Gary Cohen

ForumSherpa Certified Facilitator

Gary Cohen is the Founder of CO2 Partners, the executive coaching company Minneapolis leaders have come to rely on. CO2 Partners Mission is growing organizations by elevating leaders. Gary does just that through his executive coaching for his clients. He is famous for asking; he wrote the book on it: Just Ask Leadership! He probes his clients with the only kind of questions that can produce change: unexpected ones.


• EO Member Forums
• YPO Member Forums
• Independent Forums
• Peer Groups
• Corporate Team Leaders
• Senior Leadership Teams
• C-Suite Executives
• VCs & Investors
• Franchisors & Franchisees
• Facilitators & Coaches
• Non-Profit Leaders
• Military Leaders
• Church Leaders
• Alumni Groups
• Educators


• Harvard Business School OPM
• Aspen Institute Crown Fellow
• Effective Facilitator Certificate
• Systematic Innovation
• Forum 2.0® Certified
• ForumSherpa Certified Facilitator


• Forum Basics
• Forum 2.0®
• Forum Depth
• Strategic Planning
• Goal Setting
• Accountability
• Business Deep Dive
• Leadership Development
• Communication
• Conflict Resolution
• Team Building
• Effective Meeting Strategies
• Asking Better Questions


$3,000 – $10,000 depending on the length of facilitation

My Story

Gary is famous for asking; he wrote the book on it. He probes his clients with the only kind of questions that can produce change: unexpected ones. From the client’s answers, this dedicated Minneapolis leadership coach offers not just insights but alternative courses of action.

“There always are several good roads to Rome,” he says. “The key is to identify the one that best fits both your headand heart.” And he focuses on Rome—and not the possiblecurves in the road—for a simple reason: most obstacles are artificial, and the rest are in ourheads. “Clear your head,” he has said, “and the obstacles disappear.” This may explain why Gary’s clients call him “eccentric in exactly the right way.” He knows that unusual success comes from unusual approaches and as Gary often has said, “I never have met a client who wanted to be ordinary.”

CEO experience: Managing Partner and Co-founder of CO2 Partners, LLC in 2004 an Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Firm. Founded ACI in 1989 with $4,000 and two employees, then grew 48 percent compounded annually for 12 years to over 2,200 employees and went public on the NASDAQ; Venture Magazine’s Top 10 Best Performing Businesses; and Business Journal’s 25 Fastest Growing Small Public Companies and Entrepreneur of the Year finalist.

Board memberships: All Kinds of Minds, Harvard Alumni Club of Minnesota, IC Systems, Inc., Richfield Bank, ACI, Telecentrics, Outward Bound National Advisory, HBS Alumni Club of Minnesota (Past President), Minnesota Zoo Foundation, among others.

Author:Just Ask Leadership: Why Great Managers Always Ask the Right Questions (McGraw Hill 2009); articles for Business Week, Leader to Leader, and Forbes.

Clients: Unilever, Intel, Genentech, MetLife, Thermo-Fisher, and 100-plus entrepreneur-led businesses.

Education: University of Minnesota (B.A); Harvard Business School; Covey Leadership Center; Disney Leadership Institute; and Aspen Institute Crown Fellow. Want to know more about Gary’s approach to leadership and life? Read his blog, Elements of Leadership.

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