Learn English – another word for “boss” for a company with a flatter hierarchy


In today's more modern companies (especially IT startups etc.) that have a flatter hierarchy, the word "boss" seems to be outdated and doesn't describe the job role of someone who takes care of a team, making sure they have everything they need, making sure they stay on target, meet deadlines, but also has a superior role (e.g. can hire and fire) etc.

I'm looking for a word for the sentence when writing a client, "I'll be coming to the meeting with my _."

  • boss: too out-dated
  • manager: a boxer has a "manager", he's not my personal manager, sounds odd, or sounds like we work in a warehouse
  • supervisor: sounds to high, as if he tells me what to do, as a child needs an "adult supervisor"
  • team-leader: sounds odd and he doesn't really "lead", sounds like the army

The best I can think of is "team manager" but if he only has two people that he takes care of, it's a bit misleading to call us a "team", plus it has the same connotation as "manager" as if I can't "manage" things by myself and need someone else to do it. And "assistant" sounds as if he follows me around gets me things I need, which also isn't the case.

What is the best word for someone who takes care of the needs of e.g. developers so that they can get their job done more efficiently but also has the ability to hire/fire and highly influence decisions on which projects they work on?

Best Answer

I would suggest project manager or project leader. They suggest that this person is in charge of the work being done, not necessarily the people doing it (except with regards to the actual tasks involved in the project).

These terms could also suggest that you and your "boss" are actually complete equals, but that your "boss" is taking the lead on this particular project (whereas you are in charge of other ventures, where this "boss" would submit to your authority on related matters).