Father of six, wine snob, opera junkie, world traveler – Michael wears many fun hats. Mike’s childhood was from a modest childhood spent in Lower Connecticut. He somehow made his way to Chicago and the rest is history. Here, he has built one of the most respected and prominent firms in the country. Where did this unparalleled ambition come from? Talking with Mike, he is shameless in his admission that he is indeed a rebel, but one with a cause rather than without. He states he became a lawyer to become an instrument of authority and change.
Michael seeks to continue building a nurturing culture within the firm and it is most likely based on absorbing the warmth felt from other cultures he has spent decades observing from all around the world. He has traveled to over thirty countries and enjoys the immersive nature of going off-grid a bit and doing non-touristy things. One of the most beautiful things about a leader like Mike is his ability to hold their work families in a sacred place and not far apart from his personal archetype. The beauty is that Mike does this without even knowing it. Recently during a conversation about a recent work sponsored gathering, our staff writer asked if he likes to kick up his heels on the dance floor and take part in the festivities. The answer was answered in such a sincere voice.
“I just loved sitting back and watching them have a good time and interact with one another. It brought me a lot of joy. I l took it all in. I loved celebrating with them so much, they are all amazingly talented.” Michael McCready
The funny thing, he has had a ton of people watching experience from observing his own children. If Michael’s life is representative of a Venn-diagram, his six children are the right side direct-connecting circle. As a self-described active-Dad, things can get interesting. Each of them has distinct personalities and interests. He takes so much pride in that they are charting individual pathways all their own. Upon talking to him, he is well-versed in their strengths, personalities, and talents. As far as his parenting style goes, he makes it look easy and somewhere between lacrosse games and taekwondo lessons, he manages to slip in a “life isn’t fair” or a “don’t expect anyone to give you anything” quotable teaching moments whenever possible.
By a resume glance, some might be oddly intimidated by Michael. He is quite approachable, although he isn’t overly social. He says in a transparent discussion, socializing doesn’t come naturally to him. His tastes are exquisite, his heart humble, and his mind is squarely acute. One of things that set him apart is that he doesn’t hesitate to make decisions that allow for progressive movement in just about everything he does. He embraces technology, automation, and any opportunity to make things run more efficiently. He aspires to write a personal biography, and we can’t wait. It will be an amazing read. The things that make him tick are as diverse and complex. From enjoying Wagner’s operas which are notoriously difficult to sit through to enjoying punk rock music and the artistic wonders of Andy Warhol, his depth is magnetic.
All kidding aside, with his vast knowledge of wine, one might wonder if he is a closet sommelier. He can easily distinguish difficult to taste wine notes from one other and doesn’t miss a beat naming the region or the varietal. He is a lot of fun to talk “wine” with should you ever get the chance. Lastly, be warned, on Mike’s desk for nighttime reading is none other than the recent edition of Advanced Backgammon Strategies. It might make engaging in a friendly game of backgammon with Mike a bit more competitive than one might think. We suspect he takes it as seriously as he does his law practice. It makes sense that he often quoted saying, “Our greatest competitors are ourselves.