The Physics of Leadership


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One of the laws of physics states that “for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction”. The same is true for leadership, “for every action a leader takes there is a corresponding reaction from followers”. This simple truth is often over-looked by leaders, as leaders we often under estimate the influence we have over followers. I’m often reminded of this in situations where people say to me, “remember when you said xzy to me a few years ago? Well, that caused me to change this in my life”. Usually I don’t remember the exact situation they’re referring to or what I said however, it always reminds me, that as leaders, we never know when and what impact we’re having on others. As leaders we often under-estimate our influence.

“A leader leads by example, whether he intends to or not.” – Author Unknown

Usually, it’s the questions we ask, the stories we tell and the example we set, that influence those around us, shaping their thinking and actions. Reflecting on this…

  • What example are we setting for those around us?
  • Are we conscious about what we say and how we act, knowing that we are always influencing others?
  • Are we conscious of the example we’re setting?


  1. says

    Great post and excellent point George. I tell my student leaders that your example becomes the picture in people’s minds. Example is influential, even if you’re not present at the moment of decision. What you do has a lasting effect (for good or bad).

  2. Barbara Campbell - BCounts4You says

    I like to share with people that they should seek inspiration by looking around themselves. And at the same time, remember someone else may be looking at you for their own inspiration! Thanks for the post George!

  3. says

    On a related theme there is a law of Chemistry about the conservation of energy: “energy can be neither created or destroyed; the energy of the universe is constant” I think there is an opportunity to take a handfull of leadership lessons from that one as well

    Thanks for the post George

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