Autocratic-Charismatic Leadership: Extended Outline

Subject: Leadership Styles
Pages: 3
Words: 832
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College

Charismatic leadership is better suited as a leadership style for modern-day organization due to its ability to facilitate more efficient emergency management, motivate groups, and provide more ethical solutions to potential challenges in comparison to other leadership styles, particularly autocratic leadership.


As one thinks of Apple, the face of Steve Jobs instinctively comes to mind. The same is true for most of the other large corporation and political powers around the globe. Leaders seem to be the primary representatives and voices of organizations.

Why the Topic Is Important

The topic of leadership has become exceptionally popular in the last couple of decades as more research surrounding the subject was being released. After all, whether a leader is good at what they do or not can make or break any chance of success any company has, even the most well-admired and innovative one.

Primary Argument

Charismatic leadership is by far the most efficient and appropriate leadership style for leaders globally to adopt in an effort to unite people around them and develop solutions to potential issues, which might arise either within an organization or externally.


Prior to discussing the advantages f charismatic leadership in comparison to other styles, particularly autocratic leadership, it is imperative to define what charismatic and autocratic leadership styles are.

The main task of leadership is to “create and manage culture… and destroy culture when it is viewed as dysfunctional” when referring to organizations (as cited in Rivers, 2019, p. 69).

Charismatic leadership refers to the authority of a leader, which derives primarily from their charisma and charm that are used as tools for motivating their followers.

An autocratic leader differs from others as he or she exercises “a controlling and directive leadership model, which engages subordinates or followers according to an established hierarchical structure” (Rivers, 2019, p. 71).

Benefits of Charismatic Leadership

Charismatic leadership is the most appropriate leadership style to use due to its many advantages, which autocratic leadership cannot provide.

Charismatic leaders are much more efficient at managing emergencies in comparison to autocratic ones (Meriade & Sales, 2020).

Autocratic leaders are much less likely to address the intricacies of ethical implications of exercising power rather than charismatic leaders (Rivers, 2019).

While the primary tools for autocratic leaders to ensure subordination are fear and pressure, the main mechanism behind charismatic leadership is simply motivation.

Charismatic Leadership: The Case of Success

Napoleon Bonaparte serves as a great example to demonstrate both the advantages of charismatic leadership and the downsides of autocratic leadership.

Napoleon led a huge army of able-bodied and minded men, yet they were overly dependent on their leader since he chose not to share his tactics with anyone, demonstrating one of the common traits autocratic leaders have in common (Meriade & Sales, 2020).

Nevertheless, Bonaparte managed to constantly motivate and engage his soldiers using his charm and charisma (Meriade & Sales, 2020).

Despite the aforementioned strengths of charismatic style and weaknesses of autocratic style, the selection of the right leadership approach depends greatly on the environment, which means that demographics should factor in the decision to adopt whichever style (Uzunsaf Yamak & Zihni Eyüpoğlu, 2018).

Charismatic Leadership: Hard Facts to Accept

Despite a variety of benefits to adopting a charismatic leadership approach, it may not always be the right choice.

Charismatic leaders are more likely to possess such qualities as narcissism and a sense of entitlement, which can lead to their judgements being somewhat clouded (Ma, 2018).

Charismatic leadership may not be the right option if the issue of succession is of importance since there is only a frail possibility that the children of or those chosen by a current charismatic leader will mirror his characteristics his or her followers admire (Radtke, 2020).

Furthermore, the behaviour of a leader might not even matter that much in the long run since, according to the research of Jansen and Delahaij (2019), group dynamics and contextual factors are often determinants of who the majority accepts as their leader.


Charismatic leadership is clearly effective at responding to the modern-day challenges organizations will most likely face.

Summary of the Insights Discussed Throughout the Paper

Charismatic leaders are able to motivate those around them without abusing their power, which is the case when referring to the proponents of the autocratic style. As a result, those united around a charismatic leader are more likely to remain loyal to them. Charismatic leadership is crucial for modern-fay organizations as they face unpredictable challenges regularly, while this style of leadership, in particular facilitates an efficient response to emergencies and critical situations unlike an autocratic one. However, it is crucial to recognise contextual factors, demographics, and group dynamics might play a more important role in selecting a leader rather than their personal characteristics or the preferences they express either towards an autocratic style or a charismatic one.

Concluding Remarks

Organizations worldwide should invest more resources into hiring and training a new generation of charismatic leaders if they want to ensure long-term success of their teams.


Jansen, M. M., & Delahaij, R. (2019). Leadership acceptance through the lens of Social Identity theory: A case study of military leadership in Afghanistan. Armed Forces & Society, 46(4), 657-676. Web.

Ma, B. (2018). The dark side of charismatic leadership: A social exchange perspective (Doctoral dissertation, City University of New York, New York City, NY). Web.

Mériade, L., & Sales, J. M. (2020). Emergency management in organizations? The answers provided by Napoleon Bonaparte. Revue Internationale De Psychosociologie Et De Gestion Des Comportements Organisationnels, 26(64), 165-196.

Radtke, M. T. (2020). Why kill deposed leaders? Regime types and post-tenure fates. Foreign Policy Analysis, 16(3), 332-352.

Rivers, M. N. (2019). A review of autocratic, paternalistic, and charismatic leadership in three collectivist cultures. Emerging Leadership Journeys, 12(1), 68-104. Web.

Uzunsaf Yamak, Ö., & Zihni Eyüpoğlu, Ş. (2018). Leadership styles of hotel managers in Northern Cyprus: Which style is dominant? International Journal of Organizational Leadership, 7, 1-11. Web.