Getting beyond “I know All the Answers.”

Finzel, Hans. The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make. Colorado: Nexgen, 2000

Chapter 5: Dictatorship in Decision-making: Getting beyond “I know All the Answers.”


In this chapter, the leadership of a Hitler type is exposed. This is the leadership personality that kills off the maverick kind. There is no room for the individual personality. This form of leadership likes things done their way. The important roles that surround this dictator are those who have invested the most in this leader’s mind. They don’t care much for others and especially their input. The opposite of this leadership approach is that of the facilitator.

A facilitator creates an environment that includes everyone they are facilitating. They work best in a team atmosphere. Input is encouraged. In contrast, the dictator likes to be in charge and enjoys making all the decisions themselves. They think they are the only experts whose input in needed giving exceptions to like-minded people. Most of all they like everyone they lead to know that they are in charge and all information comes from their office. The opposite is true of a facilitator.

The facilitator’s leadership depends on those around them. Decisions are made democratically. The involve everyone when important decisions need to be made. Knowledge is dispersed throughout the entire group. They choose to develop others. People are great value for the input they can give. Lastly, they allow others room to make decisions on their own.


This chapter reminds me of some leaders I have served under. It actually was a difficult chapter to read because of the experiences I have had in my life. The sad part is that the last pastor I served with told me that dictatorship is the best leadership style to have in the church. It is the way he has been able to get things done or the way it sounded was to have things done his way.

I know that “The Top-down” leadership style seemed to be the most natural for leaders, but I think the “Dictatorship” should have been up at the top of the list. In my experience, this style seems to come natural. Though I am not a dictator type of leader, I do however see how many could let leadership go to their head and rule with an iron fist. Again, I am glad that the author includes scripture because it gives us balance to see that Jesus had no hint of being a dictator, then we shouldn’t lead that way either.

What I Have Learned:

I have learned I do not want to ever get close to being a dictator and if I do then that will be the day I retire from leadership.


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