Autocratic leadership, also known as authoritative leadership, is a leadership style characterized by personal control over all decisions and little input from group members.
Authoritative leaders generally make choices based on their ideas and judgments and rarely accept the advice of followers. Autocratic leadership involves absolute, authoritarian control over a group.
Like other leadership styles, authoritative leadership has some advantages and weaknesses. Those who rely heavily on this approach are often seen as either the driver or the dictator, who have the benefit of this level of control and can be effective in certain situations.
The situation when and where the authoritative leadership style is most effective depends on the type of group the group is working on and the characteristics of the members of the group.
If you want to apply authoritative leadership to a group, it can be helpful to learn more about your style and situation where this style is most effective.
The authoritative leadership style, also known as the autocratic style of leadership, positions leaders as the ultimate decision-makers.
Employees and subordinates are used as resources for information, but their input is not necessarily taken into account when it comes to taking steps for an authoritarian leader.
There is a spectrum of authoritarian styles. Some authoritarian leaders can behave outwardly aggressively and effectively, while others focus on working quickly and tactically with experience.
Authorities who are scared
Authorities are often seen as extreme in using their leadership as a strategy to inspire or intimidate others. These leaders may be known to shout, threaten and intimidate their followers. Their purpose is to invite people to action with strict control. These people demand respect and are of a very high standard to hold themselves and others.
The authors reflect, then act the Act
Other writers rely on their experience and intuition to push people into action. These leaders do not wait for the input of others but rather use their knowledge to capture opportunities as they arise.
The pace of action based on their own viewpoint is what sets these individuals apart from being dictatorial leaders.
They do not force others by a flurry of command, but rather lead their teams with conviction and guidance.
They believe that their strategy is right and they will lead their team to a vision that they hold true for everyone’s best strategy.
There are some writers who change their leadership approach as they adapt to the situation.
There may be high-pressure situations that call for firm autocratic decisions based on the leader’s ability, but there may be times when workers are not responsive to militant demands.
In this case, some leaders are able to use authoritarian style when needed, but they are also aware of when the strategy is resistant.
If a leader is away from his area of expertise on a particular topic, he can use another form of leadership.
Authorities responded to who
Some dictatorial leaders act as motivators involved in feelings of insecurity or inferiority. Their need to prove themselves blinds them to be an effective leader.
They tend to be unstable and responsive, which varies greatly in terms of taking action and guiding them with a firm hand. Often, these writers are exposed to the use of force in place of expertise. Their authority is undermined by their rash behavior.
These individuals should re-evaluate different leadership approaches and look for a style that complements their skills.
Characteristics of dictatorial leadership
Some of the primary characteristics of autocratic leadership include:
- Little or no input from group members
- The leaders make almost all decisions
- Group leaders define all work procedures and processes
- Group members are rarely trusted with decisions or important tasks
- The work tends to be extremely structured and very rigid
- Discourages creativity and outward thinking
- The rules are important and clearly outlined and have a tendency to communicate
Can make quick decisions especially in stressful situations
A clear chain of command, supervision
Good, strong, directional leadership is needed
Discourages group input
May damage morale and increase resentment
May undermine or overlook the creative solutions and abilities of subordinates
The benefits of dictatorial leadership
The dictatorial style sounds pretty negative. This may be the case when overused or applied to the wrong group or situation.
However, in some cases, autocratic leadership can be beneficial such as decisions that need to be made quickly when consulting with a large group.
Some projects require strong leadership to accomplish things quickly and efficiently.
When the leader is the most knowledgeable person in the party, the dictatorship can make quick and effective decisions.
A neutral leadership style can be effective in the following examples
This can be useful in small groups that lack leadership. Have you ever worked with a group of students or colleagues on a project that was the poor organization, lack of leadership and unable to set deadlines?
If so, chances are that your grade or job performance will suffer as a result. In such situations, powerful leaders who use the dictatorial system can take on the responsibility of the group, delegate tasks to different members, and set firm deadlines for projects to end.
These types of group projects tend to work better when a person is either assigned a leadership role or simply accepts the job himself.
By setting clear roles, assigning tasks and setting deadlines, the group is more likely to complete the project on time and contribute equally to everyone.
It can also be used well in case of great pressure. Especially in stressful situations, such as during military conflicts, members of the group may prefer a dictatorship.
It allows group members to focus on specific tasks without having to worry about making complex decisions.
This enables group members to become highly skilled in performing certain duties, which in the end is beneficial to the success of the entire team
Manufacturing and construction works can also benefit from the dictatorial style. In this situation, it is important for each person to have a clearly defined task, a deadline, and rules to follow.
Autocratic leaders tend to do well in this setting because they ensure that projects are completed on time and that workers follow safety rules to prevent accidents and injuries.
Downsides of dictatorial leadership
Although autocratic leadership can be useful from time to time, there are many instances where this leadership style can be problematic.
Abusive people are often viewed as bosses, controllers, and dictators in the style of autocratic leadership. This can sometimes cause resentment among group members.
Group members may end up feeling that they have no input or say how things are done, and this can be especially problematic if skilled and skilled members of a group deprive them of feelings that undermine their knowledge and contribution.
Some Common Problems with Autocratic Leadership
This style discourages group input. Because autocratic leaders make decisions without consulting this group, people in this group may not like that they are unable to contribute ideas.
Researchers have also found that autocratic leadership often lacks creative solutions to problems that can ultimately hurt this team from performing.
Autocratic leaders tend to have the knowledge and skills that group members can bring to the situation. This national situation hurts the overall success of the group without consulting other team members.
Autocratic leadership can also in some cases damage the morale of the group. People feel happier and perform better when they feel that they are contributing to the future of the group.
Since autocratic leaders usually do not allow input from team members, followers begin to feel dissatisfied and overwhelmed.
How can autocratic leaders achieve success?
Autocratic style can be useful in some settings but it also has its disadvantages and is not suitable for every setting and every group.
If this is going to be your dominant leadership style, there are some things you should consider when you are in a leadership role.
Listen to team members. You cannot change your mind or implement their advice, but subordinates need to think that they can express their concerns.
Autocratic leaders can sometimes feel ignored or even rejected by team members, so listening to people with open minds may feel that they are making a significant contribution to the group’s mission.
Establish clear rules. To expect team members to follow your rules, you must first ensure that these guidelines are clearly established and that everyone in your team is fully aware of them.
Give the group the knowledge and tools they need. Once your subordinates understand the rules, you must make sure that they have the education and skills to perform the tasks you are assigned to them. If they need additional support, offer supervision and training to fill this knowledge gap.
Be reliable. Inconvenient leaders can quickly lose the respect of their team. Follow and enforce your established rules.
Recognizing success. They are criticized only if your team makes a mistake, but they can quickly lose motivation if they are never rewarded for their success.
A word from Verwell
Although there are some potential problems with autocratic leadership, leaders can learn to use elements of this style intelligently.
For example, the autocratic style can be effectively used in situations where the leader is the most knowledgeable member of the group or has access to information that other members of the group do not.
Instead of wasting valuable time consulting with less knowledgeable team members, expert leaders can quickly make decisions that are best for the group.
Autocratic leadership is often effective when used in certain situations.
Balancing this style with other methods, including democratic or transformative styles, can often lead to better group performance.