Mao Zedong ruled China from 1949 to 1976. He was the military strategist and political architect of creating the People’s Republic of China. Mao Zedong was a dictator and he, along with some of his very trusted loyalists and communist party members, established China as a communist state led by a single party at the helm. Almost everything that Mao Zedong did half a century back, specifically to the single party rule and the entire structure of government and bureaucracy, has stood the test of time.
There are people who hail the Mao Zedong leadership style and there are people who do not endorse his extreme views or his often unrealistic goals. Whether or not Mao Zedong leadership style was a grand success can be lucidly understood by looking at how his following reacted to what he did.
Mao Zedong was a visionary and that is beyond all doubts. He was also a smart strategist and a noble thinker. He championed the need for equality among all and sundry in China. But the methods and paths he chose to accomplish some of his goals were often questioned, criticized and ridiculed by some sections of that era and by historians and scholars later. The trouble with Mao Zedong leadership style was that he was not too receptive to opinions contrary to his. This helped him to become a very decisive man and this worked well to build his following in the country as the people started to believe that Mao was superior to the average Chinese, the very same perception of inequality that Mao wanted to get rid of.
Mao Zedong leadership style was about decisiveness, about going through the plans and achieving what one had set out for without any compromise. With such an extreme leadership style, disappointments are more common than anticipated. While Mao did take China to its initial economic boom in the first decade of coming to power, his policies backfired in many ways and his distancing the country from Soviet aid proved to be a poorly thought decision. Mao Zedong was not a flexible leader and he did not have a penchant to amend his views or decisions based on reason provided by others.
The positive outcome of Mao Zedong leadership style was that when he took the right path and could pull off a task because of not entertaining others’ opinions, the results were great. But the same approach was at times counterproductive and completely futile when his plans did not work as desired on the ground.