Democracy or Dictatorship…..Which way works better?

Many managers wonder should I be a dictator and tell my employees what to do without allowing them to have input? Or should I be a democrat and discuss everything before taking any decisions???

Well I personally think that a successful manager should be a democratic dictator!

As strange as this sounds, it is true and the only way that works well.  There are times when you should discuss the matter with your team and take their opinions and ideas and even vote for what should be done.  And there are other times when you should discuss and take their opinions and ideas and then decide on your own what should be done.  And there are other times when you should, think, decide and just inform them that this is what they have to do.

aspiring-dictator1A successful manager is the one who can wisely figure out when to follow each of the techniques above.  You have to be very careful because if you follow the wrong technique in the wrong situation, you will end up with chaos.



I have seen a lot of managers take dictatorship decisions and then they find out that it back fired so they decide to change their mind and do something else.  The result is they lose their credibility and they create chaos around the office.    The other way is also true, if you allow employees to discuss issues that they should not you will never be able to control the office.

It sounds complicated but it is not! With a simple recipe you can do this:

  1. Before deciding what to do think……What do I want to do? Do I want to establish a new system? Do I want to increase productivity? Do I want to establish a new workflow? Do I want to create a plan for a project? What exactly do I want to do?? Usually if it something related to internal system, workflow and discipline around the office you should be a dictator.  Employees tend to resist anything related to how they should behave or do their work around the office. 
  2. If it is something related to increasing productivity, enhancing quality, creating a plan for a customer project….anything along that line, well you can listen to as many ideas as you want.  And in this case you should balance when to vote for ideas and when to pick and decide from the pool of ideas that you have.

Of course it is not that rigid, you can also follow the democratic approach whenever you see fit, it really depends on your judgment.  But make sure to follow the right technique in the right time.


4 thoughts on “Democracy or Dictatorship…..Which way works better?

  1. Sounds great… also believe that the manager who listen and respect his co-workers urges everyone in his/her team to abide by his/her decisions when strictly set more over they will believe that s/he is playing for their own sake and success .. win win :).
    Thank you Doha 🙂

  2. RE: Rasha
    Thank you for your comment
    exactly the key is to make them respect you and trust your judgment….if they do they will accept anything from you

    RE: LOL
    If you can get away with it then it would be great 🙂 but if you really can afford to take their opinion and apply it ….do not fake it, do it

  3. I had both bosses (wouldn’t call them managers but similar positions) one was completely laissez faire and the other very centralized. The thing was the extremes proved to be very damaging.
    The laissez faire approach left me at times bewildered as to what exactly should I do. What are the necessary steps I should take to perform this task.

    The other approach was suffocating and inefficient as we wasted too much time on buraucratic matters.

    I guess the democratic dictator approach is the most sound approach as you need to leave some space for your employees to approach work the way they deem fit but also within some guidelines to ensure productivity and morale!

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