Do Managers Need to be Stable?
A concise definition of stability is ‘someone who is relaxed, unemotional, rarely gets irritated and seldom feels blue’.
Stability clearly has something to do with anxiety and on the 16PF questionnaire the characteristics that are attached to stability are:
Relaxed: tranquil, composed, has low drive, unfrustrated
Self-assured: secure, feels free of guilt, untroubled, self-satisfied
Emotionally stable: mature, faces reality, calm
The psychologist Hogan showed that characteristics of different personality disorders can operate to derail management careers. Studies have shown a positive correlation between neuroticism and derailers, particularly with excitability and over-cautiousness.
A recent study by Dr Hugh McCredie showed a high correlation between effective managers and emotional stability, although this is not supported fully by other studies. It would appear that the biggest connection is between stability and how colleagues rate the overall effectiveness of their peers.
Managerial roles are inherently stressful in that they exist to supervise others handling threats and opportunities. McCredie’s conclusion is that most effective managers will score above the 40th percentile of the general population as far as emotional stability is concerned.