This might just be your story . . . . . .

In my business I have the privilege of coaching quite a number of young Chartered Accountants.

Part of my program is to get my clients to see their own unique strengths. I then coach them on how to take these strengths confidently into the work place and use them to their maximum advantage.

You might find this as interesting as I did:

In a recent survey done by the HBR, CEO’s were asked what the most important attribute was of a prospective executive:

  • skill
  • character
  • cultural fit

Surprisingly, where cultural fit was expected to be the predominant characteristic, character came out on top.

This is a vital bit of information, especially as far as CA’s are concerned –  by their very qualification they present a number of solid character traits.

To pass the CA course is probably one of the most difficult on offer. Anyone who has achieved this amazing feat can almost certainly be defined as a person with character. If it’s not determination and tenacity, it’s high ethics, stay power, focus and raw grit!

Not to say that other people lack these qualities – it’s just that the CA(SA) qualification says it all.

But that is not what this article is all about.

There is a level that is a lot deeper and more awesome.

It is particularly relevant to this part of the world – and every time that I come across it, I am always profoundly moved.

So this is it.

  • A disproportionate amount of my black clients overcame immense difficulty to obtain their degrees.
  • Often they had been schooled in rural areas on a farm school that had an educational standard well below the likes of the average public schools in the cities.
  • They walked to and from school for sometimes up to 4 hours a day.
  • They studied by candlelight in a crowded shack with their siblings and family all around them – no privacy.
  • Their parents were poor and struggled to put them through their studies.
  • There was no-one to supervise their homework or for them to consult if they got stuck.
  • They could only attend university if they managed to obtain a bursary.
  • They had to study at university level in a language that was almost totally foreign to them.
  • And they passed each year without failing and got through the Board Exams on the first attempt.

Now I don’t know about you, but to me any part of this presents an amazing success story – it is an incredible display of personal tenacity, determination and character.

And why so?

Besides anything else, usually childhood fellow class mates remained in squalor, subject to the usual social ills that accompany poverty.

I think that the part that really gets to me, though, is that when it comes to a job-search, no part of this incredible success story seems to matter – it is never shown on a CV or even raised in an interview.  

There is no recognition given to this amazing show of character – strength, determination and perseverance.

And in my view it has to count for a lot!

In fact, this amazing story is the best part of their CV!

So I tell my clients that the next time they are sitting in a meeting with a bunch of puffed-up self serving executives, they should ask themselves who is the most successful person the room!

It might just be themselves!

Clive Kaplan, leading executive coach, is a CA(SA) with over 25 years’ experience as an executive director in both listed and

unlisted companies.

Clive brings some interesting

perspectives to the field of management. Having been involved at Director/Board level, he offers a wealth of

wisdom on both the people and business front.

Clive is the CEO of THE GREEN MIND CAPITAL GROUP. The company focuses on

assisting executives, especially emerging young CA’s, in maximising their potential

and fast-tracking their careers.

Clive has been involved with coaching and self-development since 1994. His mix of years of

practical executive experience coupled with his own personal self-development

journey brings together a unique method of Transformation

Coaching. He has hundreds of hours of one-on-one coaching to

his credit.

Clive is also a prolific writer

on LinkedIn PULSE and has over 22,500 followers. He has written over 100 articles on various topics from

financial management and operations to job search and confidence building. He

is also the author of the winQs series (pronounced

‘winks’) which appears regularly on the LinkedIn network.

Clive is also a voluntary

mentor for ORT Jet and The Hope Factory,  (a SAICA initiative). He

also works closely with the More To Life Program.

Please visit our website or contact

Clive directly on: 


CELL: 072-280-6878 (best to leave a SMS)