What is autocratic leadership?

Autocratic leadership is one of the leadership styles. Also, we can identify this style as the least popular one. But it is common among many. Autocratic leadership is also known as authoritarian leadership. This kind of leader takes little input from the other members and try to control every decision of the organization. This type of leadership is better for making fast decisions, and when it requires error-free outcomes. But the effectiveness totally depends on the person who held leadership.

In other sense, autocratic leaders can be identified as the opposite of democratic leaders. But this type of leadership often creates negative situations in the organization. Because here, the other members do not have a chance to show their skills. Also, the safety of their jobs totally depends on the leaders. We will discuss those under the pros and cons part.

Characteristics of autocratic leadership

Here Are the primary characteristics of autocratic leaders.

  • Discourage and reduce the creativity and the critical thinking of other members.
  • Make all decisions regarding the organization
  • Doesn’t consider the inputs from other members in the organization
  • Makes decisions fast using scientific methods or gut feelings
  • Initiate rules and making sure that everyone follows them
  • The self-control of all processes and working methods
  • Work on a highly structured working environment
  • Make others feel that they are not trusted with vital decisions and tasks
  • Maintain a very rigid environment
  • High self-confidence

Benefits of autocratic leadership

We may think that autocratic leadership only brings negative situations to an organization. But it is not true. It has pros and cons, like other leadership styles. However, the effectiveness of this kind of leadership totally depends on the abilities of the leader and the situations of the organization. Simply, if there are worst members and crisis that need immediate answers, autocratic leadership is much suitable. Here are the benefits.

Guide well

There may be some groups in the organization which are lack of leadership. Here the autocratic leaders can help them and direct them. There may be worst groups in the organization, and they may not try to move forward to achieve success. That’s where the autocratic leaders are needed. With rigid and well-communicated rules, a leader can get the contribution even from the worst groups.

Improve productivity

Autocratic leaders don’t let others make decisions. They direct others and assign tasks without asking their opinions. This helps well to improve productivity because leaders can assign activities fast and continuously. So there will be no delay in the processes.

Reduce stress

In this kind of leadership, leaders make all decisions and control everything. So the workers don’t need to get stress and make a complex decision. They only have to perform the assigned task and duties. But there may be some other stressors associated with this type of leadership. Here the employees gain the chance to avoid making complex decisions and use the maximum time to perform individual responsibilities.

Fast communication

There is no complex communication system when there are autocratic leaders. They provide all the crucial information for the members. It is fast and efficient. These leaders help to simplify the communication system.

Fast decision making

There may be some situations that require fast answers. If the decision-making process is decentralized, it will take too much time to come up with a final answer. That’s where the autocratic leaders help. They solely make decisions and implement them without asking others’ concerns. This brings a bad impact most of the time. But when it comes to an emergency, this helps a lot. If the leader is an expert, the success of the organization can be achieved fast.

Handle high pressures

There may be some organizations that have to work under high pressures. The people who are working on those kinds of organizations will also effect from that pressure. But if there is an autocratic leader, he/she handle all the pressure that comes to the organization. This can be seen in organizations, which have political influences.

The downside of autocratic leadership

In the real world situation, autocratic leaders bring bad impacts to the organizations rather than bringing good ones. As I mentioned above, the effectiveness of this type depends on the leaders’ skills and knowledge. Here are the downsides of autocratic leaders.

Ignore group contributions

Autocratic leaders do not concern about the suggestions and inputs of other members. They solely make decisions. So other members may be dissatisfied because they can’t contribute to the success of the organization. If there are creative people in the organization, they may try to leave the organization, which leads to a high turnover rate/Attrition rate.

Less creativity

Autocratic do not take inputs from others. So those leaders lose their chance to get more creative ideas, solutions from the group. Also, researches have found that autocratic leaders are struggling with making creative and right decisions. Accordingly, the success of the company may get hurt due to the sole decisions.

Discourage employees

There may be some people who are eager to contribute to the organization’s success by providing the knowledge they have. But autocratic leadership discourages them by ignoring their voices. Eventually, the company may lose the best people and remain with the lazy ones.

Become successful as an autocratic leader

Yes, it is possible to become successful as an autocratic leader under a few settings common to any leadership style.

Listen to the people.

Not listening to the people is the main characteristic of autocratic leadership. Here I am not saying that you have to listen to the group’s advice and implement them. Implementation is up to you. But you can listen to their advice to make your decisions more effective and encourage them.

Create more effective teams

If you are a skilled and knowledgeable autocratic leader, you can reach your business goals by creating more effective and productive teams. Those kinds of teams will do exactly or more than you assign to them. Eventually, they will contribute more to the success of the organization.

Initiate clear rules and regulations.

As the autocratic leader, you should establish clear, focused, and effective rules and regulation which can lead others well. Also, the critical part is the communication of rules and regulations. The leader should make sure that every member of the organization is fully aware of those rules and regulations.

Learn and provide knowledge

If you need to make a decision on your own, you should have proper skills and knowledge that can make the decisions more effective. Try to learn daily and not forget to communicate the knowledge you have to the group members. They will trust you and never doubt about your decisions. Also, they will contribute more to implement your decisions.

Appreciate success

Groups may succeed or fail. As a leader, you should appreciate the success and try to correct their failures. You cannot 100% blame for the failures, because the groups which have failed also followed your decisions. So always appreciate the group’s effort and try to correct the mistakes of both you and your group.

Final words

Autocratic leadership is not always bad. But you can achieve more results by using leadership styles like democratic or transformational. If you are not in mind to change the way you lead, you can use the things mentioned above to make your role much effective.

You can find my other articles related to business tips, money hacks, and life hacks, which can be helpful in your daily life. If you have more knowledge regarding autocratic leadership, feel free to comment below.


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