Autocratic leadership is the same as authoritarian leadership. In both cases, the leader has absolute power. There are several autocratic leadership style pros and cons. The style can work in certain circumstances and it may backfire in many scenarios. Let us explore the autocratic leadership style pros and cons to know if it is an effective approach.
List of Pros of Autocratic Leadership Style
1. It Is Very Effective
It works if the leader is very talented and has the ability to steer a team. When given the right powers, the right individual or leader can accomplish wonders with autocratic leadership style. Business meetings, sessions or discussions are often mired by conflicting opinions, futile debates and endless mumblings over what can be done, needs to be done or should be done. Autocratic leadership style has no room for such futile waste of energy, time and resources. Autocratic leadership style will just get things done.
2. Instills Order
Autocratic leadership style establishes order. There’s continuity, uniformity and decisiveness. Since only one person gets to decide everything, there is no unnecessary hullaballoo and things move quickly in order. Predictability and certainty are assured with autocratic leadership style.
3. Singular Accountability
Autocratic leadership style bestows all accountability on the leader. While the leader will hold every team member accountable, the management or the owners can only hold the leader accountable having given him or her absolute power.
4. Necessary Leadership Style
Autocratic leadership style is necessary in many scenarios. Armed forces or even the civil law enforcement agencies need to have autocratic setups. Large corporations cannot have participative or democratic leadership when decisions pertaining to billions are being taken. Sensitive situations that demand expert opinion will always require autocratic leadership since any false or misleading perspective can lead to ruins. This is not to say that autocrats don’t commit mistakes but at least he or she would be accountable for his or her own fate.
List of Cons Of Autocratic Leadership Style
1. Archaic Style
Autocratic leadership style doesn’t work in this age. It worked well when a talented leader led a team where every member is not very talented or smart. Today, people are empowered and they are smarter. They have access to information and they want to speak out. They wouldn’t follow someone blindly, unless there is some very convincing reason.
2. Abuse of Power
Autocratic leaders often turn abusers of power. They tend to think of themselves as invincible and indispensable. They can ruin the working order of a company or a particular environment where they get to exercise absolute power.
3. Corruption & Attrition
With absolute power, autocratic leadership style can facilitate corruption. It can also lead to gross misadventures that can encourage people to quit the organization.