Tyrannical leadership is an option, although not generally advocated in this day and age. Authoritarian is a softer word and then there’s controlling. Aah the beauty of the English language, what a difference a word makes.
So what do these tyrannical, authoritarian, controlling leaders have in common – well a view that what they say goes and an unquestionable belief that those they ‘lead’ will do what they say, because they say so. The controlling ones say they listen to others opinions but after a while their staff have stopped giving opinions because they didn’t seem to count for anything. So there becomes an unspoken work dynamic of “I’m in charge and this is how we’re going to do it”, if you don’t like it get lost.”
Controlling leaders are more common than we give credit for. Yet in essence this is a sign that it’s a manager who hasn’t grown and stepped up to the demands of leadership. The control element is often rooted in that person’s capacity to handle uncertainty and help others handle it. If they can’t cope there’s very little chance they can lead others through it.
Is there a time for this style of leadership, certainly, if there is a crisis you want absolute clarity and instruction. Great leaders have flexibility and a range of leadership styles. Or they know what environment they’re best suited to lead in, knowing when they’ve done their job and the organization needs a different environment for continued growth, they move on. The core of leadership is about fulfilling the needs of everyone involved in the organization.