Did the word ‘Authoritarian’ shock you? Well, political correctness aside, there is at least one unique quality of the madman Hitler that is followed by leaders of some of the most successful corporations across the globe – an authoritarian leadership style – a quality that has been a significant reason in ensuring that such corporations are viewed as being amongst the leading business units of this world! This is because while leadership styles which are more democratic are wonderful to read and be applied, such styles can be successful only when the people you are leading are most mature, responsible and ambitious. And despite what one may wish or imagine, finding such people to work with is near impossible!
If you believe that I have tumbled over the edge and am referring back to the days of Theory X management – which used to be ruthlessly applied in the early stages of industrialization when coal mining used to be the key industry – well, it almost is so. The only difference is that technology has made today’s autocratic leadership look very savvy! The best of corporations today have the same lack of trust in their employees’ sincerity levels as they used to have years back in the coal mines. But today, they never really exhibit it vocally. Instead, we have automated processes which leave no option for an employee to work as per his personal preferences.
Whether he likes it or not, phone calls are thrown at him by the automatic software, his restroom breaks are timed, his precise location during office hours is tracked through GPS, and more. Be it manufacturing or services, employees are not given a choice in any great organisation anymore. For the leaders have realized that given a choice, most employees are under productive. So technology is today used to force them to deliver. Autocratic leadership is done unhindered through the use of more and more ruthless technologies. And the most successful leaders use this style of leadership without guilt and to achieve the best of results with the majority of people (but intelligently spare the few mature colleagues they might have who work with passion and without the need for being ordered).