1.9k views2 Upvotes11 Comments

Director in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Between 7-12 direct report managers that have either 6-15 team members or manage a significant service provider

And in many cases a budget separate from salaries of $10 million or more.

Although at one point I managed $35 million as a senior manager… so it’s not that hard and fast of a rule
VP of IT in Services (non-Government), 201 - 500 employees
Headcount and budget can be the initial factors but exact numbers depends on your organization size and overall budget. I think a few other considerations about when you need this role are less numbers-based:

1) when you need someone with a strategic mindset who has the ability to link the vision from executives to tactical outcomes. Directors are the conduit between strategy and execution. They know how to do the work but they have to have the big picture so the right work gets done.

2) when you need someone who can prioritize and problem solve within the team but also can have conversations across the organization to support decision making around what gets done.

3) when you need someone to coach and develop talent.

Ultimately directors are leaders who have greater accountability than just getting the work done
Chief Information Officer in Manufacturing, 10,001+ employees
Head count, level of responsibility, size of the organization, budget. 
VP IT (CIO role) in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
First the approach and mindset. i.e., is the role intended to manage against execution targets/measures or is it intended to lead towards improvements.  Secondly broad scope of responsibilities, number of resources in the group and budget responsibilities. 
Director of Information Technology in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Organizational structure
Director of Product Engineering & IT in Software, 51 - 200 employees
Being responsible for managing the IT team and at least having a hand setting the vision for IT in the company.  Specific budgets or headcount don't matter as much as the oversight and influence do. 
Director - IT Infrastructure - Databases and eBusiness Specializing in Information Technology in Retail, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Leadership. Strategy and Vision 

We are building a team with the future in focus and helping the organization to have a strong and reliable team.

Budgeting plays an important role 
Senior Director, Information Technology in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Direct reports (involving support services of client/desktop, infrastructure, applications, & data analytics), budget management for and maintenance of complex networks, data centers and/or multi cloud, Enterprise applications  (CRM, ERP, & Collaboration) & strategic partnership with Executives.
Director of Technology and Library Services in Education, 201 - 500 employees
A director has a strategic mindset and is able to synthesize and break down complex issues to solve problems. It's important to have a vision for what can be possible, but it's as important to be an excellent and clear communicator on what that vision entails to those it may affect, and for those who will be part of ensuring that a vision becomes a reality.

This type of role manages a variety of complex things and can see the "big picture." This includes projects, initiatives, budgets, and people. Often, I like to characterize the people managed by me as the ones "doing the real work." In my experience, it's important for a director to be able to read people well in order to make strategic hires to put together the best team possible.
Director in Finance (non-banking), 10,001+ employees
There are some great answers here in the responses. I think a core difference between a director and a manager is that a manager is really leading a team with a specific function whereas a director is leading multiple functions under their own leaders

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One thing I do is include them in the meetings about the changes that will take place and get their opinion.  I also lay out the pros and cons of the changes and how it will effect us as a team moving forward.

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