Based on a multi-language search, we qualitatively describe and meta-analytically summarize the growing but often ignored research literature on behaviors associated with paternalistic leadership (PL), a form of leadership that is considered to be acceptable and prevalent in many Non-WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) cultures. PL is conceptualized as the simultaneous enactment of two seemingly paradoxical leadership behaviors: 1) benevolence – the holistic and genuine care for followers’ well-being even outside the workplace, and 2) authority – non-exploitative use of behaviors that emphasize power and control based on status and hierarchy. Results from 165 independent samples from 152 studies (total N = 68,395) in fourteen countries demonstrate a consistently divergent pattern across the dimensions. Even in societies where PL is presumed to be more prevalent and acceptable, the strong control (authoritarianism) dimension is consistently negatively related to task performance, citizenship behaviors, creativity, attitudes towards the leader, and job attitudes. Conversely, the benevolence dimension demonstrates consistently positive relationships with leader effectiveness and follower performance, attitudes, and behaviors. The most commonly used measure of PL includes a morality dimension, which produces positive effects similar to the benevolence dimension. Collectively, PL dimensions (as well as a separate unitary measure of PL emphasizing benevolence) predict incremental variance beyond transformational leadership and beyond LMX. Based on conceptual and empirical grounds, it appears that PL (especially benevolence) is not fully captured in mainstream approaches to leadership and may add value to our understanding of the universe of ways leadership can be enacted. Several directions for future research are discussed, including the need to study the rarely-examined interactions between benevolence and authority, in line with the core of PL theory.