Your work environment is complex. Perfect.

Carlsen Coaching & Consulting specializes in developing effective leaders and powerful teams within challenging environments. Places like law and medical practices with ingredients of both brilliance and competition. Or college departments with many cross-wired priorities. Perhaps an IT firm where you’ve become an accidental leader over people with astounding skills. Or small businesses and nonprofits that require solid leadership without a lot of structure.

In other words, any place where the dynamics make good leadership both essential—and challenging.

It’s in these environments where Carlsen Coaching & Consulting has helped create remarkable transformations. Together with our clients, we work to find clarity and define pragmatic steps forward — and build the capacity to change.

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Sarah Carlsen


I really enjoy Sarah’s supportive, deliberative approach, and would recommend her to anybody who’s struggling either to handle growth, or to determine the long-term direction for their company – and their role as its leader.


Jim Tincher, Owner, Heart of the Customer
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Teaching amazing people how to lead.

As a long-time leader within workgroups and law firms, I was embedded in complex cultures, tricky team dynamics, siloed work groups, territorial thinking and intra-office competition. This experience motivated me to find solutions that plague our best people and work places. How do we find clear paths through ambiguous circumstances? Why do bright people fail? How do we lead in ways that create the ideal scenarios for success?

Carlsen Coaching and Consulting is the result of this journey. Effective leadership — the kind that transforms both the leader and the team — doesn’t happen by accident. The skills and capacity need to be developed and nurtured, and are unique to each person and team. The process requires work and intention. It’s a hard but powerful space with a complexity that I am naturally drawn to, and I feel blessed to be a guide of discovery and change for my clients.

Sarah Carlsen


  • Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), Coaches Training Institute (CTI)
  • Professional Certified Coach (PCC), The International Coach Federation (ICF)
  • Leadership Program graduate and assistant, The Coaches Training Institute (CTI)
  • Certification in The Leadership Circle Profile, the only 360 assessment that measures leadership competencies and the inner assumptions that drive behavior
  • Enneagram Certification through Full Circle Enneagram Training and Certification
  • Project Management Certificate, University of Washington Extension
  • B.A. in Mathematics, St. Olaf College

I am consciously using what we worked through last year, and it has helped keep me grounded and centered, and is giving me a sense of having a “rudder” which is guiding how I’m thinking about things.

N.O., Director
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For Individuals. In Leadership. In Change. In Life.

There are three areas where Carlsen Coaching & Consulting engages with individuals:

  • Strengthening the capacities and skills for leading teams well.
  • Making effective career and life transitions.
  • Helping individuals create a life that fulfills a deeper sense of purpose.

While each point above is different, they share a common core: finding clarity. I help individuals move across the gap from where you are to where you wish to be, and so doing, the process gets us off the sidelines of our own lives.

I think the most important thing that came out of my work with Sarah was a shift in perspective. Sarah reinforced the idea that I had gifts to offer the world, and that things I thought of as weakness could actually be seen as strengths.

K.C., Editor
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For Partnerships and Teams. The Larger Context for Success.

Carlsen Coaching & Consulting also helps strengthen team processes and skill development. The areas of focus include:

  • Organizational clarity.
  • Leadership development workshops.
  • Enhancing group capacities for growth and cooperation.
  • Group facilitation for challenging initiatives.

The goal of my team engagements is to help each team member grow their talents and provide the perspective for alternate paths forward–allowing new levels of growth and success. I work in situations where there is leadership support and encouragement, where “team building” is not icing, but seen as essential to satisfied and motivated teams.

I came away from this workshop with so many great tools and ways to view myself and to access what is important to me.

A.H., Physical Therapist
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Masterminds. The support you need to get to the next level.

Getting your business or career to the next level is easier when you have the support of like-minded peers focused on similar goals.  New mastermind groups are started regularly.  Applications will be considered as they are received.

“Surround yourself only with people who are going to lift you higher.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

A Bringing Better to Now Mastermind group might be right for you if:

  • You have an idea what you want to create next, but have been stuck at the same level for a long time.
  • You know your business growth requires a new level of leadership from you.
  • You have lots of goals but little traction.
  • You avoid social media marketing, but know your company could benefit from a stronger on-line presence

August 2017 Mastermind – Full

In-person (Northfield, MN) and virtual Mastermind groups starting in January, 2018.  If you are interested in being considered for either option, please apply here:  Application  I will contact you within 48 hours after receiving your application.

We are so thankful for your help and support, as well as your expertise in visioning and coaching. We really did wonder how you might facilitate a session with us, and you were simply spectacular.

T.W. & J.W., Strategic Planning Consultants
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Matching intention with action.

The desires we hold close, for ourselves and our teams, can, over time, outpace what we think we can achieve. That imbalance needs to — and can — change.

With effective tools, fresh perspectives and new habits, we tailor an approach together that allows you to find success that is true and grounded in who you are. Call me. Let’s have coffee — my treat — and talk through your needs and whether Carlsen Consulting & Coaching is a good match for where you are headed.

Focus areas include law firms, small business and non-profit sectors, primarily in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the Upper Midwest.

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I gently closed the door on my old career and listened to my desire to begin a new life path. Our work together was crucial during a very pivotal time in my life. I looked forward to every session and knew I would come away with a renewed sense of purpose and strength. Sarah is a joy to work with!

KB, Consultant
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