Authoritarian leadership has been an effective leadership style that has been both looked from two different perspectives, positive and negative. Leaders who are autocratic are regarded as visionaries and at the same time dictators when it comes to imposing rules and regulations. They are known to control people and lead them to follow whatever directives they say. Moreover, their policies are strict and oftentimes, leave subordinates with no power to go against these rules. In recorded history, there have been authoritarian leaders who have rose to power and influenced many people. Here is a list of the most notable leaders in politics and business who are considered to be authoritarian.
1. Engelbert Dollfuss
Austrian Chancellor Engelburt Dollfuss held this position from 1932 to 1934 and is known for his being an authoritarian leader and refusing to be in an alliance with Germany in a customs union. Although he was lambasted with criticisms from Social Democrats as well Austrian Nazis and nationalists, Dollfuss created an authoritarian regime based on both Fascist principles and Roman Catholicism. He transformed Austrian into an Italian satellite state. Moreover, he was able to topple his local opponents using fascist-authoritarian lines. In 1934, with the New Constitution, his regime became completely dictatorial.
2. John F. Kennedy
Perhaps, one of the most famous presidents of the United States and the world, JFK was also one of the most loved by the Americans. With years being in politics, Kennedy was not really the one who wanted to become a president of a country. It was his brother who perished in a plane crush. But when he was elected as the highest official of the country, the world saw him as a visionary .It was under his regime when the first man was sent to the moon, a feat that has led to succeeding outer space explorations. This was made possible by his authoritarian leadership in which he was able to motivate and convince America to support the space program.
3. Martha Stewart
With a billion dollar empire, Martha Stewart is one of the most famous and powerful women in the world. Her leadership style made it possible for her to be on top of her business to the point that she was also regarded as a scrupulous and meticulous boss. She was also said to be particular with her employees and demanding of them. Her self-made empire was built out of her vision and dream to become successful and she was able to do this using her classic autocratic style. Moreover, she was a great motivator. This is highly evident with how almost every household in America using her merchandise, from garden tools to beddings. She was also able to make her presence felt all over the country by using media, from television to magazines. Somehow, her style of leadership also had its downside. Years ago, she was found guilty and sent to prison for five months after being found guilty of violating insider trading rules. Today, she still remains to be a powerful and influential figure, both loved and hated by supported and critics. All these can be attributed to her being an authoritarian leader.
4. Bill Gates
Philanthropist and billionaire, Bill Gates, might have started to be a simple college student but ended up to be one of the richest and most famous tycoons in the world. His leadership style can be considered authoritarian but in a positive way. As a visionary, he was able to make one of the most important and useful contributions in the computer industry. It was his vision for every household in America to have a computer at home. Microsoft still dominates the software industry despite other competitors in the so-called arena. Even if he is not as hands-on, as he was years ago, in his business empire, Gates, along with his wife, still continues to be a visionary when it comes to philanthropy. He was able to convince other billionaires to share their wealth with the less fortunate with his foundation. Also, he has the dream of eradicating poverty and AIDS in the world. In fact, he said that with concerted efforts from other people, poverty can be eradicated by the year 2030.
5. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Although he is regarded by some as a democratic leader for his non-violent way of pushing his beliefs, he can also be considered as one of the most influential leaders the world has known. This has made him an autocratic leader. He was able to motivate and convince people to join him in a movement to change the nation. It was his authoritative voice and effective communication style that made people listen to him and believe that he was leading them to a direction that is beneficial to them and the future generations.
6. Vladimir Putin
Being the president of Russia since 2012, Vladimir Putin has one strong vision, that is, to put Russia to its glory once again. Despite what seemingly looks like a democratic government, Russia is not totally without the autocratic leadership of Putin. This was according to the people behind the Russian president. They say that Putin is on top of the checks and balances in running the country in which most of the laws are not without the consent of Putin. He was able to consolidate power in a central government. Critics have said that the Russian president used intimidation and slander to solidify his government. Also, with the help of his allies, he was able to seek for a third term in presidency by altering the constitution.
7. Donald Trump
This presidential candidate will not be able to be one of the most powerful and richest people in the world if not for his autocratic style. Not only did Trump able to build an empire in the real estate industry and own several other businesses. But, he also convinced people that he can become the president of the United States. He is known to handle most of the details in running his businesses and knows where he wants to take his empire. Trump has also commended the autocratic styles of leaders in Russia, North Korea and China for their strength and power to crush political opponents. In fact, authoritarian voters are rumored to find him appealing. These and his being frank and decisive when it comes to running his empire have people think that he is an autocratic leader.
Authoritarian leadership can be regarded as controlling and dictating but in some situations this style has brought individuals to great success and power. This can be effective when subordinates or people in the workforce, for example, are inexperienced and being closely watched will make them be better members of the team. On the other hand, when it comes to running a nation, this can be positive if the previous leadership was unable to push the country forward. With an autocratic leader to run any institution or nation in need of one, this can bring positive results.
Natalie Regoli, Esq. is the author of this post and the editor-in-chief of our blog. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington and her Masters in Law from The University of Texas School of Law. In addition to being a seasoned writer, Natalie has almost two decades of experience as a lawyer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send Natalie a message here.