Leaders are of different types. Some are collaborative and inspiring, while some are authoritative and controlling. Autocratic leadership, however, has always been under the scanner.

Whether this style makes a good leader has been a longstanding debate. But, what is autocratic leadership? And what are autocratic leadership pros and cons? Let’s take a glimpse at who autocratic leaders are and what they do.


  1. What is Autocratic Leadership?

  2. Autocratic Leadership Advantages and Disadvantages

  3. Disadvantages of Autocratic Leadership

  4. Bottom Line


What is Autocratic Leadership?

Autocratic leadership is a type of leadership that is individual-centric. Such leaders usually make decisions based on their own judgment and ideas. Unfortunately, they might not appreciate the advice of their team members. They prefer to set their objectives, plan of action, processes and methods independently. Autocratic leaders exercise absolute control over the team. People who rely on this leadership style are often viewed as ‘dictators’ or ‘bossy’.

But rarely do employees know that there are several benefits of autocratic leadership. So, what are the autocratic leadership advantages and disadvantages?

Autocratic Leadership Advantages and Disadvantages

Every leadership style comes with some benefits and weaknesses. In this article, we outline some essential autocratic leadership pros and cons.

Here are the top advantages of autocratic leadership:


  1. Faster Decision-making

    This leadership style enables quick decision-making, which is one of the most significant  benefits of autocratic leadership. Faster decision-making is the key to attaining organizational goals. Only the leader will weigh the pros and cons of every option instead of the entire C-suite. Fewer layers of administration and lesser feedback to look into facilitates swift decision-making in the team.

  2. Better Communication

    Communication is the systematic process of passing information from one person to another. At times, the original instruction may get lost within complex and multiple channels of communication. Autocratic leadership always encourages one-way communication to eliminate this problem. The leader shares defined roles and patterns of work with the employees. Moreover, the instructions will go straight to the employees. It is one of the biggest advantages of the autocratic leadership style.

  3. Boosts Productivity

    Faster decision-making and quick information-sharing can help boost the team’s productivity. This is yet another of the several advantages of autocratic leadership style. The employees need not wait for the thumbs up from seniors or ask for a deadline extension if they can get all the approvals and data on time. This process may create a powerful and positive impact on their performance. The result is a more consistent and accurate output.

  4. Effective Handling Of Crises

    Did you know that autocratic leadership is great when it comes to handling crises? The leader is the only one who is in charge of the situation. Their expertise and experience can solve short-term issues. And when it comes to long-term issues, autocratic leaders know how to direct traffic through the hierarchies. These benefits of autocratic leadership can swiftly take the team out of trouble.

  5. Reduces Employee Stress

    Autocratic leaders have imperious or commanding personalities. Although they set their rules and regulations to control the team, they also play a significant role in eradicating employee stress. So, there are advantages of the autocratic leadership style for the employees, too. Autocratic leaders are like the captain of the ship. Every crisis or decision lies on their shoulders. And they are accountable for the outcomes. On the other hand, employees are responsible for following instructions and meeting deadlines. This system leaves the employees stress-free.

  6. Ideal To Counter Team Inexperience

    Do you have a team of inexperienced employees? If yes, then the best way to manage such teams is through autocratic leadership. It is one of the best advantages of autocratic leadership. Inexperienced employees need a detailed layout and instructions to complete tasks—traits an autocratic leader is known for. Employees, in turn, learn discipline and consistency from their leader.


Disadvantages of Autocratic Leadership

Now that we’ve discussed several advantages of the autocratic leadership style, here come some disadvantages:


  1. Low Employee Morale

    One of the biggest disadvantages of exercising autocratic leadership is that it can result in low employee morale. Through goremotely.net, stats reveal that 78% of the employees want to quit their jobs due to lack of recognition. Autocratic leaders do not appreciate any inputs from their team members. Moreover, they also like to enjoy the credit for the project’s success, leaving the employees disheartened.

  2. Leads To Resentment

    Employees who prefer some authority and decision-making powers in the team might not appreciate autocratic leadership. The biggest problem is, no one talks about innovation and out-of-the-box ideas in this leadership style. This working environment can leave employees feeling suppressed. The result is an unhappy workforce.

  3. Develops A System Of Dependence

    According to goremotley.net, around 83% of employers feel that it is crucial to create leaders at all levels. But this might not be possible with an autocratic leadership style. Do you know why? Because this leadership creates a system of dependence. Professionals operating under this leadership can have lower confidence and slower decision-making skills.


Bottom Line

These were the autocratic leadership style advantages and disadvantages. Authoritative leaders are most consistent in their approaches and systems. The procedures and rules might seem rigid. But, the results always lead to corporate success. However, excess control can also result in low employee morale and employee engagement.

Therefore, leaders who exercise autocratic leadership should follow a balanced process to attain organizational objectives. Although their primary aim should be to achieve business goals, as leaders, it is also their responsibility to add value to employees.

The correct leadership approach used at the right time will foster a long-term employee–leader relationship. After all, this is what good leadership is all about. Check out Harappa’s  Inspiring Faculty Program and experience growth in your leadership now.

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