I have been fascinated with leadership since I met Danny Doherty.

I was ten years old; Danny was two years older. His charisma was mesmerizing. In the scouts he was the patrol leader. He displayed patience with his younger charges and he led by example. Danny, more than being “the boss,” was a teacher, a youthful Yoda. It is only within recent years that I have realized the indelible influence this 12-year-old mentor had on my own approach to leadership.

Autocrats incorrectly believe that money is the key to motivation. They fail to realize that money doesn’t inspire loyalty to the mission, but only loyalty to money. It is participation in a common cause that inspires loyalty.

In high school, as the 17-year-old president of a fraternity, I was charged with handling the administrative and financial duties of maintaining the fraternity house. I learned that besides being a mentor, there were responsibilities associated with leadership.

A few years later, in the Marine Corps, I learned about the delegation of authority. I learned that fundamental to being a good leader was learning to be a good follower and then duplicating the process. I learned the duty of the leader to develop teamwork and serve those in your charge.

Discipline, personal accountability and self-confidence are instrumental to these skills. In that pre-Vietnam era these concepts were harshly taught in Boot Camp through fear, physical intimidation and negative reinforcement. Although these techniques are illegal today, they produced magnificent results. Those lessons instilled a drive to accomplish the mission and an appreciation for teamwork and tiers of leadership. My later service reinforced the truth that no matter how good a leader was, the success of the mission depended on the effectiveness of successive junior leaders.

For almost 50 years I’ve been a serious student of leadership. Credentialed with nearly two decades each in the military and corporate America and over a decade in network marketing, I’ve concluded that leadership is a science. All styles of leadership can be reduced to two basic approaches: autocratic control and delegated management.

Autocratic control is clearly the most prevalent management style. People want to be “in charge.”

Such a leader sees himself as omniscient and surrounds himself with folks who can be molded to his own philosophy. He wants people to listen to him; he wants to create dedicated followers who won’t question him; he fears loss of control will usurp his plan. He doesn’t trust the intellect or motives of subordinates. He believes that the most effective method of control is intimidation and fear of loss. His decisions are based solely on his previous experiences or self-interests.

As business grows, he frequently gets bogged down, involving himself with minutiae and the growth pains that result from the failure of his management style. His demise usually results in the collapse of the organization. Ultimately, the full potential for success goes unrealized.

The delegated management approach is more complex and much riskier—but the ultimate rewards are greater.

This system magnifies the insecurity of the autocrat because it appears to involve the surrender of control. The proponent surrounds himself with individuals of equal or greater competence and benchmarks his experience against theirs. He entrusts them with responsibility and decision-making authority. He believes that power is gained, not lost, by giving it away. He believes that delegated authority breeds personal accountability and creates co-ownership in the mission.

This system is designed to fine-tune leaders in lieu of arduously building them from scratch. Because there is a legitimate infrastructure in place, the demise of the leader will have little impact on the continuation of the mission.

Neither system is a democracy, but while the leader also acts decisively within this system, he does so only when absolutely necessary. Problems are handled at the lowest level possible to resolve the situation. Contrary to the autocratic control management style, where the leader insists on having his finger on everything that happens (usually as a result of lack of confidence in subordinates’ capacity to manage effectively on their own), in the delegated management style, there should rarely, if ever, be an internal situation that reaches upper level executive management.

The confidence displayed by the delegated management style builds the self-esteem and confidence of junior leaders. This system is not, however, an apprenticeship for developing leaders. The mission is far too important. In this system, the very best people are put in place up front and fine-tuned, not created.

Autocrats incorrectly believe that money is the key to motivation. They fail to realize that money doesn’t inspire loyalty to the mission, but only loyalty to money. It is participation in a common cause that inspires loyalty. My experience as a military advisor to various indigenous peoples around the world substantiates that the unit effectiveness of the emotionally committed supercedes that of “professional” mercenaries. Lack of inclusion in being part of the solution, not money, is what precipitates successful earners to leave their respective companies to contribute elsewhere.

Why deal with the aggravation of handling all the problems yourself? Find good people, include them in the process, and with a little monitoring, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the show.