Are you an Autocratic OR Democratic Leader?

There is no right or wrong way to lead or manage your team, only new ways. Discovering the right formula is a professional journey we all must undertake.

Autocratic leadership’s fundamental principle involves total authority and control over decision-making. The Autocratic style of leadership work’s under the presumption that “my way is best” in solution finding and company direction. This motivation for the Autocratic person usually comes down to their authority and personality trait.

The opposite of Autocratic leadership is Democratic leadership. The major characteristic of Democratic leadership is when the general majority (along with the leader) decides the direction on any particular decision being made.

The conundrum some retail stores and businesses find themselves in is being heavier weighted to a certain leadership style. For example being Autocratic in saying – “this is the decision on the matter” – without debate.

The challenge lies in finding a balance between the two styles in each one of us.

Leaders and managers must walk a fine line here as they do not want to appear too ridged, akin to the rules needed for structure and sales, but to allow for a level of employee ownership-thinking to take place.

It comes down to using fair judgment and knowing what’s best for the business while accommodating staff and company growth. Most business managers walk a tight rope between these two worlds everyday. Some do it well. Some do it terribly.

Personality type, self-confidence, belief in your purpose, understanding why you do what you do along with your business culture has a great deal to do with how well your staff interact with one another and how your leadership trait will impact on staff and consequently customers.

Maintaining an Autocratic leadership style has its rules to play by if the leader intends to remain in the current role. The primary consideration being, the leader must have an appreciation for the input of the people working with them before decision making. Staff opinions and suggestions must be taken into consideration even if a decision that doesn’t favour staffs opinion, results. Secondly – If needed or warranted, an explanation on why they are making a certain decision and the consistency of similar future decisions and outcomes must fall in line.

When appreciating the management style you have in place now, keep in mind that it can indeed be shifted if you desire. Business leaders have the ability to keep staff onside through listening and suggestions, while in the next breath may well make a decision that they may not receive team support for.

The one unwavering constant seems to be that whatever trait managers lean towards, primary traits including honesty, transparency and integrity are trusted and required leadership qualities when asking people to follow you into battle.

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