Democratic leadership involves leaders offering guidance to their team members as well as seeking their input before making decisions (Lewis, 1993). This style of leadership is often believed to create a balance, and it gives the team members a feeling of being valued. Democratic leadership gains its authority from accountability, active participation, team cooperation as well as the delegation of duties and responsibilities. The role of a democratic leader involves distributing responsibilities, facilitating group deliberations and member’s empowerment. This kind of leadership is most appropriate in settings such cooperative social groups, public universities, a democratic nation and international association.

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Leadership will not only be based on democracy most of the time at some point the use of authority is necessary. Authoritarianism is where a leader will have to make the decision without consultation with the team members (Lewis, 1993).. Authoritarian leadership applies in the following situations. First is where the leader has all the necessary information to solve a certain problem. In such a case, the leader will just make a decision because he or she has all that it takes to address the issue in question.

Secondly is when there is a short time span that is left to solve a particular emerging issue. When the time is limited leaders often have to make a decision on their own. The third instance where authoritarianism is appropriate in democratic leadership is when all the employees are well motivated. This style of leadership should usually be used on rare occasions. If one has all the time and want to gain commitment and motivate the team members then, participative style is the best option.

A good example where authoritarian leadership applies well is in the army. For instance, when fighting in a war and you are told to get down. You will probably have to get down or else you might be shot.

  • Lewis, A. (1993). Leadership styles. Arlington, VA: American Association of School Administrators.