How to Be a Less Autocratic Leader


Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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Trying to lead a seasoned, highly skilled team through command-and-control won’t work. These groups need leaders who are emotionally and intellectually agile, and able to modulate styles as needed. To be less autocratic, try shifting:

o From self-awareness to social awareness: It’s not enough to know your own strengths and weaknesses. You have to know how your behavior affects people. Ask: What is the impact of your management style on others? How do you know what others are feeling?

o From directive to inquisitive: When you’re trying to foster creativity, you need to be less declarative and more curious. Ask: How much time do you spend listening rather than speaking? How do you leverage diverse perspectives?

o From power over to power with: When you flaunt authority, people will often shut down or hide, and the team loses momentum. Ask: How do you stimulate the best thinking from your team? How often do team members make decisions?

Adapted from “Learn to Become a Less Autocratic Manager,” by Jeffrey W. Hull.

To check out that resource and join the discussion, please click here.

Also, you may wish to check out an anthology, Management Tips from Harvard Business Review, by clicking here.

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