In ancient times, kings had absolute authority over their subjects. They could lead their subordinates (generals, governors, ministers, and other subservient officers) however they liked. Some were benevolent who reigned with kindness and led sensitively and, in return, were revered by their subjects and/or admired by their subordinates. But still, many malevolent or tyrant kings ruled with cruelty and led their subordinates wrathfully, while creating an environment of fear. They persecuted their subjects; destroying landmark buildings of vanquished empires and instigating mass murders and mayhems during their expansionistic reigns. The old kingly idea of leading people continued even in the modern age and still exists. However, the last several centuries have seen the gradual abolishment of kingdoms (thanks to the age of enlightenment and advances in all sciences including social sciences). They have now been replaced by various democracies, including a monarchial democracy in which kings/queens play only ceremonial roles. As such, the power has been shifted to the people who, having personal freedoms/rights, elect a person, called a politician, by often secretly voting for someone who seems to share their strongly-held principles and deeply-entrenched values. To get their votes, these politicians promise to fight for their demands and have their voices heard and incorporated in legislative sessions. The people call this person their political leader. Written policies shift the guidance or leadership responsibility from an authoritative person to approved procedures Societies around the world have seen many other kinds of leaders, which include team leaders, business leaders, religious leaders, organisation leaders, institution leaders, key opinion leaders and even thought-leaders. The word, leader, may conjure up a conceit or an image of being bestowed upon an imperial or autonomous power in the mind of a person elected to a certain position that requires leading subordinates. Leadership, in this case, obviously relies on the elected/selected person, who may have certain biases, which may influence their statements. This may even be contrary to what is expected of them. Also, the leadership role may even cause the person to have a misguided mindset; potentially resulting in autocracy or a non-conducive or unhealthy work environment; demoralising the subordinates. Furthermore, the selected person may even use unethical approaches, fraught with lies and deceits; disappointing the people who rooted for them. Obviously, educated people are not a herd of sheep. Nor are they to be told what to do in this age of information. Also, relying on a person for guidance is potentially consequential–sometimes, even dangerous–as the mind of a person may suddenly change due to an unavoidable situation or an unresolved role-related scenario. An elected politician, for example, who is expected to represent the voters’ voices in legislative sessions may say or do certain things for personal gains or political expediencies while ignoring their voters’ voices. Incidentally, it is worth mentioning that in actuality, the elected politician is the representative of the voters, not the leader of the voters, and thus must be called a political representative, not a political leader. Hence, leadership by a person cannot be always relied on. So, what can be predictably relied upon, have consistencies, and meet all reasonable expectations? Written policies and related procedures that are prepared and reviewed collectively by experts with everybody’s contribution and consensus! These shift the guidance or leadership responsibility from an authoritative person to the approved procedures that would lead to effective action. For example, in regulated industries, such as medical devices and pharmaceutical industries, leadership is by procedures, not by persons. A medical device or pharmaceutical company functions by monitoring, measuring, managing, and mentoring (4Ms) per the approved procedures that are to be followed by all employees (top to bottom). Mentoring is all about sharing experiences, imparting knowledge, and teaching skills of expertise while managing is done not by absolute orders or intimidating instructions–verbal–but by a positive power of influence. This requires a 4P management style: Positive (being solution-driven), Pulling (bridging with people while being empathetic), Persuasiveness (logical, technical or administrative), and Participatory (involving all stakeholders in sharing information and making decisions). So, approved procedures are, in essence, leadership in medical device and pharmaceutical companies, responsible for public health and safety, Therefore, it is vital for all employees of a medical device or pharmaceutical company to follow them; not any authoritative person. In a company of an unregulated industry, which may have standards, but might not require them, leadership is mainly by a person in charge, who has personal and/or company–accepted policies and directs the subordinates to do what must be done and how it must be done. The subordinates are expected to listen and learn and to follow the leader, whether the instructions are clear and consistent. So, it is advisable for companies in unregulated industries to also come up with established, documented policies and procedures, based on any applicable internal or institutional standards. Similarly, to maintain impartiality and/or ethics, it is also advisable for an employee to not follow an employer (i.e., a boss) as “to follow” also means “to walk behind” someone. But instead, the employee should be walking along the side of the boss to support him/her, to carry out mutually agreed upon directions, and to report to the boss only those things that fall as responsibilities of the employee’s position. Also, do not be friends, but be friendly with the boss. Therefore, leadership-by-person should be outdated and replaced by leadership-by-procedure. Even, the word leadership, which is an old kingly idea, should be bid farewell to. Instead, the word management should be used in all walks of life. The writer tweets @jamilmogul.