Leadership and Management
CCLM 2051 (Section 24)
Sir Taslim Taher
Siti Noramira Bt Mohamad Razali(1729636)
No matter how much development we have achieved today, leader will always play an essential part in achieving the victory of the team since the leader is the one who can make sure the direction of the team. Thus, a dedicated leader need to be appointed. Leader is a crucial figure for every team as the leader is the one who will make sure that the team will manage or fail in obtaining the goal. Generally, leader means someone who is responsible in guiding or leading a team or group to achieve a goal that has been set. Leader is the representative of the group and it is a must for the leader to visualize the goal so that, he can think on the best solutions or ways in achieving it. As mentioned by Ahamed (2013, p.1) leader plays a pivotal role in shaping such a conducive, trustworthy and engaged work atmosphere. Leader is seen as the decision-maker and the one who has the right to command others. Every leader has different perspective on the definition of leadership as there are many conditions that required different kind of boss to lead. For instances, there are religious, organization, school or even class leader.
However, leaders have more responsibilities than we all know as Winston & Patterson, (2006, p.7) stated that “A leader is one or more people who selects, equips, trains, and influences one or more follower(s) who have diverse gifts, abilities, and skills and focuses the follower(s) to the organization’s mission and objectives causing the follower(s) to willingly and enthusiastically expend spiritual, emotional, and physical energy in a concerted coordinated effort to achieve the organizational mission and objectives.” Thus, person that will lead any group or team needs to know one or more style of leadership for them to manage the group successfully.
There are many styles of leadership that we have in this world. It is a must for a leader to know the style of leadership that will suit him to ensure that he can manage a group or organization in an effective way. ‘Leader is influence- nothing more, nothing less.’ (John Maxwell, 1998). This means that leader has an ability to influence others and it takes nothing to stop them from doing so. A leader need to find the best style of leadership based on his preference and ability. A good leader can inspire his followers to work hard and guide them to do the right things at the right time.
This paper is purposely done to find out more about one of the leadership style that is commonly used by leader in every sector of works. Autocratic leader has been chosen as the subject of this paper. Autocratic leader is known as one of the most popular style of leadership for a long time as it has been used by many previous state leaders.
Leadership can have various meaning based on different person and occupation. However, no matter what, leadership is essential in every team. According to Adamaechi and Romaine (2002), leadership is crucial in an organization as it can determine whether the group will fail or success in achieving their target or goal. It is important for the leaders to have their own style in managing their team and leadership can be defined as style or the pattern of behavior use by a leader in attempting to influence group members and make decision regarding the mission strategy and operation of group activities.
Autocratic leadership is one of the most common leadership style that has been used in the management of the group or organization. Autocratic came from the combination of the Greek words which are ‘auto’ means self and ‘cratic’ means rule and it can be defined as offensively self-assured. Autocratic leadership can also be known as Authoritarian leadership. This leadership style basically focusses more on the leader of the team. All decisions or strategies use to achieve the goal will be decided by the leader. Usually autocratic leader will not accept opinion from others especially from the employees or followers. The decisions and regulations will mainly come from the leader’s thought or view. Therefore, this kind of leadership style is more powerful than the other styles since the leader will has the total control over the group or the organization.
This kind of leaders believes that they have the power to control the employees as they are on the higher rank in term of position in that organization so, they insist that they are the one that have the rights to make decisions for the group. The followers will normally follow all the decisions and rules that have already be implemented by the leader. Generally, the autocratic leaders do not care about others’ thought or criticism as they much prefer their followers to do things in their ways. One of the famous autocratic leaders is Steve Jobs. Steve jobs was known as a perfectionist, passionate and highly intuitive. He believed that the products that they produce must be the best and it must meet with customer expectation. Thus, he was firm with his decisions and strategies in achieving that goal (Howell, 2013).
CHARACTERISTICS OF AUTOCRATIC LEADERSHIP
Autocratic leadership are prone to have certain characteristics that can extinguish them from other leaderships’ style. First common characteristic of autocratic leadership is there will be only little or no input from the group members or followers. This is due to the reason that all the decisions will only be made by the leader and no one can affect his decision-making. Next, the leader will make sure that all the regulations that have been implemented need to be obey by the followers. Besides, the followers will normally be forced or commanded by the leader to use the methods that he already decided in achieving the goals or targets. This can be supported with the previous researches done by Ram (2001), as well as Melling and Little (2004). They defined that autocratic leader is someone who tend to monopolize the decision-making process and takes decision alone.
In addition, autocratic leader will normally distribute the tasks for each worker or follower instead of letting them decide it by themselves. The leaders will decide all the job scopes and the employees just need to complete the task within the time given. The leader also emphasizes on the punctuality in every work given. They want every task to be done on time and without procrastination. Autocratic leader is usually a passionate person and they tend to be serious especially when it is related to work.
Next, the employees will have no opportunity to expand or polish their skills since they are not used to make their own decision. Besides, creative and high order thinking are not encouraged much by their autocratic leader. They will have no time or platform to show their creativity especially in the area that they want to work. This style also known because of the lack of trust to the employees since the leader do not completely trust them. The employees are rarely trusted with decision-making or important tasks.
WAYS TO ENSURE AUTOCRATIC LEADERSHIP WORKS
There are several ways that can be used to ensure that this style of leadership can works. The first one is the leader need to be autocratic in terms of value and their goals to achieve but at the same time they need to stay humble and respectful. By doing this thing, the followers will not feel so pressure or stress in completing their work as they know that their leaders are being professional at the same time understand them very well. Based on the book titled ‘Open Source on Leadership’ by Rajeev Peshawaria, this balancing act called as ‘The Naked Aristocratic Dance’.
In addition, the leader also need to listen to the employee’s opinion or suggestion to ensure that the employees feel that they are also important in that group or team. Although most likely the employees’ opinion will not change the leader’s decision at least it can make them think that they also have the freedom to voice out their opinions. This can also inspire the them to trust the leader more since they believe that their leader is reliable and fun to work with.
Next, the Autocratic leader can make it works if they can give the freedom within the framework. The boss need to trust the employees more so that they will have the courage to show and expand their skills in that area. The leader should just provide the knowledge and tools that the they need so that, they can try to solve or find the best way in completing their task by themselves without much orders or commands from the leader. By doing this, it can give the opportunity for them to polish their skill and passion too.
Besides, the followers also have the responsibility in making this kind of leadership work as they are also part of that organization. One of the way for followers to make it work is by practicing the task consistently to ensure that they can work effectively. The employees need to have the mindset that not all leaders can forgive them if they keep making mistakes so that, they need to master that task and make them feel worthy to work in that organization.
ADVANTAGES OF AUTOCRATIC LEADERSHIP
There are several reasons that make Autocratic leadership is worth to be practiced in the organization or group. As mentioned by Pagewise (2002), this leadership style is the best to use toward the new trainees who have no experience in working in organization or any leadership style. One of the autocratic leadership advantage is that it can ensure the quick-decision-making process especially when it is related to important things that really need them to make the decision as fast as they can. It is also time saving since they waste no time in making that decision. They also do not need to worry about others’ opinion since the decision is made by the leader.
Secondly, this Autocratic leadership makes works or tasks become organized. The leader will set the scheduled that just need to be followed by the followers. When the leader already divided the tasks for each worker, it can help them to focus on their task without the need for them to worry about others. This style is good especially when the deadline is around the corner. The workers can just complete the task that the leader has set for them. This point can be proved by referring to the research done by Eden (1998) that stated all the policies and procedures will be done by the autocratic leader with no intervention from others.
Thirdly, it is a must for the autocratic leader to be knowledgeable and reliable. By having this trait, it can benefit the workers as they can learn more from the leader and maybe they get to know things that they never know before. The leader can also assist them when they are completing their tasks by giving close supervision during working hours. The employees can also rely on the leader’s decision when they are having difficulty in making decision to ensure the better outcome from their works.
Fourthly, this type of leadership will normally have absolute policies or regulations that will be implemented by the leader so, it is good in term of maintaining professionalism at the work place. The employees will be more serious in completing their work as they have that kind of rules and regulations that they need to obey to avoid them from getting punishment.
Finally, it is an effective leadership style to be used in the manufacturing and construction field as it is crucial for every worker in this area to complete their task before the deadline. Autocratic leadership style is the best way for the leader to give orders or commands to ensure that all the employees can follow the safety rules to prevent them from getting injuries or accidents while working.
DISADVANTAGES OF AUTOCRATIC LEADERSHIP
Everything will have it pros and cons and same goes to Autocratic leadership style. There will be some people that prefer this style since they think that it is suitable for them to work with. However, there will be some other people that have different opinions about this Autocratic leadership. They think that this style is not suitable to use if the leader wants to develop strong team work among workers or if they want to have more spontaneous elements at the work place.
First downside of autocratic leadership is the potential abuse because of the power. Some may think that the autocratic leader will abuse their power by forcing the workers to work over their limit as they have the complete control over them. There are some people that dislike this kind of style, so they prefer to work in the environment that is more relaxing and fun.
Secondly, this leadership style makes talents go to waste. This is due to the reason that the autocratic leader is not fond when the workers are trying to be more creative in their task as the leader prefer them to just follow the orders and methods that have already be implemented. They also will probably be scared to try something new or extraordinary as the leader have already set the rules.
Thirdly, this Autocratic leadership is not a preferred style to be chosen by the young generation especially during this 21st century. Young generation tend to seek for freedom in term of speech, action or rights. They think that they have the equal right to voice out their opinion on something instead of just following orders from the leader or boss. They do not really like to be ordered or asked to do something that they do not understand or still unclear about it.
Fourthly, the relationship between the employer and employees are not good as the employees will see the leader as someone that is strict, firm and serious. They will feel intimidated and prefer to just complete their task without the need to have friendly talk with the leader and their colleagues. There will be a gap between the leader and the workers in term of the closeness as they are not close with each other.
Lastly, the workers will feel no desire to perform well or improve as they think that they just need to finish their work on time without the need of them to think creatively. They also feel that way because of the environment at the work place. It required them to be passive and submissive. People tend to work well if they think that they are being appreciated and acknowledged by their team or organization.
LEADERS THAT PRACTICED AUTOCRATIC LEADERSHIP STYLE
As for the North Korea, this country was led by the leader named Kim Jong-un. He was known as a brutal and cruel leader. North Korea was known as one of the country that have large number of militaries in the world. However, their people were lived in poverty and starvation because of the lack of political will. Kim Jong-un has been continuously involved in human rights abuses. Besides, the leader was known as the ‘madman’ and ‘brutal’ regime by the President Trump because of the unfair law being implemented in North Korea. There is a case of the death of American student Otto Warmbier who had been imprisoned during a visit to North Korea.
During 1933 to 1945 Germany has been led by a leader named Adolf Hitler. He served as a dictator and leader of Nazi party or National Socialist German Workers Party. His policies have caused World War II to happen and lead to the deaths of some 6 million Jews and another 5 million noncombatants during that time. His eugenic policies also targeted kids with disabilities and later his policies also allowed the use of euthanasia to the disabled people and punished those who were known as homosexual people. However, Adolf Hitler has been known as one of the most influential orators in the world because of his mesmerizing speech and the way he leads his country that time.
In conclusion, we can say that autocratic leadership has its own pros and cons. It is based on that leader’s preference whether to use this leadership style or not. Autocratic leaders run his organization based on their own decisions and policies. There a lot of advantages as well as disadvantages of this style. Overall, this paper has been produced as the reference for those who want to study or perceive more information about autocratic leadership style.
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