Autocratic Leadership Style

  • Posted by Sharad Jaiswal

    Leads about Autocratic Leadership

    Various types of leadership styles are there, among which some are more useful and some more common. Over here, a brief idea about Autocratic Leadership is provided. Introduction

    Autocratic leadership which is also known as authoritative leadership is a management style which is not very popular but quite sought after. As the name suggests, in this system, only one person i.e. the boss has the authority to take any decision or to control a situation by taking little or no inputs from other people. The Autocratic leaders seldom think it necessary to consult with other, as they trust their own judgment and sense more. Under such an absolute or totalitarian ambiance, you don't get to converse about your ideas but are forced to abide by the leader's words. But like every other system, this specific style also has its pros and cons. It is because of those advantages, this management style is regarded as the most common one. But, then again, the disadvantages prevent it from being a hit among the people. However, if you are thinking of following this as your team Mantra, then you must be aware of certain points. This style needs to be preached and practiced in particular areas at the right time to get effective results. Glimpse over the characteristics to measure the situation better.

    Pros and Cons of Autocratic Leadership

    This leadership might remind you of all those names of the past like Napolean, Queen Elizabeth I, King Henry the VIII and many more who ruled their respective domains authoritatively. And this might make you feel that this style is quite negative and demoralizing. But that is not the whole truth. Though this strict type of authority might appear suffocating but undoubtedly it is capable of reaping some rewards. On one hand, there are freedom-seeking people who can’t thrive within limitation. On the other hand, you have some who prefer working under a force with clear orders. And it is the second kind which can bloom under this leadership and make it a success.

    Key Characteristics of Autocratic Leadership

    The attributes offer the detailed description about the style. The chief features are:

    • Selfish Power Orientation.
    • The leaders get to take almost all the important decisions.
    • The leaders dictate all the processes and work methods.
    • Group Members get the chance to offer no or little inputs.
    • Group leaders hardly ever trust the members to take crucial decisions.
    • Discourages unique and creative ways of thinking and action.
    • Extremely rigid and highly-structured work.
    • Regulations and rules are of prime importance and clearly stated.
    • One must strictly abide by the rules and the decisions.
    • The influence orientation is directive.
    • The verbal pattern consists mostly of statements instead of questions.

    All these features exhibit the golden rule of this leadership that it is either the leader’s way or the highway. More about Autocratic Leadership To have a clear perception of the system, you need to see through its potential and limitations.

    Strengths of Autocratic Leadership

    • Prevents stagnancy due to poor-organization- When any work or project gets delayed or becomes stagnant due to weak organizing skills or lack of responsibility, then autocratic leadership can save the day. The leader can take the entire responsibility of the job and distribute it among the efficient employees equally to finish it in due time. A strong leader will be able to guide the not-so-strong group members to the right direction. This will finally result in individual and collective progress.
    • Addresses pressure periods- When the situation is critical, then an autocratic leader will be able to take the necessary stance. In such a state, the group members prefer acting according to the orders of the authority so that they don't have to indulge in taking any decision. This also improves the nature of work, as the people pay undivided attention to their respective jobs leaving aside all decision-making power to the leader.
    • Beneficial for construction and manufacturing works- This managing style is good for certain kinds of works which requires separate task distribution and meeting deadlines. Manufacturing industry and construction works follow certain rules to look after the safety of the people included. This regulated work is a must for autocratic leadership and so it serves this industry well.
    • Instant decisions during an emergency- If there comes a situation when you need to act ASAP, then an autocratic leader can be the rescuer. The person has the ability to decide fast sensing the gravity of the matter, without consulting others (time won’t permit that). And, this ability at the end of the day can save the company.
    • Smooth Running of Organization- As the leader maintains strict rules, all the affairs of the organization functions properly without any hitch. The strict eyes of the leader supervise every detail and strive to be perfect.  

    Weaknesses of Autocratic Leadership

    • Dejects creativity or group inputs- The Autocratic leader tends to have this self-importance which makes him/her the unquestionable ‘Best’. This kind of leaders regards their team members as novice sub-ordinates with limited or no knowledge. Hence, he controls their creativity and uniqueness and forces his own decisions on them.
    • Demoralizes members- By not appreciating the efforts, the leader also demoralizes the members or employees that make them passively aggressive in the longer run. When the happy atmosphere is lost, people can't work properly and they pretend to obey the position out of compliance. The disregard for the person lowers the quality of the work as well.
    • Talent Abuses- The autocratic leader cares about only himself and his sweet will. And so, he even ignores the talent of the people. This behavior forces the worthy people to go away and only a bunch of people with mediocre talent stay to act accordingly. These leaders don't have the nature to condition others and hence won't ever be able to coach these mediocre people. This finally will affect the work.
    • Not Fit for Modern Employees- Though Autocratic leaders have succeeded in different sectors by virtue of their strong standpoints. But the present-day, young employees won’t really take this totalitarian attitude. So, the system following this style might get a setback.
    • Limited Sales- These leaders demand obedience and compliance. They make people work under them with that authority but using that, one won’t be able to sell products. You can force your workers as they are bound, but your customers aren’t. They have the right to choose in accordance with their wishes.

    Conclusion

    The Autocratic leadership is noticed in various spheres of life. It can be found in an organization like a business or in a wider spectrum like politics. And in every subject, it gained prominence because of the proficiency of the leader and his/her commanding personality. As understood from the above discussion, this unforgiving and no non-sense attitude is a must for certain specific areas. Your company might require a coach at times to boost the morale of the workers and encourage them to brain-storm something creative. But you won’t find those in your leader. But, if your company is suffering from uncertain employees not confident about their work, or your company can’t meet deadlines within the stipulated time provided, then you must lean towards this leadership. It has the stature to pick up the declining competence and push it towards success. This is extremely useful for start-ups and smaller enterprises.

    Hopefully, this article will enlighten you about autocratic leadership and help you form an opinion about it!

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