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  • Subject area(s): Business
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  • Published on: 21st September 2019
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Autocratic/Authoritarian Leadership

Before defining the concept of autocratic leadership, it is  important to understand what Autocratic means. According to the dictionary, autocracy comes from the Greek autos (self) and kratos (force, power), which equates to the designation of power, force or government to a single person or to the designation by oneself of power, force or government. Therefore,  autocratic leadership style, also known as authoritarian is when leader of a group, assume completely the decision making, the ordering and the absolute direction of the whole, through a unique and unquestionable command, often sustained of instances of power. In politics, authoritarian  leaders are called autocrats or dictators. For organizations an autocratic leaders are important, because they fully comply with the requirements of the company according to the policies established by it.   On Leadership: a Communication Perspective, Hackman explains that an autocratic leader in the organization is the kind of leader who orders and expects his orders don't be ignored. It is based on rewards and punishments in the search for obedience. This leader assumes responsibility in decision making, directs, controls and motivates. Everything is focused on the leader. In fact, he considers that he is the only person capable of making important decisions and that workers are not capable of guiding themselves but they need someone to do it for them. He has control and has the strength.

 Nowadays, organizations are based more on a democratic and horizontal direction, but there are occasions in which a more authoritarian administration is the most valid option bringing advantages for the organization. "If we are honest and rational, we must admit that there are probably many situations in which giving a person unfettered power to make a decision for others is a better option.", says Rajeev Peshawaria in the article Is Consensus Always A Good Thing? published in Forbes. In crisis situations, on a military battalion, when a work team suffers a serious unforeseen event that requires immediate intervention, the fact that it is the leader who takes the reins of the situation will speed up the process, allowing to find a quick solution to the situation. crisis that prevents the negative effects from intensifying. With inexperienced groups, in those cases in which the workers do not have enough experience or knowledge to undertake a project or it is a new training team, it is advisable that it is a person who holds the power of decision and guides the group towards the achievement of the objectives. In urgent projects, when it is important that a task is completed in a short period of time, the company can not afford to open a debate of the whole team, since it is likely that delivery will not be fulfilled. Therefore, the autocratic leadership is also more effective than the democratic under these terms. When there is little margin for error, In these cases, the autocratic leader will be in charge of establishing uniform guidelines and guidelines for all employees, so that the work is carried out without failures. Finally, in front of unmotivated templates. If the workers are not involved with the company's objectives, they will hardly get the best out of themselves to achieve them. In this scenario, the autocratic leadership allows each employee to take charge of their tasks, thanks to the guidance and control of the manager.

Despite the benefits and a right use of an autocratic style , there is also problems and disadvantages using this type of leadership. People that normally opt for this style regularly, can be seen as bossy, cold, and a dictator. Long term use of its use can also build to resentment and a feeling of festering, whereby those team members are never given a chance to grow, proceeding to the feeling of being undervalued and distrusted. When you have an autocratic leader as the boss, people feel more pressured, productivity might be lower.  I think the problems linked to the autocracy do not come from the model itself, but from a misuse of the principles of the same. Even Steve Jobs, Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Gandhi have been autocratic leaders at some time in their lives. The key is knowing how to analyze the needs of the moment. "We must remember that the unique decision power given to the right person, at the right time, in the right amount, is one of our most effective tools," says Peshawaria, author of Too Many Bosses, Too Few Leaders: The Three Essential Principles You Need to Become an Extraordinary Leader.  Therefore, an effective crisis manager will have a strong leadership style that predominantly utilizes autocratic leadership but to be most effective, he or she must also utilize other leadership styles.

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