A little fear can help keep your underlings in line, loyally waiting at your every beck and call. A lot of fear, however, can be very detrimental to your health. Such was the case with Joseph Stalin, leader and dictator of the Soviet Union from the mid 1920s all the way through 1953—the year he died.
Stalin's personal physician recommended he step down from the leader position for health reasons after constant dizzy spells and high blood pressure plagued the dictator. Unhappy with the bad news, Stalin had the doctor arrested and accused him of involvement in the "Doctor's Plot". Stalin's people soon learned not to cross him, even with their personal opinion.
Stalin retired to his bedroom on March 1, 1953, giving strict orders not to disturb him the next morning. Stalin didn't emerge from his room at the usual time, but the guards didn't dare knock on the door. At 10 p.m., The Deputy Commandant of Kuntsevo entered the room to check on him and saw him laying on the floor, clothes soaked in stale urine. He had cerebral hemorrhaging, commonly known as a stroke. Stalin died a few days later on March 5.
Fear can go a long way—all the way to your death bed in Stalin's case!