Leadership styles: the authoritative leader – Digital4Pro

Leadership styles: the authoritative leader

Stili di leadership: il leader autorevole
20 Dicembre 2019
People Management: Ambassador
28 Dicembre 2019

What kind of managerial style should we adopt? What’s the best? The answer, according to research conducted by Hay-McBer, based on a sample of 3,871 executives who were selected randomly from over 20,000 top managers worldwide, is a mix of different styles. The authors identified six different command styles, each of which corresponds to one of the components of emotional intelligence extended by Daniel Goleman’s studies.

In summary, being a good leader means knowing how to master multiple leadership styles according to the occasion. This time we see the authoritative style, perhaps the most used, but not always the most effective.

The authoritative leader positively influences the working atmosphere with his being visionary, thus motivating the people he works with, representing how much the individual’s work is part of a larger frame and helps the organization as a whole.

Therefore, the authoritative style succeeds to maximize the adhesion of people to the objectives and strategy of the organization, indicating how each person’s tasks relate to the overall vision.

An authoritative leader tends to define a goal, but gives people broad autonomy, allowing them to organize themselves appropriately. The authoritative leader gives people ample space for innovation, experimentation and … to make mistakes to learn from. However, the authoritative leader will evaluate the performance of a resource only in relation to the contribution of the individual’s work to the common goal.

This style of leadership is very positive and can be used in almost any organizational context even if it is particularly effective in exceptional situations such as a corporate crisis or a drift of a project. The authoritative leader traces the direction and indicates to his collaborators a new long-term goal.

On the other hand, it is shown how an inadequate style when a manager finds himself collaborating with executive profiles of the same level or in with a particularly pronounced seniority. Above all in these cases, the manager must avoid trespassing in the field of authority or even worse, the arrogance to assert his authority, whenever whelmed by a sort of performance anxiety. In ancient Rome, when a general returned to the victorious city after a battle, the people in the streets praised him, giving him the right heroic tribute. With all this acclamation there was the risk that the general would let pride get the better of him, so for this reason, during the parade, a slave would repeat to him at regular rhythms: “Te hominem esse
memento” (remember that you are only a Man).


  • Harward Business Review, “Leadership That Gets Results”, Daniel Goleman
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