Research in psychology, education, organizational behavior, sociology, biology, neurology, etc., are increasingly teasing out the deleterious effects of stress. Prescriptions for stress interventions run the gamut - medication, meditation, exercise, therapy, diet, ..........
Many leaders believe that "threat" is an effective trigger for improved performance. The mounting body of evidence suggests otherwise. Stress causes our brain to default toward the Fight or Flight or Freeze response triad, none of which are catalysts of optimal performance.
There is a very fine line between challenge and threat. The best leaders (i.e., parents, bosses, coaches, teachers, mentors) know well that when our words/actions/behaviors become perceived to be Threat instead of Challenge achievement prospects of our goals for the child/mentee/team immediately are diminished rather than enhanced.
Leadership practitioners are wise to avoid becoming stresstitioners.