Leaders are people who take a step forward into the unknown to lead the people who are dependent on them. There are many qualities that a leader or a manager should have, such as creativity, endurance, communication skills, ambition, authority, and the power to convince people to do the desired.
Most great leaders in history, like Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Joan of Arc, etc., were individuals who possessed these qualities. They used them for the betterment of the people and for progressive reasons.
Theoretically, there are 3 main types of management styles―autocratic, paternalistic, and democratic, each of which are important ways of managing people. Here, we will be talking about the autocratic management style practiced by leaders.
The synonym for autocratic is authoritarian, which means, one individual has the authority to make all the important decisions for a group or people.
The autocratic style is not a preferred or favorable way for multiple reasons, but can be used as a situational management style. Comparing autocratic leadership dictatorship is not a wrong thing, since the style of leading and managing a group of people is the same.
When you have one leader, the choices, rules, regulations, decisions, and important changes are made by him/her without the say of the people who are to be governed (employees).
After giving the orders, the employees are not given the right to complain, oppose, or expect explanations, but are expected to obey the orders irrespective of their choice. The rewards and appreciation for the employees are also given only if the leader is convinced with the quality of their work.
This style should be incorporated only for certain situations for modern business. Because of the various rights given to the employees of today, the practice of this style is not at all healthy.
However, there are times when employees need to be dealt with strictly, so that there is a certain level of discipline maintained at the workplace. Now let's have a look at its pros and cons.
- One of its biggest advantages is that, because there is one person making the decisions, there is no confusion during the implementation process. This also leads to decisions being made faster and more effectively.
- There is no lack of communication between the employees regarding the instructions, as they are common to all. This too avoids confusion between teammates or the managers and the employees.
- There is a certain level of discipline and decorum which is maintained among the employees. Since they are not given the right to speak against the employer or rebel against it, there are no issues of revolt or difference in opinions among the employees and employer.
- The disadvantages of the autocratic leadership style, however, outnumber the advantages. Because of the forceful instructions given to employees, the staff is not content, and thus, doesn't respect the employer.
- There are various fresh ideas and creative working styles which the staff would like to suggest to the management, but this creativity is not respected by the authority. This leads to an unhealthy environment among the staff, and there could be lack of interest in work, resulting in less business and income.
- When the instructions from the autocratic boss don't come on time, there is confusion among the teams or the employees as to how the further work needs to be done. This could lead to delays and loss in business, as a result of the employees being completely dependent on one person for decisions.
- A few examples of this style in the past have been; Adolph Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and various types of monarchies throughout the world. This results to a very unhealthy interaction between the two parts of any organization―the employer and the employees―which is indeed a team.
Ideally, successful organizations follow a mix of all three management styles, mixing things up as and when required according to different situations.