• Maureen O'Toole

The Benefits of Bossy Leadership



What I’m Thinking About: Autocratic Leadership Style

Dan and I work with for profit and nonprofit leaders. We recently worked with an autocratic leader whose staff was looking for a more democratic leadership style, more voice and choice, more weigh-in and buy-in. An autocratic leader limits discussion on ideas, is the undisputed leader, tells people what to do, and makes decisions with little or no input from team members. His/her power is based on position or social position. Most people automatically associate autocracy with negative leadership, but some autocrats are friendly, warm and positive while still being totally in charge.

Why You Might Be Thinking About This: Bossy Bosses Can Be “The Boss!”

When a team is engaged in work that is high risk, time sensitive, and where extensive training has occurred so team members can respond instinctively, autocratic leadership works well. Think military, fire fighters, law enforcement, medical teams, and prison work. This leadership style works in heavily automated environments such as production lines. Autocratic leadership also works well when group members do not get along or are unable or unwilling to co-operate. Additionally, positive autocracy works well when working with very young children!

Why It’s Worth Thinking About: Positive Leaders Create Positive Environments

The autocratic leadership approach isn’t effective with teams which have well developed skill and knowledge. Or with teams that are accustomed to self-expression, creativity, independence, and delegated authority. But a Positive Autocratic who treats people with respect, is polite, gives credit where credit is due, and communicates effectively can build a positive business environment.

Would the autocratic leadership style work well in your business?

Want to learn more about democratic leadership styles? The Sandbox Group is ready to help your business. How are things in your Sandbox?

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