Autocratic Leadership Essay

Submitted By crr105
Words: 1724
Pages: 7

Carlos Romero
Leadership Studies; LEAD2001
Professor Michael Moskwa
Midterm Project
9 April 2012

There are many different ways to attract and lead followers, since after all, there are several ways to achieve one thing. Adolf Hitler rallied his people through his brilliant speeches and syntax. Steve Jobs single-handedly turned Apple into one of the most powerful corporations in modern history through his clear vision, charm, and charisma. Harry Truman ended the war in the Pacific by deciding to strike Japan with nuclear bombs. The examples of different types of leadership styles go on and on, sprinkled throughout history. I however, am inclined to one in particular, which can be argued as the one continually employed by former President Truman: an autocratic style of leadership. This one style is also known as authoritarian leadership, and as its name suggests, is characterized by one single authority figure. One sole individual possesses control of all the decisions of the group and there is little to no input from the rest of the members. Not only that, but the group leader is the one who decides the distribution of work and methods that are to be used to get the work done. This particular style of leadership is parallel to that of a dictatorial government in which the state possesses a large amount of control. The benefits of autocratic leadership are obvious; it is particularly effective in times of extreme crisis. A great example is the aforementioned decision of former President Truman to drop the atomic bombs on Japan, a decision that could have never reached consensus with a large group of individuals. If it were not for his style of leadership, the War in the Pacific could have brought on even more horrors to the world. It is also effective with two particular followers: isolates and bystanders. These two types of followers are disengaged from the group dynamic and are more than comfortable with having no voice in the decision-making process, therefore being suitable for the purposes of an autocratic leader. Moreover, an autocratic leadership style works wonders with procrastinators and slackers. Most people can recall a situation, whether it be in school, university, or the work place, in which a group project was unsuccessful due to several of the group members having no initiative. In such a situation, a strong leader that effectively delegates the work that is to be completed, establishes the deadlines for certain assignments, and declares meeting hours and locations is certain to lead that particular group to success. In certain situations of crisis, certain group members will even prefer an autocratic style of leadership. This allows them to focus on one particular task and relieves them of the burden of decision-making and the repercussions of their choices. Even further, the constant working on one particular task will make them excel at that certain skill, an attribute that can be beneficial to both the leader and the group member. Most importantly, autocratic leadership benefits individuals who like to be control. This specific leadership style sets leaders free of the burden of having to consult with others about a particular decision. It also allows them to monitor workers in an effective fashion, which in turn forces workers to avoid slacking off. With only one leader in control, bureaucratic procedures are eliminated, which in turn causes issues with the group or work place to be resolved in a relatively short amount of time. As with everything however, there are drawbacks to this style of leadership. This one in particular happens to double as a benefit of this leadership style: group members have little to no control on the decision-making process. Certain group members will begin to resent their role in the group and relish at the fact that they are unable to express their thoughts or creativity, which can even cause leaders to lose their power