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Larry Ackerman is a leading authority on organizational and personal identity. He is the founder of The Identity Circle, a consulting and coaching firm based in Westport, Connecticut that helps organizations and individuals thrive.

In a professional career spanning more than 30 years, Mr. Ackerman has helped meet some of the most complex challenges facing large organizations struggling to find purpose and distinguish themselves in their fields. As a personal coach to executives, as well as consultant to their institutions, Larry’s insights have assisted many leaders in discovering the keys not just to survive, but to flourish. His clients have included AARP, Alcoa, Dow Chemical, EDS, Fidelity Investments, Lockheed Martin, Maytag, Norsk Hydro, SKF, and State Farm Insurance.

Larry has published two groundbreaking books on identity. His first book, Identity Is Destiny: Leadership and the Roots of Value Creation, is aimed at senior executives who want to tap into the uniqueness and potential of their institutions. His second book, The Identity Code: The 8 Essential Questions for Finding your Purpose and Place in the World is for individuals seeking to create more fulfilling, more meaningful lives. He is also the author of numerous articles on identity and its impact on brand, leadership, and culture.

Larry Ackerman has been a guest speaker at the Yale School of Management, The Wharton School of Business, Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Pepperdine University, and UCLA’s Anderson School. Larry shares his insights in broadcast interviews nationwide, is a top-rated speaker for The Conference Board, and is a sought-after keynote for leading organizations.

Larry has a BA in English from Carnegie-Mellon University and an MS in Communications and Industrial Management from Boston University. Additionally, he is a graduate of LifeLaunch, the initial coaching program of the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara, and holds an Associate Coach Certification (ACC) with the International Coach Federation.

Identity Is Destiny

How can your brand be your north star?

Under the leadership of Larry Ackerman, The Identity Circle has a network of experts – associates of the firm – who deepen and help deliver the company’s various services. Along with their shared passion for identity-based management, leadership, and living, these professionals bring expertise in several fields vital to the discovery, development and application of identity to individuals and organizations alike.

Leadership and organization development

Brand strategy

Executive coaching

Workplace learning and productivity

Teen development and counseling

Education (K-12)

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His clients have included AARP, Alcoa, Dow Chemical, EDS, Fidelity Investments, Lockheed Martin, Maytag, Norsk Hydro, SKF, and State Farm Insurance.

Fees available upon request.

Corporate reviews

"Larry's insights have led us to see ourselves in an entirely different light, one that is new after 102 years. How we approach the challenge of growth will change for the better." Global brand manager, Dow Chemical

"Larry has been a great friend to Gates - and to me - over the past years. I'm sure our corporate direction has become clearer because of our connection with him." Vice President, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Gates Corporation

"One of my frustrations as CEO has been that I know we have the full range of competencies to give us significant competitive advantage, but could not prove it. The identity work Larry Ackerman has led shows that we do." CEO, Maytag Corporation


"We have been struggling to explain our company to investors. Our employees want to know what we stand for beyond aluminum and energy. Now, we have our north star." CEO, Norsk Hydro

Personal reviews

Larry has been a personal 'rabbi' to me for several years. As an advisor, his insights and suggestions have enabled me to become a more effective leader; indeed, a more effective human being. John B., Division president of a $6 billion global industrial enterprise

This tool and the insights Larry's work leads to can help save lives, unnecessary pain and suffering, given the turmoil that is adolescence. Margaret R., Change management coach, CT

Have had fun using the Identity Discovery Deck quite successfully with a number of my clients. What I have discovered is that it is far more useful than standardized tests for discovering career strengths. Carol V., Executive coach, NYC

Frankly I don't know of an exercise even close to this in uncovering personal identity. It's really essential to find a way for millions of people to read these cards and do the exercise … what a better world this would be. Robert R., Founder and host of The CEO Show

“Working on identity has been a great experience for teens in our Boys & Girls Club’s leadership programs. The identity workshops prompted our teens to think about, discover, and share what is already within them and what that means for their lives and society as a whole. The Identity Discovery Deck provides a simple way to challenge one’s self in examining strengths and interests in a journey to learn about who we truly are.” Tim C., Unit Director for a Boys and Girls Club in CT.