What is Autocratic leadership

Supposedly, you are a part of a team for a group project, which consists of six group members and one team leader. Now, in this case, your Team Leader is extraordinarily authoritative and takes all the decisions by himself. He doesn’t consider the opinions or perspectives of his team leaders and outcast an example of Authoritative leadership. Now take the opposite case, your team leader, before making the final decision, ask their team members to put forward their ideas, opinions, perspectives on what has to be done. After comparing all the points, the leader takes the final decision. Both these forms of leadership have their pros and cons, depending on the situation. For now, let’s focus on Authoritative Leadership.


What is Autocratic Leadership?

Autocratic or Authoritative leadership is a form of leadership where one individual has full control over decision making, forming policies with no or little input from their subordinates or fellow team leaders.

Leaders barely consider the advice of their co-workers and make final decisions as per their judgments and opinions.

Leaders usually outcast dominating and bossy behavior.

Autocratic leadership should be used, keeping in mind the situation and the characteristics of the Team members; otherwise, Autocratic Leadership could be a colossal failure.


What are the characteristics of Autocratic Leadership?


1. Autocratic leadership involves very less or no input from their co-workers.

2. Leader outcast dominating and a bossy attitude.

3. Leaders in Autocratic leaderships take all the decisions and form all the policies on their own.

4. Co-workers or Team members are in full control of the leader.

5. Team members feel that they are not necessary, and their opinions and perspectives hold no value in Autocratic leadership.

6. No space for Creativity and out of Box thinking

7. Decisions are only taken on the bases of judgment, observations, and opinions of the leader.



Examples of Autocratic Leadership

Adolf Hitler was the most prominent example of Autocratic Leadership. Hitler used to take all the decisions by himself, and his subordinates used to follow his orders simply. His arrangements and policies were way too cruel, and all the citizens had no option left other than following them. Other than Adolf Hitler Attila, the Hun, Father Junipero Serra, Genghis Khan, King Henry III, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Queen Elizabeth I, were some of the leaders in History who used to follow Autocratic leadership in their rule.


Situations best for Autocratic Leadership

1. Autocratic leaderships are best suitable in big organizations or companies where an instant decision has to be taken. To prevent chaos or any mishappening, one person who is the director of the company or the head makes the decision, and all the employers have to stick by it and work accordingly.

2. When the leader is an extremely knowledgeable and experienced person, and there is no room for mistakes in a particular situation, then it is best suitable to use Autocratic leadership wherein the leader only takes the decisions. All the team members have to work in accordance with the conclusion of their team leader.

3. When you are working as a team, and you encounter a very complicated situation and need for the decision is urgent, then all the team members look up to the team leader in case the leader is extremely knowledgeable and wise to tackle the situation with the best possible solutions.


Pros and Cons of Autocratic Leadership

Autocratic Leadership should be used depending upon the situation and characteristics of the team workers. Not all situations demand Autocratic leadership; the leader should analyze what form of leadership is best suitable for the situation and should work according to that.

Autocratic leadership is best in situations like:

1. Quick decisions are required.

2. Your leader is exceptionally knowledgeable.

3. When there is no room for mistakes


Pros of Autocratic Leadership

1. Provides a Sense of Direction

When you are working in a small group with poor organization, no deadlines, and lack of coordination, then, in that case, the need for a leader is of uttermost importance. When a team like this gets a leader, then their tasks become much more simplified. The leader can assign roles and responsibilities to the team members and establish a particular deadline for everybody to submit their work. Autocratic Leadership, in this case, provides a clear vision and makes the team much more organized; hence they can efficiently complete and submit their work on time. Manufacturing and construction work are the best examples of a situation like this.


2. Provides relief from pressure and stress

When there is a big organization or company, and instant decisions are required so that the team members could get to work, here comes the role of Autocratic Leadership. To avoid confusion and stress among team members, the head or director of the company decides for all the employees, and they have to work as per those orders. Employees handle a particular department as per their skills and interests, and they need to excel and fulfill their duties with uttermost sincerity and dedication so that the company can profit out of their hard work. Autocratic leadership can also be used in Military situations where there is a lot of stress and the need for urgent decisions to take any further action.


3. Helps to take Smart decision

Let’s say you are working in a team, wherein your leader is exceptionally knowledgeable, and their knowledge can help the group to perform well. In such cases, the group members rely on the leader to make decisions, and once the decision is taken, all the members work by that. The leader can take inputs from their members or co-workers in case they want to take into consideration other member’s opinions and perspectives, but the end decision will be by the leader, and all the members have to agree to that. Teachers assigning work to their teams and providing them with input is the best example of Autocratic leadership where the leader is knowledgeable, and all the members follow their orders.


Cons of Autocratic Leadership

1. No room for creative ideas and out of the box thinking

In an Autocratic leadership, the Leader usually decides without taking any input from their subordinates/team members/co-workers. Hence, their work lacks creativity and out of the box thinking. When a team sits together and discuss relevant ideas or opinions on a particular topic, they reach better and innovative plans. One person can provide the best of his inputs. Still, when different people ponder over the situation, they all come with their inputs as well and thus open a room for creativity, out of the box thinking, and different ideas and perspectives. But in an Autocratic Leadership, there is no room as such because of the leader outcasts dominant and bossy behavior and takes all the decisions all on his own.


2. Acknowledgment of Work

Everybody wants their work is acknowledged, and hence they feel motivated to improve their performance and showcase better ideas. But in the case of Autocratic leadership, the leader either takes little or no input from their members, which can hurt the Moral feelings of the members/subordinates and demotivate them not to work hard because, in the end, their opinions and ideas are of no use. Even in a big organization or company, the leaders usually arrange meetings with their co-workers and ask them to give reports of the current situation of their work status. They also ask them to put forward their opinions on how they can improve for better results. This can help employers to feel that their views and ideas are essential for the company, and they are an indispensable member of the organization/company. Studies show that situations like these motivate employers to perform better and improve their work to show better results.


How to avoid the drawbacks of Autocratic Leadership?

1. Hear out your team members, subordinates, or co-workers. Give their opinions or ideas, equal importance, and consideration.

2. Set clear deadlines for the submission for work to avoid any kind of confusion among team members.

3. Assign roles and responsibilities to each employee or team.

4. In case your team needs your guidance, be open to them. They can come to you when they need your help, or they encounter any difficulty in the assigned task.

5. It is not always crucial for the leader to be bossy or dominant; yes, it is essential to be strict but not every time.



Autocratic or Authoritative leadership is a form of leadership where one individual has full control over decision making, forming policies with no or little input from their subordinates or fellow team leaders.

A situation where Autocratic Leadership Is Valid

. When an instant decision has to be taken, the head of the company usually takes charge to avoid confusion and delay.

. When your leader is exceptionally knowledgeable, and the team cannot afford to make mistakes, in that case, the organization depends upon the leader.

. A leader divides work between the team leaders and sets a deadline for the submission of work, which provides a sense of direction.

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