Autocratic Leadership

Autocratic Leadership is a leadership style that is top-down. Top-down leadership is leadership that comes down to the people from ‘on high.’ This is a leadership style that is offensive to many and speaks at, not to, or with the people. It is a control-oriented leadership style that has more to do with the role than responsibility.


Autocratic leadership is also referred to as Authoritarian leadership. This is the form of leadership that makes decisions, enacts policies, passes laws, makes things up as they go along with very little participation or inclusion of subordinates or followers, and this is why they often have defectors.



These are your leaders who have a hard problem letting go of the work. They are accused of micro-management, and result in low levels of autonomy, self-esteem, feelings of appreciation or organizational citizenship or buy-in from their constituents. Most people who are under this form of pressure leadership are only there because they feel they must, and as soon as a better opportunity arises, i.e. time or freedom, they will escape.

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