Myths and Facts of Being and Authentic Leader

Myths and Facts of Being and Authentic Leader

By Jose Ruiz

Jose Ruiz serves as Alder Koten’s Chief Executive Officer providing vision, strategic direction and the roadmap for the firm’s future. He is also involved in executive search work focused on board members, CEOs and senior-level executives; and consulting engagements related to leadership and organizational effectiveness helping clients create thriving cultures.

A true leader is authentic. It is the highest standard in leadership, which requires an open mind and the ability to cope with moving beyond the comfort zone. In general, being an authentic leader refers to being true to one’s self and values, while maintaining a strong coherence between what one thinks, feels, and does.

However, this type of leadership is often misunderstood, because every circumstance is different and every leader has their styles and experiences. In general, there are three myths and facts on what constitute an authentic leader. Understanding them would greatly help in taking your leadership to the next level.

Myth One

Myth One: Being authentic is being extremely frank and honest allowing people to see you like a piece of see-thru glass.

While it may work for a kindergarten student, it would not work in a business environment. Being authentic requires a leader to deliver the most appropriate solution while also maintaining a genuine approach. Moreover, sometimes being tactful is necessary to ensure appropriate execution.

Myth Two

Being authentic is telling people as it is without filtering.

If you do so, you will appear inexperienced, disrespectful, and tactless. Being authentic requires a leader to identify a communication style that is unique and effective while maintaining professionalism and a positive demeanor.

Myth Three

Being authentic means only caring about what you think and communicating them as it is.

If you do so, you will appear self-centered and insensitive to others. Being authentic means you still care about others and being sensitive to their needs while making sure that your messages are delivered properly and satisfactorily.

Fact One

Being authentic is about being your best optimized unique self.

It means you are open to suggestions and recommendations, as long as they are beneficial to your and your organization’s growth. You are ready to grow as a leader in ways that would increase your performance and interpersonal skills.

Fact Two

Being authentic is about being a lifelong learner.

As an authentic leader, you continuously learn about new things and be aware of all the possibilities that the world can offer. This way, the existing information is reconstructed with new layers of information and the most challenging learning experience may as well be the most meaningful.

Fact Three

Being authentic is being flexible to change, instead of being rigid.

When you only look within for answers, you tend to be rigid instead of flexible and more subjective than objective. An authentic leader looks for answers and solutions within and without, as they understand that they need to continuously update their frame of mind with new experiences to enrich their mind.

At least, every leader should be aware of the privilege that being a leader brings to others and the team. By growing yourself authentically, you are providing them with an opportunity to move forward and learn together. An authentic leader is a learner, facilitator, mediator, and solution provider, after all.

About Alder Koten

Alder Koten helps shape organizations through a combination of research, executive search, cultural & leadership assessment, and other talent advisory services. The firm was founded in 2011 and currently includes 6 partners and over 28 consultants in 4 cities. The firm’s headquarters are located in Houston and it has offices in Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Mexico City with partner firms in New York, Boston, Chicago, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and United Kingdom. We know where to find the executives you need and how to attract top talent to your organization. Our approach to executive search is based on a thorough understanding of the strategic, cultural, financial and operational issues our clients face. Our executive search engagements are targeted and focused on the specific requirements of the position including industry and functional experience, skills, competencies, cultural fit, and leadership style. Our process is rigorous. We take a disciplined and structured approach to identifying potential candidates that meet the position requirements including subject-matter, functional and regional expertise. We use our high-level professional networks, industry knowledge, and internal research resources to achieve results in every executive search engagement.

Jose Ruiz is also involved in executive search work focused on board members, CEOs and senior-level executives; and consulting engagements related to leadership and organizational effectiveness helping clients create thriving cultures.