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Monday, January 24, 2011

Autocratic Leadership Style: Defination | Features | Advantages | Disadvantages | Application

What is Autocratic Leadership?
Autocratic leadership can be said to be synonymous to dictatorship where only one person has the authority over the followers or workers. Their
decision has to be taken as the golden rule and should never be questioned. They plan out everything and order their subordinates to work according to their rules. For instance, if a company has an autocratic leader as the Managing Director, the employees in the company would have to work as per the rules set down by him. They would not be expected to make any contribution from their side, which may actually help in enhancing the productivity of the company. In short, the autocratic leader has full control of those around him and believes to have the complete authority to treat them as he wants.

Advantages of Autocratic Leadership Style
Though autocratic leadership style is tyrannical, it has proved to be very efficient during certain situations and conditions. Autocratic leadership works positively during emergency and stressful situations. When such situations arise in a company or organization, most people are confused and are not able to reach a common solution. During such times, having an autocratic leader would be great as he would take the reins in his hand and would direct the workers or employees to move forward. For instance, there is a terrorist attack at some place and the soldiers have to rescue innocent people from there. If many people try to give solutions, it may take time and the mission may end in failure. In such situations, having one autocratic person to command the rest of the group on how to go about with the mission can lead to success.

Another situation where the autocratic leadership style proves appropriate is while doing group projects. Many group projects tend to fail because group members depend on each other to make decisions. Such situations demand the need of an authoritative leader who can make decisions for the group. The leader should determine the ways in which the project would be done, divide the job among the members, and also set a deadline for completion of the project.

Disadvantages of Autocratic Leadership Style
Autocratic leadership may have its benefits, however, in most cases it is seen as something that is undesirable. Autocratic leadership style promotes a one sided conversation and due to this the creative and leadership skills of the employees become restrictive. As the leader would have all the authority, there is a chance that he would exploit his employees. There have been cases where an authoritative employer has fired employees because they showed the courage of disagreeing with him. It is also said that having an autocratic leader hinders workplace communication and socialization. It is very important to have a cordial work environment, where everyone is friendly. It can also give rise to disagreements and conflicts, if a group or company is led by an autocratic leader.

Famous Autocratic Leaders
As autocratic leadership has existed since many centuries, the world has seen a number of autocratic leaders who have caused fear in people's mind due to their dangerous actions. Some of them are:

Though there have been cases where adopting an autocratic leadership style has led to the success of the company, it is very rare for such leaders to remain popular among the employees and workers. In a nut shell, it can be said that autocratic leadership can be accepted when the need arises, while a good leader would be a person who respects the opinions of his employees while making a decision.

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