Book excerpt

The following excerpt is from Identity Is DestinyChapter 9,
Realizing the Promise of Identity-based Management.

"To be successful as agents of change and growth, managers must recognize that identity's effects on leadership are both natural and cumulative.

The first effect that identity has on leadership is personal. Identity shifts leadership from a position-centered activity (the CEO, the head of customer service, the scoutmaster, the captain of the football team) to a way of life wherein each of us is first accountable for "leading" ourselves forward on the strength of our unique abilities. Knowing where we fit best, and where we don't fit—which business, which profession, which company—is a natural outcome of living according to one's identity.

The second effect is organizational. The presence of corporate identity (for instance, Maytag's need to improve the quality of home life) makes the institution's abillity to lead, rather than the individual's, paramount. And everyone (more to the point, everyone who fits) plays a role in helping the institution "get there."

The third effect that identity has on leadership is managerial. As a way of life, where the institution transcends the individual in importance, "leadership" becomes a comprehensive approach for managing a company, where the overarching aim is to realize its value-creating potential. From this perspective, a corporation's identity informs everything from strategy and organization to culture and operations.

Leadership is not about personal gain: making more money and getting recognition from others. Leadership isn't a reward. Leadership is an absolute obligation to live and grow through identity—your organization's and your own."