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Yes and no. You can move mountains with good teams, this is great and you will draw satisfaction from. But IDK if you had ever 100+ people in your reporting line for a longer time. Then you knew that it's everything BUT definitely not a lot of fun. It's super hard work and will push you and your mind dangerously to the limit.





It's a different mindset, but I still think it's fun. For me, the key with that size of a group was focusing on the development of the leaders under me. When I make sure they are set up for success, things go smoothly.

The hardest time in my life was trying to micromanage a large group. Once you let go, and focus on the bigger picture, it's quite fun. Challenging, for sure, but very fun.


Hint: you should never frame your reports in such a way ('leaders under me'), 101 of leadership; but let's move on: I think we are not talking about the same; managing people has no short-term feedback loops like coding, it can be fun yes but many confuse this fun with the status involved; from a rational perspective and with the experience of heading larger headcounts (did you lead 100+ teams for a longer time?) paired with hitting ambitious org goals, I find it hard to call 'managing people' fun.

Holdover from the military. I can see you're framing it as "beneath", which would be very inappropriate, but it references "under your charge". Thanks for pointing out that it could be misconstrued.

I am sorry to hear you have not enjoyed your time leading a large group. It certainly has its challenges, but I assure you it can be quite fun and rewarding.


This is getting a bit too deep now. I didn't say that I didn't enjoy it. I like challenges, my initial notion was just to express that words like 'fun' are far away from what leadership is. Btw, you didn't answer the question if you led 100+ people for a longer time. Besides and no offense, military, authoritative leadership styles might not be the right approach in tech environments (like those where engineers work).

With regards to the military, good leadership works in any organization. I do not speak to my engineers the way I would speak to a platoon, but I lead them the same.

Quite a few years running teams up to 300, now about 3000.

And you have time to be on HN?

What is the proper way to frame reports? "leaders reporting to me", "managers I manage"?

DNA evidence works well.

In all seriousness, I recommend not referring to them as "reports" at all. Call them "My Team", "us", "we". It creates a sense of collective ownership.

When talking up, I use specific names, or "the team" to reference tasks or successes, and "I" when we talk about failures. I own what goes wrong, they own what goes right.


Hm, how should this work? If I'd ask you, 'How many direct reports do you have', what would you say? You need to use the term 'direct report' again.

If you fuzzed around with 'my team' while I try to understand you team structure, your direct report count, their profile, which and how many reports they again have, you'd drive me nuts with a fake 'my team' humbleness.

Using the term 'report' is absolutely ok, you shouldn't talk all day long of your reports of course or trying to impressive anyone.


You seem to be taking something about this thread very personally. I'm sorry for that. I hope you have a good day.

You think so? I just disagreed with the things you wrote because I think some of your statements are wrong and/or mislead and they're altogether also inconsistent.

I don't believe they are inconsistent, but I also have the advantage of knowing my own life intimately. I suppose the context makes a difference.

There are very few "rules" in this game, so feel free to manage differently. You have 100+ on your team, so I'm sure your methods worked well for you, as mine have for me.


Just reports. The ones directly reporting to you are called 'direct reports'. Latter also implies a bigger headcount and that the direct reports are managers themselves. So if you have a small, flat team you call your direct reports just reports.

I for one think the expression 'leaders under me' is clear, accurate and inoffensive to anyone.

Okay. And lots of people don't find grabbing tickets and coding all day to be a lot of fun.

Management is work. But so is coding. Some people prefer one. Some people prefer the other.


Um. Most people never managed many other people, how should they know what they prefer?

I've managed other people and find it more fun than coding. You do you.

100+ people doesn't scale. This is not how you lead. You need to form a pyramid structure or your leadership won't be effective.

You think I meant 100 direct reports? Without any structure?

No. But 100 in your direct line doesn't scale. These people should be invisible to you.

It would be impossible for someone to be CEO of say Google under your logic.




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