Mike McGuire — Status Go: On Life and Meaning

Mike McGuireJ. Michael ‘Mike’ McGuire is CEO of Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the world’s leading accounting and advisory firms. Mike has more than 30 years of experience working closely with high-growth, startup and middle-market companies, assisting in capital markets transactions ranging from angel investing, initial public offerings, merger & acquisition strategies, due diligence and deal structure. Before joining Grant Thornton in 2002, Mike served as Carolinas Audit Division Head for Arthur Andersen, LLP. Mike has received many awards and honors, including ‘Most Admired CEO’ by Charlotte Business Journal, and the ‘Top 100 People in Accounting’ by Accounting Today. Mike earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Management Information Services from Bowling Green University.

This episode is perfect for anyone interested in national accountancy, brand positioning, creating culture, disruptive technologies, and scaling family values.   

In This Episode
In This Episode


  • Mike describes Grant Thornton (‘GT’) and what makes it ‘significantly different.’
  • He explains how GT is structured and how it serves clients across borders.
  • He shares how he sees his job as CEO and what he means by ‘People First.’
  • He explains what GT means by ‘StatusGo’ and what is today’s most important asset.
  • Mike reveals the real differentiating factors between accounting firms.
  • He discusses what qualities GT hires for and the two personality traits in employees he values most.
  • He shares why he wants GT to be the ‘Tesla’ of the accounting industry.
  • He answers whether he thinks of himself as the Elon Musk of accountancy.
  • Mike talks about how Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Smart Contracts, Data Analytics and Robotics are changing the accounting industry.
  • He considers what changes he would make to GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles).
  • He identifies what difficult issues GT clients are facing on the horizon.
  • He explains what has to be done right to successfully disrupt industries.
  • Mike addresses whether accounting firms are serving society when they help companies ‘optimize’ or pay less taxes.
  • He tells the story of how he hired Dianne Swonk, the new chief economist of GT.
  • He discusses growing up in the grocery business and what decision his father made that totally changed his family.
  • He talks about what he learned ‘at the corner of Jackson and Main.’
  • Mike shares what happens to him when he enters a grocery store today.
  • He answers whether his childhood friends would recognize him.
  • He reflects on attending Bowling Green University and what it allowed him to do.
  • He reveals why he became an accountant and what he will never forget.
  • Mike shares how he wants to be remembered.

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