Autocratic vs. Democratic Essay

The company I work for has been providing aviation services for more than thirty years.

They started out as the first FBO (Fixed Base Operation) in Mobile, Alabama, and have since grown within the aviation industry; providing services to all aspects of the business. Today the company serves twenty-eight locations throughout the United States, providing under wing (ground handling), passenger screening and skycap services to all airlines.Other services that are offered by the company include management for cargo operations, aircraft exterior/interior cleaning, ground transportation, GSE maintenance, and other various aviation related services. Of the twenty-eight locations, Sacramento International Airport is the largest ramp operations the company has to offer. Before some recent changes (i.

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e. Continental and United Airlines merging), there were ten airlines on site. Of the ten, we handle the ground services for five; perform maintenance for six; and manage cargo for all but one.It takes a lot of human power in dealing with the ground operations, cargo facility, and GSE in Sacramento.

To date, there are currently about eighty-four to ninety employees on staff in SMF (airport identifier for Sacramento). The management/leadership levels are as follows: Station Manager, Operations Manager, Cargo Manager, Supervisor, and Lead. My role is the Operations Manager, which oversees all ground operations in station. I answer only to the Station Manager, wherein lies the problem.

The Station Manager has been at his role in SMF for seven years.I was recruited by him and my predecessor a little under a year ago. I fully understand what role I play within the station’s operations and what my title demands of me, but the Station Manager is hindering me from fulfilling my duties to the company and delivering the best product possible to our clients. This is due to our difference in leadership/management styles. In the time that I have spent with this company, it has come to my attention that the Station Manager is a strong autocratic leader, whereas I am the polar opposite, a powerful democratic leader. Problem StatementWe in SMF want to deliver the best possible product to all of our customers, with no failures or shortcomings, keeping peak communication open amongst all. Currently we have too many disappointed customers and staff that want nothing to do with the Station Manager due to his many empty promises, lack of professionalism, and boss-centered leadership. If this problem is ignored any longer and allowed to persist further, we may continue to experience more failures which will result in loss of revenue along with our customer and employee base to other contract service companies.

Research “The quality of the leader determines the quality of the organization. A leader who lacks intelligence, virtue, and experience cannot hope for success. ” (Ming-Dao 66) According to Daft, autocratic leaders gain power from their position. They control everything through rewards and intimidation. Democratic leaders delegate authority to others, encourage participation, rely on the knowledge of their subordinates to complete tasks, and depend on subordinates’ respect for influence (44-46).A study conducted by the University of Iowa showed that subordinates of an autocratic style performed very highly only when the leader was around.

However, their attitudes were very negative and hostile at times. Democratic subordinates performed the same, but it did not matter whether the leader was present or not. Their attitudes were opposite of the autocratic group as well. They portrayed positive attitudes (Daft 44-46). Recommended Solution Enabling subordinates to conduct and perform leadership tasks under the democratic style of leadership promotes a sense of empowerment.

Getting all nvolved in decision making creates a strong group bond within the group. The democratic style of leadership is the most advantageous way to go. “In any conflict, the circumstances affect the outcome. Good leaders can succeed in adverse conditions. Bad leaders can lose in favorable conditions. Therefore, good leaders constantly strive to perfect themselves, lest their shortcomings mar their endeavors.

When all other factors are equal, it is the character of the leader that determines the outcome. ” – Ming-Dao, Deng. Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony.

New York: HarperCollins, 1996. Print.


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