Autocratic leadership – Definition, Components, Advantage, Disadvantages

You must have seen people with varied working styles, ways of talking, and traits. Humans are by nature different from each other; still, experts try to categorize them into various segments.

When it comes to leadership, the same principle applies here. A person may be a mixture of all leadership styles or made up with any of them. One leadership that is often in the talk is autocratic. If you are looking for in-depth info on that theory, you are at the right palace.

What is Autocratic Leadership?

Autocracy has come from Greek roots and comprises “Auto” and “Kratos.” Auto means self, and Kratos means power. So briefly speaking, autocratic leadership emphasis showcasing self-power with a firm hand to control the business affairs.

This type of leader takes complete directional control of the company and is known as authoritarian leadership.

Autocratic Leadership – Example

You must have understood that autocratic leadership takes full control of the business/country. History has seen many autocratic leaders who have taken this route for running their countries.

Adolf Hitler, Kim Jong-un, Larry Ellison, Benito Mussolini, Richard Nixon, and Vladimir Putin, and many kings/queens of the world could be categories under this leadership.

Components of Autocratic Leadership.

Why do we need to know components? It’s because you can identify a particular person based on that. So to understand the styles in a better way, knowing about components is important.

Self- Confidence

A leader must have confidence as it is required at every step. Who will love to work with a person who does not know “What, how, and when” of anything? Even if the leader knows it, they do not have the confidence to act upon it.

Autocratic leadership consists of self-confidence and, in some cases, goes one step further than overconfidence.


In autocratic leadership, decision-making is short and does not consume much time. It is possible because leaders make immediate decisions in any situation. The prompt decision saves a lot and ensures work goes on according to plan. But the same quick decision-making may be harmful to the company. So quick but thoughtful decision is the best way for any organization.

Clear Thought Process

When a leader has clarity in mind, they speak better and emphatically. A good understanding of the rules and policies of a company is an added perk and makes the person more autocratic.

Trust and Dependency

Will the team go by order of the leader when they do not trust them? No, it will not happen. In autocratic leadership, the leader must have trust and dependency.

In some cases, the autocratic manager gets support from upper management or the human resource department to act according to their wish. Autocratic leaders remain fearless, and what’s possible when they know that some or other way of the organization depends on them.


An autocratic leader does not require push for motivation and encouragement. The leader comes with high ambition and knows their path to success. Positivity and self-motivation work like fuel, and they ensure maximum efficiency and output from the team.

Sense of Responsibility

The upper management will not let the manager work as per their wishes if they are not responsible. The leaders show responsibility and let others know that you do your work, I will take care of mine. The subordinates and upper management do not bother to poke in the working style due to a better sense of responsibility.

Advantages of Autocratic Leadership

Despite showing some dictatorship, leadership is highly used because of its apparent benefits.

Shortened Decision-Making Process

All other theories of leadership receive bad reviews from critics as they all take more time for decision-making. Democratic leadership consumes the longest time, whereas autocratic takes the shortest. A quick decision is possible under autocratic leadership as the process does not pass through many hierarchies.

Good Control

Each and everyone knows; whom to contact for any important issues. In a team with so many leaders, none become effective. Team members misuse diverse controls. In autocratic leadership, commands get centered on one person, so controlling becomes easier.

High Productivity

It has been seen that autocratic leaders’ confidence frightened the team members. The team presumes that the leader can get anything done by themselves or others, which helps in increasing productivity. All teams work more efficiently to make the leader happy for some or other benefits.

High Level of Discipline

Good autocratic leaders ensure discipline in the workplace that further transforms into other positive impacts.

Disadvantage of Autocratic Leadership

  1. More idea is sometimes better than one idea. As the leader takes all their decisions, the team lacks creativity and diversity. Innovation also becomes short in supply in the team that hampers business growth.
  2. Team members do not feel aligned with the leader and feel discouraged and lost sometimes. They do not come forward with good ideas and start doubting their self-confidence.
  3. The work environment does not remain friendly, and team cohesiveness becomes less. High turnover rates become the new normal, and employees feel limited personal growth in the workplace.
  4. The style lacks collaborations as well as checks and balances. Different rules become absolute or non-effective as leaders start making every decision based on their understanding.

How to Make Improvisation in Autocratic Leadership Styles?

Here are a few attributes that can make autocratic leadership more likable and effective without damaging the positive sides of the style. These attributes help in developing an autocratic leadership style in a good manner.

  1. Be open to criticism and encourage all to participate in the decision-making process by sharing their ideas.
  2. Work on building relationships between employees and act in a friendly way.
  3. A sincere effort should be made to provide the right kind of working environment so that employees feel the positivity to do well in the assigned work.
  4. Boost employee confidence and engage them with recreational activities for team building, happiness, and encouragement.
  5. Responsibility is good but presuming that you are the only responsible person in the team is a bad notion. An autocratic leader should exercise delegation of some sort so that other team members feel responsible and attached towards the common goal of business growth.
  6. Be ready to accept your weaknesses, as it helps in shaping the right path for you. Improvise your weaknesses and maintain the strength.


So do you think a company like Google can be run in an autocratic way? No, this leadership works better in a company where people directly report to one persona. Large companies consist of layers of management and leadership, so autocratic leadership styles take a back seat.

Every leadership has some pros and cons, which is true. In a situation where a quick decision is required, the style works better.

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