Is That Effective Leaders Choose One Or More Leadership Styles Autocratic vs Consultative Leadership

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Autocratic vs Consultative Leadership

When it comes to leadership styles, there are several different models to choose from. However, whatever the model, implementing or practicing a certain leadership style and expecting to achieve the intended results is never an easy process. “Leadership” in itself is both an art and a science. One of the key elements that all leaders must possess is the ability to communicate their vision and values ​​to the people they lead and get people to buy into their vision and values.

The main concern is whether the leader is trying to “buy” his people or whether he is trying to “sell” his vision. When you want to “sell” you need to be persuasive and make it seem like your ideas are inherently useful to people and therefore they should buy them. This is usually a difficult dilemma because sometimes the people you lead may not fully understand the relevance of your visions and values ​​and may not be ready to embrace them. However, if you can create an environment where people feel that your vision and values ​​are important, and that if they buy into them, it will benefit them, you have created a winning formula for successfully managing your people.

If you want your people to “buy into” rather than “sell” your vision and values, you need to pay close attention to the leadership style you portray. I personally believe that leadership in this context can be classified as either an autocratic leadership style or a consultative leadership style.

Autocratic leadership style

Autocratic leadership is leadership that is based on a clear top-down approach. The leader has absolute power and can implement and do whatever he wants to achieve the result. Typically, in an autocratic leadership environment, there will not be much discussion because people find that their voices do not carry weight in the problem-solving and decision-making aspects of their organization.

An autocratic leader will be the driver of his people, and without his leadership, the organization will not be able to function. Usually, autocratic leaders like to delegate their power, but at the same time keep a mental grip on all subordinates. They also enjoy teaching their people to do things their way and can create a “my way or the highway” work environment. In an autocratic style of leadership, the impression is created that the leader is perceived as a kind of megalomaniacal tyrant who should be feared and followed.

While there is some truth to this, autocratic leadership is not necessarily a bad style. In fact, there are certain circumstances where authoritarian leadership should be the preferred style. One case where an authoritarian leadership style can be used is when the organization is new and the people are inexperienced and therefore look to the leadership to guide them in their work. Another example is when people are not engaged in their work and have no clear direction, and there is a huge amount of internal politics of this kind that is destructive and causes emotional strain on how the organization is run. Here, strong authoritarian leadership can help bring the organization back to its original position and get the people back into shape.

The downside to all of this is that long periods of engaging in an autocratic leadership style can strain the relationship between the leader and the people, as people may perceive the leader as so task-oriented that they may develop feelings of resentment. . Also, when a leader becomes too autocratic, he may forget that he is dealing with people, not machines, and may create the impression that people are just part of the machinery. This can create a sense of dissonance in the work environment that will not benefit the manager, the people and the organization in the long run. Take a cue from Dwight D. Eisenhower who said, “You don’t lead by hitting people over the head—that’s assault, not leadership.”

Consultative guidance

Consultative leadership is the way to go in the long run. Management guru Kenneth Blanchard said, “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” It is the nature of consultative leadership that you, the leader, must develop the ability to influence people, rather than imposing your authority on them, as is the case in an autocratic leadership style. In a consultative leadership style, the leader will effectively involve subordinates in the decision-making and problem-solving process. This style of leadership confirms the fact that a leader is truly a servant of the people he leads. People have the right to participate in consultations with the leader and can make suggestions that they know will be taken seriously by the leader.

Additionally, a consultative leadership style supports the concept of empowerment rather than delegation. When a leader gives authority, he is essentially giving the person concerned the freedom to do what is necessary. A manager can develop certain parameters that a person must work with and ensure that they are aware of it. In a consultative leadership style, the leader still has a clear vision and specific values ​​that he can communicate to his people. However, unlike the autocratic leader, the concept of the consultative leadership style is about people-oriented rather than task-oriented management.

The role of a consultative leader will constantly involve the development of his people, and this is achieved by being aware of people’s needs and desires. The only way to get this information is to have a constant dialogue with people and find out the goals and aspirations that you have and synchronize it with their personal visions. When people experience this state, they will be more willing to “buy in” to the leader’s vision and values.

In the long run consultative leadership will be most appropriate. As the organization matures, the leader must learn to move from delegation to empowerment. As people become more experienced and begin to participate in their professional relationship with you, the leader, you will have to act as a mentor to them. A consultative leadership style will give you the ability to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your subordinates and enable you to bring out the best in them. It seems appropriate here to recall Elizabeth Dole’s parting quote when she said, “What you always do before you make a decision is consult. The best public policy is made when you listen to the people who are affected. Then, once the policy is in place, you turn to them to help you sell it.”

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