Home Accounting and Auditing Clive Kaplan on what it takes to coach an executive

Clive Kaplan on what it takes to coach an executive


Clive Kaplan is the CEO of Green Mind Capital, formed in 2013 with the intention to address a glaring gap within the accounting industry. With 25 years of experience, he created a coaching programme like no other. Mainly to help accountants to move from a managerial role to an executive role, dealing with their thinking and actions to adequately position them to take up the executive role regardless of their ranking or title in the company.

The coaching focuses on the role of an executive, and points out ways to improve contribution to the company, while developing a broader view of what is going on around one in the organisation and how best to respond to it.

Key aspects

  • Brand management- you need to manage your brand or other people will do it for you.
  • The three executive relationships
  • The relationship with yourself
  • The relationship with colleagues
  • The relationship with your boss
  • Value add – executives know their value and focus on it. As an executive, you become a gatekeeper and your value increases.
  • Networking – executives position themselves and claim the role that they want and network with people who can give them the positions they want. People need to know what you do.

While many take the scholarly route to reach the executive position, Kaplan says that the only way one can learn the skills and acquire the knowledge of how to be an executive is through training. Through many years of experience in the corporate sector, the programme was designed around only those essential elements needed to become a successful executive.   

Job loss

Due to the effect of the pandemic, millions of South Africans lost their jobs and these were mostly of lower rank in the business. The ability of an executive to conduct themselves in a great manner, learn from other people’s mistakes instead of their own are some of the qualities that make them stand out and receive recognition from the “big boss”, thus sparing them from the big chop.

Positive feedback

Feedback from clients suggests the training provides them with a renewed appreciation of their worth, the role they play and as better understanding of how to conduct themselves in an organisation.

People with no executive titles to start were yet able by their conduct and confidence gain more knowledge and understanding of the business, and this gave them a better chance of promotion. Some 65% of them report major changes within the first six months, which includes promotions and getting their work noticed by big bosses.

Accountants with their own businesses

For accountants who have their own business, Kaplan highlighted that the programme enables them to claim their position as CEO, being able to stop working in the business and start working on the business. The coaching also helps them to grow their market, claim their space and improve on the strategic planning of their business.

For people who are interested in expanding their knowledge, skills and roles within the corporate world, Kaplan advises accountants to learn to adapt to the thinking and working of an executive. This expands their network, employability, role and helps them stand out from the rest.