Identity is all around us


i’m larry ackerman and my life and work revolve around identity – specifically, personal and organizational identity. i am the author of two books. the first, published in 2000 by berrett-koehler, is Identity Is Destiny: Leadership and the Roots of Value Creation. the second book was published in january by random house. the title is The Identity Code: The 8 Esssential Questions for Finding Your Purpose and Place in the World.

both books, each in its own way, explains how identity is the most powerful human force on earth. it shows up in the news every day, in small and large ways. yet we fail to “see” it. more than that, we fail to see it in ourselves. yet it is there, waiting to be tapped, waiting for us to embrace it and live through it.

what do i mean by ‘identity?” i mean the unique characteristics, which in combination with one another,reveal your potential for creating value in the world – for making a contribution that springs naturally from who you are.

over the course of the past 25 years, i have come to understand that there are natural laws – the laws of identity – that govern the lives and fortunes of individuals and organizations equally. when we live in concert with these laws, we are in a position to live with authenticity and integrity. we are in a position to achieve a level of genuine happiness that eludes most people. by “happiness” i mean that we are at peace with ourselves, among others in the world.

when we try and navigate life out of sight of our identities, we are destined to make poor decisions, well meaning, but misguided judgements, affecting everything from the careers we choose to our relationships, to the quality of our parenting.

identity really is destiny. it foreshadows potential. it is the one thing we have that makes us unique as human beings. and it is born into each of us. it is up to us to realize this fact, to discover and articulate who we are and to live a life that celebrates the power and grace identity provides.

in my book, The Identity Code, i tell stories about how identity has affected people’s lives. i invite you to tell me your story. i want to know what troubles you, what dreams you have that elude you, what problems you are facing that might be alleviated, if only you knew, in concrete terms, who are – and as important, who you are not.

if you want to know more, check out my website at snippets of stories, read about identity. then, let me know what’s on your mind.

thank you.


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