Author(s): Robert S Robins, Robert M Dorn
The literature on stress and political leadership typically views such potential stressors as time-pressure, severe consequences for bad decisions, inadequate information, and conflicting demands as negative influences on political performance. We know, however, that many politicians thrive on or even require such circumstances. Drawing on medical, historical, psychiatric, psychological, and political science literature, this essay proposes that there are at least three major types of leaders in regard to potential stressors: sturdy warriors (who cope with or who even enjoy and are helped by events commonly reacted to by others as stressors), battle-hungry warriors (who are psychologically drawn to potential stressors and "cannot function," well or badly, without them), and frail warriors (who are unable to cope with stressors). Subcategories, including psychological and political dynamics, are provided.