Close up head shotProfessional Expertise

Karl works with motivated leaders who are ready to become their best by making the changes that are important to them.  His coaching style reflects his belief that individuals and teams perform best when they are acting from their authentic way of being – and that this is how lasting change is created.

Karl’s extensive corporate and professional experience helps ensure a good fit and spirit of partnership with executives at all levels – enabling an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect that facilitates effective coaching.  Having experienced many of the same challenges as his clients gives him a full appreciation for the importance of the coaching work they take on.  Clients appreciate his sincerity, his integrity, his insightful questions, and the humor and energy he brings to the work.

In working with clients, Karl seeks to facilitate (1) a deep understanding of what the individual wants to gain from the coaching process – and how success will be measured; (2) a high level of self-awareness – including values and strengths; (3) a clear perspective of what he or she wants to change; (4) a plan to put the change in place; and (5) practice to make it part of the individual’s enduring capabilities.  He often works with executives to increase their emotional intelligence, which has been shown to be the most significant factor differentiating top leaders from mediocre performers.

Before becoming a coach, Karl held executive leadership roles in a wide range of organizations.  His experience includes co-founding a successful entrepreneurial start-up, being a worldwide partner at Arthur Andersen, serving as an officer of the company and as a general manager for Intuit’s $265 million Professional Tax business unit, and senior vice president of a $90 million portfolio of businesses while at Sage Software. 

Sample Engagements

  • Newly promoted VP at Fortune 30 global technology company charged with transforming application and infrastructure strategy and execution
  • Key contributor in global professional services firm strengthening her effectiveness in support of succession planning to succeed the existing Office Managing Partner
  • Recently on-boarded VP of Public Affairs in Fortune 500 company navigating her way through the difficult terrain of creating change as an “outsider” while coming into a new corporate culture and environment
  • New CEO looking to re-engage key contributors to accelerate growth in an already successful private publishing company
  • Executive Director at high-profile nonprofit organization focused on strengthening the organization’s culture and his leadership effectiveness
  • High-potential Finance leader at fast growing S&P 500 focused on increasing impact in Board presentations

Career History

Karl Grass Executive Coaching, President (2009 to present)
Goodstone Group LLC, Senior Executive Coach (2010 to May 2015)

Karl coaches leaders, both domestically and overseas, who are motivated to be their best.  He also provides consulting services to organizations on a short-term project basis and he is also the author of, Compassion Haiku – Daily insights and practices for developing compassion for yourself and for others.

Sage Software (2006 to 2009) – Senior Vice President and General Manager

As leader of a business unit comprised of a diverse portfolio of unrelated service, software, and SaaS businesses, Karl was responsible for restructuring the unit to focus on a comprehensive array of employer solutions.  He led the creation and execution of a strategy involving alliances, dispositions, and new technology offerings to bring a clear value proposition to the market and reliable profit streams to the company.

Intuit, Inc. (2003 to 2006) – Vice President and General Manager, Professional Tax business unit

Karl led the transformation of this $265 million business unit through the creation and execution of a ground-breaking strategy resulting in market-beating growth and better-than-planned financial results. Under Karl’s leadership, the BU introduced three new products and recorded the fastest customer growth and highest employee engagement scores in its history.  He was also a member of the Executive Staff and Officer of the company.

Wolters Kluwer (2002 to 2003) – Vice President of Business Development for CCH Tax and Accounting

Karl formalized the business development process, developed plans for new sources of growth, and produced a board-approved business case to acquire a significant competitor.

Arthur Andersen (1994 to 2002) – Partner

Karl created a profitable technology venture that provided leading-edge tax and financial automation to Fortune 1000 companies.  In doing so, he focused on building strong teams, innovative offerings, and effective processes to triple revenue, more than double market share, and reverse ongoing losses.

Price Waterhouse (1985 to 1993) – Senior Manager of Tax Technology Group

Karl led product development teams, sales and marketing, and the Western region client service delivery to help create a market leader out of a losing start-up.  Revenues grew at a 50% compounded rate for the seven years that he led the sales and marketing teams.

Other Roles

Earlier in his career, Karl co-founded Digital Alternatives, Inc. one of the first PC software companies offering tax applications to accountants.  Previously, as the sole international account representative for Computer Language Research, he managed new sales, renewals, training, and support for overseas customers in more than 25 countries.

Education and Professional Affiliations

•   B.A. summa cum laude, Duke University
•   Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society
•   Martin J. Black Scholar in Accounting
•   Member of the Hudson Institute of Coaching Leadership Team
•   Graduate of The Hudson Institute of Coaching Master Coach Program
•   Graduate of The Hudson Institute of Coaching, Coach Intensive Training
•   PCC accreditation by the International Coach Federation
•   Member, International Coach Federation
•   Certified in the use of the EQ in Action assessment
•   Certified in the use of the Zenger-Folkman Extraordinary Leader 360
•   Certified in the use of the Conflict Dynamics Profile assessment
•   CPA – State of Florida (inactive)


•   Recipient of The Hudson Institute “Making a Difference” coaching award
•   Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting
•   Florida Trend Trendsetter