I blogged yesterday on how authoritarian leadership is actually a form of oppression.
How do you know if you are an authoritarian leader?
Aside from understanding basic leadership (see, for example, The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make — especially the first chapter, which is on authoritarian leadership), here’s one test:
Can you tolerate open inquiry? Do you let people ask questions? And do you let them do this not just one-on-one, but in public and in front of the whole staff?
Are you able to defend your views? Do you simply tell people what to do and expect them to do it because you said, or do you seek to show why it is a good idea?
Good leaders love open inquiry and can make a case for their views and the direction they are taking things.
This is probably one reason why, in the church, all elders — not just the main preaching pastor — must be “able to teach” (1 Timothy 3:2). Without the ability to teach and show why you believe something and are doing something, there is little recourse other than to the unbiblical practice of domineering over those in your charge (1 Peter 5:3).