Ch. 6: Autocratic Style vs Democratic Style

Examine the styles:

Find out more about these two opposite leadership styles.

Autocratic Leadership Style

Autocratic leaders emphasize the need for direction over the need for participation when structuring the decision-making process. These leaders tend to prefer clear lines of authority and accountability, so that everyone in the organization knows who has the final say and who is answerable for the consequences. To autocratic leaders, it is clear that someone must eventually take upon themselves the responsibility of making the tough choices, to avoid deadlock, messy compromises and a lack of  ownership. This does mean that the autocratic leader expects others to respect and execute the decisions made.


Democratic Leadership Style

Democratic leaders emphasize participation in decision-making over direction-setting. To these leaders, getting people involved in the decision-making process is more than only a way of getting them to bring in their expertise and ideas, to arrive at better decisions. Participation is essential for getting people to take ownership of their work and to truly accept responsibility for the results of the team. The added benefit is that participation leads to a deeper understanding of the issues and the decisions taken, which can lead to quicker implementation and more flexible adaptation along the way.

Examine the case

Ideas and practices worth sharing:

Here you can read up on suggestions about developing a specific leadership style and on how to avoid certain leadership pitfalls. Make sure to leave your own suggestions behind for others as well.

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