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Case Studies

Our Minneapolis executive coaching case studies demonstrate the value of customized consulting in terms of leadership development. We do more than accelerate your career, we also give you the skills and resources to reduce stress, while helping you foster productive professional relationships.

Our Minneapolis strategic planning case studies give you examples of the return on investment real executives have enjoyed when they utilize CO2 Partners’ strategic planning services. We can take your organization to the next level. See how!

Our Expertise


senior-women-partner-financial
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Senior Partner/Likely Successor to Managing Partner of Financial Management Firm

Senior Partner/Likely Successor to Managing Partner of Financial Management Firm

Challenge: As a female in a male-dominated industry, she was experiencing the “impostor syndrome”: not feeling good enough while actually performing at an amazingly high level. 

Action: We worked on enabling her to perceive her true capabilities as a leader and partner in the firm, as well as her true contributions to the industry. We analyzed how undervaluing herself manifested in her leadership behavior, then built leadership skills and confidence.

Result: She is currently thriving as a leader in her industry. She’s feeling stronger and better about her role in the world. She feels she has arrived.

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Senior businessman using a mobile phone
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COO of Large Diversified Conglomerate

COO of Large Diversified Conglomerate

Challenge: This executive was working directly for the CEO/Owner who: was entrepreneurial and judgmental; made destructive comments; took too much credit for others’ success; and excused their own actions. The COO was being treated like an underperformer while actually performing better than market peers

Action: We worked at building a stronger relationship between the CEO and COO. We reframed the COO’s perspective to give broader understanding, and built a stronger supporting team for the COO. We developed greater alignment and engagement of GM teams. We worked to increase the COO’s understanding of their personal values and the organization’s values: where they clashed and the trade-offs required to work in this environment.

Result: Ultimately, the COO determined that leaving the organization would benefit both the organization and the COO. The COO made a peaceful transition out of this position and into the CEO position of another organization that is thriving. 

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vp-sales
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VP of Sales/Heir Apparent President of Large Family-Owned Business Services Company

VP of Sales/Heir Apparent President of Large Family-Owned Business Services Company

Challenge: The company was being professionally run and the family wanted a family member to become the president within four years, if ready.  

Action: We first established the responsibilities of running a family business and then analyzed the dynamics between family members, if he were to become president. We then worked on leadership capabilities in Sales, Operations, Profit and Loss and Strategic Planning. And finally we worked on communication strategies, alignment and meeting processes.

Result: Within four years the family member was voted in by the board as President and has been successfully running the business with his management team.

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Shot of a young businessman smiling at the camera with colleagues in the background
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VP of Client Services of a Global 100 Company

VP of Client Services of a Global 100 Company

Challenge: He was feeling stuck in his position and sought a promotion GM or President of that business unit or another one within the company.

Action: We began by working on his executive presence, in particular, how he communicated with his team, peers, and bosses. After exploring strategic alternatives and studying the culture, we built a brand around him being “the guy you go to make things happen.”  We worked on his ability to be more extroverted in certain situations and to think out loud with his bosses and coworkers.

Result: His first promotion was into sales, then into a COO-like position, and eventually into GM of the business. Since his latest promotion, his business is the best performing in that division.

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vp-sales
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VP of One of the Nation’s Largest Non-Profits

VP of One of the Nation’s Largest Non-Profits

Challenge: He realized there was a conflict and disharmony between him and the organization. He felt alone, disconnected and misunderstood.

Action: He chose CO2 because of our focus on openness, bonding, trust, and understanding, as well as our entrepreneurial expertise (having been an entrepreneur himself).

Result: After some coaching, he understood the culture was not his to control and recognized that he needed to adapt or leave. He chose to leave, and he credits CO2 Partners with not only helping him transition out, but also transition into a dream job with a far better cultural fit

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Director IT Pharma
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Director of Technology at Global 50 Pharmaceutical Company

Director of Technology at Global 50 Pharmaceutical Company

Challenge: After reading Gary’s book, Just Ask Leadership, the Director wanted coaching on adopting a question-based approach to leadership.

Action: He practiced techniques like “Who’s decision is it?” as part of asking more and telling less. This led to his reorganizing his department.

Result: He did less but led more. His team became remarkably engaged and accountable for their different business areas. He calculated a return of $1 million dollars in savings based on the work we did together.

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heir-apparent-ceo
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Heir Apparent CEO of Large Multi-Generational Real Estate Company

Heir Apparent CEO of Large Multi-Generational Real Estate Company

Challenge: As the company prepared to transition from one generation to the next, the CEO-to-be sought to enhance his leadership skills, align the organization, and find a way to manage less and lead more.

Action: We began by separating the old ways of doing business from new possibilities by: practicing conversations, brainstorming strategies, and conducting stakeholder assessments. We got the entire top team and last generation together to reimagine a different future. The organization set up a dashboard of Key Performance Indicators to manage accountabilities. With these new accountabilities and related responsibilities, the level of employee engagement rose. Some who had been with the company a long time and could not adapt to the changes left.

Result: Today the organization runs with a 30% smaller workforce, doing less work and accomplishing more. The team is aligned with the goals of the organization and is continuing to thrive. The owner has taken more vacations in the last year than he did in the years prior to our work together.

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Young happy employee talking with his boss
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CEO Succession at Family Industrial Business

CEO Succession at Family Industrial Business

Challenge: The family had agreed on a succession plan, but the current CEO was reluctant to give up the position while the designated successor was eager to take over. They had tried to deal with this challenge for two years before hiring CO2 Partners. 

Action: We worked with the two to discover the real barriers and fears associated with making this move. We coached them on developing an action plan that enabled both to see the opportunities the transition would bring them.

Result: Within three months they had transferred the position and authority. The new CEO continued to work with CO2 Partners, and the company has continued to thrive with the transition.

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software-ceo
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Business Owner of Software Value Added Reseller

Business Owner of Software Value Added Reseller

Challenge: Overwhelmed and unhappy, this CEO was losing money, unable to manage growth, and unable to inspire his team to work as hard as he did.

Action: First we reduced burnout by finding ways to decrease the amount of time he spent working. Then we addressed how he was leading and managing his team. We improved alignment and engagement by involving a greater number of staff in the decision-making process. We built an accountability system with a dashboard that measured the key performance indicators for individuals and the organization.

Result: Within four months, the software company went from losing $150K per month to making $150K per month. Five years later, they are #1 among all resellers. The owner is happier and feels greater comfort in leading his growing enterprise. With more decision-makers, the company is grooming more leaders. With increased accountability, the company’s performance is spread wider and, as a result, is more predictable and secure.

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ceo-mfkg
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CEO/Business Owner of Manufacturing Company

CEO/Business Owner of Manufacturing Company

Challenge: The CEO needed to prepare his company for sale by: accelerating growth of earnings, readying his team to run the company without his involvement, and systematizing sales.

He chose CO2 Partners because he wanted to work with a consultant who had entrepreneurial experience, specifically someone who had:

  • Founded his own business 
  • Organically grown that business
  • Managed large-scale operations
  • Acquired other businesses
  • Taken a business public. He also wanted someone who knew how to manage.

Action: We first worked on his leadership style. He learned how to elevate the level of engagement in his team by involving them in the planning process. We next assessed his team—distinguishing the top talent from those who were not contributing sufficiently. After reorganizing and hiring some top talent, we began to look at how he positioned himself in the market. He brought in resources to do the positioning and branding work. We then turned our attention to marketing, training, and the sales process, and established how, with some automation and incentive programs, he would be better able to predict sales.

Result: A year later, the company’s sales and earnings were up, the team retained and added top talent, and the owner was able to sell at a higher price than he had thought possible.

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business-partners
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Business Partners

Business Partners

Challenge: After enjoying much success, the partners were struggling with their working relationship. The business had stalled and the tension was leading to a possible and costly dissolution.

Action:  We helped them separate roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities. We honed their skills in how to work together with synergy

Result: With this assistance, they grew to appreciate the value they provided to one another, and the business is back on a fast-track growth trajectory.

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ceo-of-a-distribution-business
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CEO of Distribution Business

CEO of Distribution Business

Challenge: The CEO realized that she needed a sounding board and assistance with growth strategies. But she was so buried in work that she rejected the idea of coaching. She was sure she simply didn’t have time.

Action: We guaranteed we would find her three times the time she spent with her coach. We determined what brought the most value to the company and which of those activities could be done by others in the organization. Some delegation required training subordinates, but other tasks could be passed on to employees who were capable of handling them immediately.

Result: Within three months, she had freed up over 40 hours of her time[JG1]  so she could focus on what was most important to her. CO2 worked with her for three years, and achieved a large number of revenue-gaining outcomes.

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about4
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CEO of Marketing Company

CEO of Marketing Company

Challenge: Realized that his current management style had become a barrier to getting the best performance from employees. At that time, he was overly negative and quick to pass judgment. He claimed the credit for employee wins. He also played favorites.

Action: We worked on changing his perspective of the management team.  We developed a reframing of employee/employer relationship. We established what was important culturally within the organization, and made those things top priority.

Result: The employees were happier, more engaged, and operated with less fear of retribution—all of which led to higher productivity.

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