I have found leadership without direct report to be more enjoyable in many ways. It is not simply not having the day to day responsibility of management, in fact thsre is the problem of having no direct control. Less power, more influence is a good way to think about it. Inspiration and motivation become the primary tools for management that for some reason gets lost in the traditional direct reporting structure. To be sure, politics still plays a substantial factor, but to think of it as the primary factor is to lose sight of the objective.