By Jose J. Ruiz
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: 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 JOSE J. RUIZ
Jose Ruiz serves as Alder Koten’s Chief Executive Officer providing vision, strategic direction and the roadmap for the executive recruiting 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. An important part of his time is spent on research work focused on organizational effectiveness centered on leadership and culture. Prior to joining Alder Koten, Jose was a Principal with Heidrick & Struggles’ Global Industrial Practice based in Houston, TX and Monterrey, Mexico. His professional experience also includes leadership positions in engineering and operations management for manufacturing organizations in the US and Mexico. This experience includes serving as vice president and general manager at Holley Performance Products. Jose serves on the board of Shelmex and on America’s Council of the Association of Executive Search Consultants where he also chairs the Boutique and Independent Search Firm Forum.
Jose holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and electrical engineering from the Instituto Technologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. He is fluent in English and Spanish.
Jose can be reached at jose.ruiz@alderkoten or at his office in Houston +1 (713) 476–9000
ABOUT ALDER KOTEN
Alder Koten has recruiters and research teams in Mexico and the United States. The firm was founded in 2011. Its 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. Alder Koten recruiters serve multiple industries including automotive, building products, construction & projects, consumer markets, energy & chemicals, equipment & industrial products, financial services, life sciences, medical devices, maquiladora, mining & metals, professional services, renewable resources, technology, and transportation & logistics. The firm is a proud standing member of the Association of Executive Search Consultants. The Association of Executive Search Consultants was founded in 1959 as the Association of Executive Recruiting Consultants (AERC) for the dual purposes of creating a professional association for the most competent and reputable search firms, and for providing clients and prospective clients a means by which to differentiate qualified and ethical practitioners.