The management style wherein only the leader makes the decision, considering little input from their employees has an official business term. This is called an autocratic leadership — when one person has total control over a project, a department, or a whole company.
In small businesses, this is a common type of leadership style, mainly because it only has a significantly small number of employees compared to other companies with bottom-up leadership. Because of its nature, autocratic leadership is seen as an old form of leadership, one might even say an outdated form of leadership. But while there are drawbacks to adopting autocratic leadership in the modern working world, there are also key benefits to it.
In this article, we will explore both the advantages and disadvantages of having autocratic leaders.
A practical leadership style for new hires and unmotivated employees
New employees require directive leadership, mostly because they are still now attuned to the company’s culture. More importantly, they are still not used to the company’s best practices. If you have specific processes for every task you do, they would have to learn these processes. And to do so would require strict implementation of your instructions and your careful eye for quality control and assurance.
Additionally, autocratic leadership is good for employees who are just not motivated to work. While there are programs you can craft to make sure that their job satisfaction is revitalized, in the meantime, you can be strict with their task execution until the programs have been made.
Fast decision making
You do not have to wait on anybody to make decisions because you are the sole and prime mover of the company. This is perfect if you are in a fast-paced business where decisions have to be made quickly almost at every minute. This allows the autocratic leader to respond to situations quickly and be able to take full accountability for its results.
Can easily manage employees
Autocratic leaders will watch their employees’ work closely, assessing whether each employee is fulfilling the task requirements and are executing them appropriately. This means that they can easily be a one-man QC-QA team, able to pinpoint where an employee is lacking, and where they are improving.
Not everyone adapts well to autocratic leadership
The reason why this is not such a popular leadership style in the modern working world is because not a lot of people adopt well to it. We are living in an age where people are highly skilled, able to learn and pick up new things very easily. Not a lot of them likes being told what to do, especially if they know their process will work better.
There is no employee independence
Additionally, it creates a culture where employees depend too much on one person. There needs to be a wiggle room, allowing employees to take initiative and make their own decisions so that they can learn accountability, and they can practice the skills you have been teaching them independently.
There is too much burden on one person
There is a reason why only small businesses use an autocratic style of leadership before they switch things up. It is because there are so many things going in already, all of which are waiting for your attention.
So when it comes to whether autocratic leadership is a practical style of leadership in the modern times, well, that decisions still remain with you. All leadership styles have benefits and drawbacks, you just have to see which one fits your company size and your objectives.