Autocratic describes a way of ruling, but not in a nice way. An autocratic leader is one who rules with an iron fist; in other words — someone with the behavior of a dictator.
Autocratic rulers don’t tend to be popular. They use fear and control to gain total power over their people. Often, their country is left destitute as a result of their actions. The word autocratic is often used to describe the head of a country, but really, anyone who is a despotic leader can qualify — including the boss who threatens to fire you if you refuse to polish his shoes and work every holiday.