I work for a large software company and our division has created a newly formed team, and at the moment we all report directly to the VP. The VP has other responsibilities, so this team is just one area of his overall charter. He is not involved in day-to-day activities, but we also don't have a clear team leader or manager. There is a project manager who handles a lot of the coordination with other teams, but our VP is actually his skip-level (he reports into a different manager).
Those of us who are on this team doing the work day in and day out are all senior, and while we work well together it's a bit confusing that we don't really have a "lead" per se. I've spoken to our VP about this, and he feels we can work this out ourselves and that we should see each other as equals.
For now this is OK - we have a rough understanding of how we split up the work, but there is also a lot of overlap between us in terms of ownership from a business and technical perspective. It also leads to challenges such as if I get invited to a meeting and others from the team don't, should I always forward the invites? If someone comes and speaks to me, do I make sure to always include others?
Because we all transferred from existing groups I can see that there might be hesitation for our VP to start compartmentalizing us due to political reasons, and while this structure might be OK in the beginning as we're getting the project off the ground, I can't see it functioning in an efficient manner six months from now.
Am I wrong in thinking that a team needs an explicit leader, whether official or unofficial (e.g., not actually having direct reports but still being designated as the team lead)?