Among the several leadership styles we tend to characterize leaders as autocrats or democrats (it is actually the easiest to do) forgetting that neither extreme is always good for the team, the company or the state. Being authoriatarian means to treat people as functionaries rather than as thinking individual beings. According to Alan Axelrod in his wonderful work on Gandhi, this is a bad bargain for management because it fails to make full use of the company’s constly human assets, as authoritarian leaders greatly damage their people’s morale.
On the other hand, democratic leaders (CEOs or politicians) make a different mistake as they might believe that the majority should prevail. Is their objective to please as many of their employees beneficial to the company? Is it even a valid goal to please one’s employees? More valid goals include creating customer satisfaction, providing excellent service, produce a worthwile product, increase shareholders value because it is this way that the company will survive and succeed in the long run. It is only through creating a successful and robust country that a state leader will please all the inhabitants of a country, among which are the citizens, whose life and wellbeing depends on the success of the country.
However, sometimes leaders in order to achieve sustainability need to make decisions that are contrary to the expressed will or beliefs of their people. Is that bad? Who said that the leader always has to please the majority? Who says that the majority is always right? Listening to many in order to have them pleased and not to the experts is not always the right thing to do.
«Leadership is often said can feel very lonely, as leadership is lonely! The final decision is made by a single, solitary human being. Every other attitude, belief or policy relating to leadership is either subordinate to this truth or is an instance of self-delusion» Passive Resistance, Hind Swaraj by Mohandas Gandhi, 1909
I have to shout it louder so that it reaches to the top as decision is prior to any action: ARE YOU READY TO BE A LONELY LEADER?