Pros & Cons of Authoritative Leadership

Successful companies know that leaders are necessary to make decisions and inspire the team. Managers have a significant influence on a company’s culture, so it’s essential to understand how to be a good leader.

Hiring managers are always looking to find leaders who can motivate and lead their organization.

As a leader, you will need to tailor your leadership style depending on what you’re trying to achieve. Influential leaders can shift their style depending on what they’re trying to achieve, which is helpful in situations where you don’t know exactly what needs to happen.

In certain situations, authoritative leadership can be highly effective. This article gives an overview of the leadership style and the benefits and drawbacks to take into account when considering it.

Characteristics Of An Authoritative Leader

Authoritative leaders are like mentors. When you work with a visionary leader, you learn from them, and they help you reach your goal. They have a strong understanding of their team’s challenges and their goals to grow and improve.

An authoritative leader guides and inspires motivation by providing direction, guidance, and feedback to maintain enthusiasm and a sense of accomplishment during a project or endeavour.

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To be an authoritative leader, it’s crucial to have a developed sense of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to read people and recognize their emotions.

Authoritative leaders must possess specific emotional intelligence skills to be effective. They include:

The ability to adapt, understand and remove obstacles that may be a hindrance to success.

Empathy enables teams to work effectively at critical junctures during a project. Self-confidence allows people to be inspired to take action, leading to a vision.

Authoritarian vs. Authoritative Leadership

Although the terms “authoritarian” and “authoritative” leadership sound similar and are frequently used interchangeably, they are not the same.

Authoritative leaders lead by example; authoritarian leaders focus on covering everybody’s back.

Take a look at your organization’s leadership, and you’ll notice that some of them treat their employees like their children and others like they’re the boss.

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The difference between these two types of leadership is that the boss who treats people as adults has a larger vision for the company.

At the same time, the authoritarian leader uses his or her power to force conformity.

Authoritarian leadership is not necessarily a negative way to run an organization. One way to respond to pressure in a crisis is authoritarian leadership.

The right authoritarian leader can provide firm guidance through a crisis.

Pros And Cons Of Authoritative Leadership

When considering using a leadership style, it’s essential to understand the pros and cons to determine when it is and isn’t appropriate to use.

Pros of Authoritative Leadership


In a tight-knit team environment, the authoritative leader can bring together diverse perspectives. The best leaders communicate their organization’s vision through words and actions.

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Authoritative leaders communicate and lead with clarity.

They are effective because they can inspire, motivate, and influence their team. When everyone knows what the organization is striving toward, it’s easy to ensure everyone is aligned.

Direction and Vision

The best leaders are confident, assertive and at the forefront of their respective disciplines. Their message is clear and decisive about what success looks like.

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They have a solid ability to communicate how other employees should work towards goals.


This is a leadership style that works because it allows an authoritative leader to understand what’s going on behind the scenes and how their team members are feeling.

By being empathetic, an authoritative leader can remove obstacles in team performance and reward success.

Cons of Authoritative Leadership

Authoritarian leaders can appear domineering: Employees who are used to having total control over how they execute tasks may find the authoritative leadership style somewhat oppressive.

This is particularly the case for new leaders who are in charge of supervising their experienced coworkers.

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Authoritarian leaders must accept responsibility for their failures: Staff members must be given a clear goal to work toward and instructions on achieving goals for authoritative management to be successful.

This requires that the leader make a decision and adhere to it, and the risk of failure falls on them.


Authoritative leadership can be exceptionally well suited for businesses undergoing a difficult time or teams with unclear goals.

For example, an up-and-coming startup might have difficulty meeting its financial goals in recent quarters.

An existing large company may have a new leader, or a division of a larger corporation may need to restructure. It is, however, not applicable to all businesses.

A skilled leader knows how to handle the pressure of a crisis and create a highly effective plan.

About the Author

Eugen Spivak is a multi-award-winning author, business strategist, and a business coach. Eugen is the founder of the Canadian Institute of International Business, an organization focused on a better way to learn business!

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