time I used my blog as the conduit. If you have any feedback on the giveaways you can always reach me at  Make it a great weekend!
Mike Tolleson

Matt Arnold
The season is still a long way from over! This could be you one day very soon...

When the world says, "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
~Author Unknown

Does Only One Person Win "The Prize"?

When I was traveling the world as a motivational speaker in elementary schools one of the coolest parts of my show was inviting the kids to answer questions on the microphone as I roamed the audience. They loved to share. Then I would pick one of the participants to join me on stage for more fun and a cool prize... usually a free yo-yo.

What I discovered is that even though only one person received "the prize" everyone felt like winners just by participating. And it did wonders for overall morale at the school. The positive momentum wave would last for weeks.

What I have heard from many of you is that you enjoy participating in these Sounders ticket giveaways and it adds a positive element to your day. Well, I have another opportunity for you this morning to reach for "the prize"! The Sounders won 4-2 last night against the Red Bulls of New York and they will be facing the  New England Revolution this Sunday at 1pm at CenturyLink Field. (formerly Qwest)

I have two sets of two tickets to giveaway for Sunday's game. All you need to do is send an email to and mention SOUNDERS in the subject line or body of the email. That's it! I will announce the winners this afternoon.

Have a great Friday! And Go Sounders! #ScarvesUp

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday night: Sounders vs. Red Bull New York Winners

Happy Thursday! And it is an even happier Thursday for the two Sounders tickets winners going to the game tonight against Red Bull New York at CenturyLink Field, 7:00pm.

They are...
Adrien Whittemore
Jordan Taylor

Congratulations to you both! And have a great weekend everyone.


Ps- If this is your first time here, Welcome to my new Blog!  If you have time to look around and leave a comment I would appreciate it! Thanks.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Giving Value is the Key to New Media Success

I have always believed that it is much better to give than to receive. I have been giving away tickets to Sounders and Seahawks games for a couple of years now. Some people have asked if I got the idea in some marketing book or heard about it from some social media guru. The answer is no. While I do read widely on the subjects of business, leadership, and marketing, the roots of my ticket giveaways come from much more humble ground.

It was August of 2009 and the Seahawks were playing their last preseason game on Thursday night. I decided to try an experiment. I had four tickets to the Seahawks game. I wanted to see if my audience was listening. I sent a very short and simple email to about 500 people that said, " Hi, my name is Michael Lee and I have Seahawks tickets to give away in a drawing. All you have to do is respond to this email and your name will be entered. Good luck!"

My email box lit up like a Christmas tree. It was quite funny actually watching my Outlook inbox grow before my eyes. The audience WAS listening and they had their WIIFM hats on. (What's In It For Me) I learned an important lesson that I try to emulate with every email that goes out with my name on it... Give something of value to your audience. They will let you know you if they want to engage further.

Since that August 2009 day I have sent approximately 200 people to events.... so far! And I am sending four more people to the Sounders game this Saturday, June 11, 7:30pm against the Vancouver Whitecaps. You may still enter up until noon on Friday, June 10th! Just send an email to and mention the words SOUNDERS & BLOG in the body of your message. Winners will receive their tickets on Friday.

I will talk about the ROI I have seen from the ticket giveaways in another post and the results might surprise you!

Have a great weekend and remember with new media the ancient rules still apply… It is more blessed to GIVE than to receive.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

U2, Recruiting, & Social Media 301

For my new friends from Social Media 301, welcome! If I didn’t get a chance to meet you in person yesterday I hope to have the pleasure at a future event.

You can read more about me elsewhere but the short of it is I am a headhunter and a motivational speaker. I am a recruiter who helps companies find the right people for their teams and then I help those teams get along with each other. One of the topics I talk about is the Four Generations in the Workplace and I had a brainstorm yesterday while sitting at SM301 contemplating the U2 concert on Saturday.

I was very sad when the U2 concert for Seattle was cancelled last year. When the new concert date was scheduled for June 4, 2011, I somehow missed it and didn’t put it on my calendar even though my old tickets would be honored.  Earlier this week, one of my staff members shared her excitement to be attending the concert this weekend and I suddenly remembered that I have four tickets myself! However, on Friday I still had no plans for the tickets. Doh!

I am a proud member of Generation X. I was inspired by the great content at SM301 and an idea was hatched as I sat at my table. What if I invite a Traditionalist, a Baby Boomer, and a Millennial to join me at the concert and make it a multi-generational event? We could create, #U2Sea4Gens, and enjoy the different generational perspectives on the concert. We could have a good time and I would have more material for future talks on the Four Generations.

And that, my friends, is how the following SM301 attendees were selected to join me for the concert today…
Linda Aaron, @skynnard, Traditionalist
Mike Whitmore, @mikewhitmore, Baby Boomer
Todd Martini, @tmartini, Baby Boomer
Mirriam Kelly, @littleslav, Millennial
Emily Bratkovich, @emilybratkovich, Millennial

You notice that we have more than the original four. That’s because two of the people got to me AFTER I gave away the original four tickets and I was so touched by their stories and desire to attend that I jumped on Craig’s List and was able to pick up two more tickets. The more the merrier!

And there you have it. A modest social media event was hatched in the midst of SM301 yesterday. Please feel free to tweet on #U2Sea4Gens if you are at the concert tonight. And if you would like to join us for an early dinner before the concert we are meeting at 4:30pm at Elysian Fields Pub.

Thanks everyone! I had a great time at SM301 yesterday and enjoyed meeting many of you. I hope to meet more of you soon. Have a great weekend and follow us tonight for U2 concert updates! 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Are they embraced or ignored…

One of the biggest challenges and issues most managers face when a new employee (permanent or temporary) comes on board is how to make them feel welcomed into the group. I was thinking about this the other day when talking to a new client and it reminded me of a story that I thought you might enjoy.

There was a kid in the crowd when I was in Wisconsin on a trip and I could tell that he had to be new to the school. He was sitting a bit off from the crowd, wasn’t being included and while other kids were talking and having fun, he was smiling but not engaging. Sound familiar? This is what I hear and see from many managers when a new employee comes on board. Seeing this, I decided to single him out and bring him up on stage with me – we were going to do Yo-Yo tricks together.

So there we were – me and the new kid in town. I started to do some tricks and talk about how important it is for kids to look at themselves and see all the many things they were good at and could offer to others. Then I brought Joey into the picture and in a few short minutes, taught him how to do a few basic tricks and you could immediately see his confidence rise and the audience get excited. Before long, everyone was applauding him and joking and unbeknownst to them, they were accepting him into the group. When the tricks were done, they asked him to come sit in the middle of them – he was now accepted.

Is this any different than in a business setting? I don’t think so. If a manager creates an opportunity for the new person to join them and participate in some activity early on where they can shine and show more of who they are and that they know what they are doing, their ability to be accepted into the group grows rapidly and dramatically. Take the time in the beginning to do this and you will see that just like the Yo-Yo tricks, people will accept and engage and eliminate a big headache for management.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Three Steps to My Turning Point with Social Media

As I reflect on where I am at with social media I think about Experience, Engagement, and Decision; the three steps I followed to find help and the same steps your prospects use to find you everyday. About a year ago I began to realize I did not want to be left behind the social media juggernaut but I didn't know who to trust or how to engage. Maybe that is where you are at today?

I was attending a CEO breakfast put on by my friend, John Hartman, who runs the CEOtoCEO Breakfast series. The speaker was, Blaine Millett, representing his company WOM10. He talked about social media from the perspective of strategy and not just a training session in the web tools. I was intrigued and decided to engage. I stepped out of the anonymous crowd, took his card, and called to set up an appointment. My choice to participate was based on the positive experience at the breakfast and that first coffee meeting led to a couple more meetings which led to trusting Blaine to help craft a social media plan for myself.

Experience, Engagement, Decision.  Those are the steps that led me to a trusted advisor in social media. Those are the steps your prospects will go though to find you. Having the right people on your team who understand your heart and vision are crucial because they are the only ones who will create the experiences that will lead people to engage with your organization and make a decision to trust you with their business. 

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