Leadership is a social influence process (Chalmers 2). In this process, someone from a group enlists to help and support other people in the same level of the organization to help in the accomplishment of a certain set task or an objective. Every situation in life calls for a different leadership style. For example, an autocratic leadership style is most effective in a situation where there is an emergency and where little can be done to iterate on an agreement. In another case situation when a team is highly aligned with information and motivated with a high level of homogeneity, a traditional style is active. The leadership style used should be operative depending on the interests of the group (Lussier & Achua 190). Other forms of leadership styles include Laissez-Faire, bureaucratic, and cross-cultural leadership styles. The aim of this paper, therefore, is to dig deep on autocratic leadership style leadership as a personal leadership style, discuss the areas where I need to improve on the same and the steps to take to develop the leadership style.
Characteristics of Autocratic Leadership Style
I have held several leadership positions in different organizations and group settings. In all the various institutions where I have held these positions before, I perceive myself as the automotive engine that controls the rest. Everything has to be done according to my wishes. These are the characteristics of an autocratic leadership style. The word oppressive is derived from two Greek words, auto and cratic. Auto in Greek refers to self while cratic represents a rule. Therefore, autocratic means self-rule. This is a type of leadership skill where the leader is in control of all the happening in an organization (Lussier & Achua 190).
Lussier & Achua (196) suggests that in authoritarian leadership style, there is petite output from the organization's employees. When employees are subjected to severe restrictions and a harsh working environment, their working morale is reduced and therefore the output they produce is of inferior quality. A few years ago, I was the Chairperson of a community empowerment group. I used to dictate what to be done and what not to and solely made the decisions of the group. The group was however tired of my leadership style and opted to break the team apart because we had gone against the purpose of the empowerment group.
DuBrin (2009) explains that and autocratic leader is a hands-on leader who likes controlling everything. I possess this quality, and I monitor all the activities that are linked to every group that is holding leadership positions. I will still want to control the decisions made by a different department of which am leading if am in a secretarial post. For instance, for a financial department, I will want to calculate their expenditure, know whether they have paid the employees even if those are not my functions (Lussier & Achua 196).
I rarely trust group members on critical issues relating to the group. As an autocratic leader, I fear to share my issues with other members other company who are not in the leadership positions as I am. At times, I feel this fear originates from the notion that these people might turn up against me because I only make decisions on a self-base without involving them.
There is poor communication between my workers and I. Communication in any organization is very vital. However, if the team leadership is autocratic, then a barrier in communication will be created since the relationship between the junior officers and the top direction of the organization is not friendly. (DeLeon 27) explains that Poor communication within an organization may lead to poor performance of the team since the juniors officers may be compelled not to communicate to their seniors because of fear.
Areas of Improvement on my Leadership Style and the Steps in Succeeding from the Same
Change is very vital and is inevitable. Therefore, as an autocratic leader, there are issues I need to improve on so as to create a good rapport with my employees. I will begin respecting my ancillary staff. I will improve my autocratic leadership skills by showing respect to the co-workers. I will change my attitude towards them and perceive them as people who will are working together to achieve a particular goal. I will enhance fairness within an organization and understand all the needs of the employees (DeLeon 27). I will allow my staff to express their anger, dissatisfaction, congratulations, and compliments to improve on this aspect. Besides, I will permit them to offer suggestions and opinions to the organization. Ideas and suggestions are essential elements of success for any autocratic leader (DeLeon 28). People will always appreciate when they are offered a chance to share their thoughts even if the ideas are not adopted.
Secondly, I will improve my communication with the employees. According to Ghuman & Aswathappa (2010), autocratic leaders have little room for proper communication and discussions hence poor decision making. Most employees in an organization perceive an autocratic leader as a leader who wants them to do exactly what they are dictated to do. I will work towards reducing this identity and in them, create an image of a real leader with whom they will achieve the company's objectives together. I will also ensure that the communication pattern between the junior staffs and I is enhanced by removing the gap between them and the top leadership. This will help the employees in understanding the rules without feeling intimidated. (DeLeon 28) Argues that enhancing communication in an organization reduces the chances of the workers rebelling and increases their cooperation. One step that will assist me in achieving this is through setting specified goals and making cognitive plans based on the goals. Investing in time to make concrete goals is very vital. Every formidable leader would not have been such an admiration if they lacked plans and set goals which could be easily achieved. In addition to, I will motivate the other members of the group. A cognitive leader should be permissive even at the circumstance of worst scenarios. Therefore, he/she should not be a complainer since with such an attitude other members will not be inspired (DeLeon 30).
Additionally, I will also improve on my coherence with the group under my leadership. A leader earns respect and trust from the employees when he/she fosters fairness among the workers and treats them equally. Leadership thrives and ripens with time (DeLeon 28,)., Therefore, I will create a rapport with my team so that I will be a useful authoritarian leader to my members. I will understand my strengths, weaknesses and use them towards the execution of the same. Autocratic leaders are not born with a basket of success besides them; they also have some drawbacks and strengths. To move from the I say you do' attitude to an I say we do' attitude, it takes time and effort
Further, I will adopt to write a clear vision on my mission and goals. I will include my team in this vital decision-making process. As a team, we will create a clear path that each and everyone within the organization will follow so as we can achieve our set objectives. I will also make a step to enlighten the team on the value of the goals to them and the organization at large and request the team to give me feedback on the same.
For further expanse I need to improve on my leadership style is the leadership passion. Loving and enjoying every role I play to ensure that the organization is running efficiently. Love in leadership is critical (DeLeon 28). If a leader has no passion in an organization, they can never enquire anything from them. As an autocratic leader, I had no passion for my roles as leaders; therefore most of my teammates would avoid me. Employing passion will help me to guide any member of my group who enquires for any form of aid. Enthusiasm and genuine passion should be the driving factors for any great leader. Leaders who are not only concerned with the business but also their employee's welfare the best step to take to achieve this is through coming up with different methods which I will use to express my zeal. This will let the group members know that I care about their advancements, therefore, making my leadership duties easy and transparent (DeLeon 33).
Moral values, positivity, adaptability are necessary leadership skills that every leader must have. Leaders should not be thirsty for leadership positions because of power, fame or wealth but, they should clinch these posts so as to develop and empower their followers and achieve great heights of success together. Therefore, whichever leadership style among the five a person might possess, the goal should be to bring transformation to the lives of their people.
Chemers, Martin. An integrative theory of leadership. Psychology Press, 2014.
Lussier, Robert N., and Christopher F. Achua. Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill development. Nelson Education, 2015.
DeLeon, Penelope A. A descriptive study of the leadership styles of elementary principals whose schools have exited Program Improvement in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange Counties. Diss. University of La Verne, 2014.
DuBrin, A. J. (2009). Essentials of management. Mason, OH: Thomson Business & Economics.
Ghuman, K., & Aswathappa, K. (2010). Management: Concept, practice and cases. New Delhi: Tata McGraw Hill.
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