"There is no such thing as a perfect creative director. And there never will be. If you are dictatorial, you will be considered an egomaniac. If you are passive, people doubt your commitment. If you create advertising yourself, your staff will consider you competition. If you delegate all the tasks, they will call you lazy. If you consort with others in management, you will be seen as a politician. If you align yourself strongly with the creative group, management will consider you divisive. You'll never please everyone. You should know that and quit worrying about it. Then you can get on with getting ads done, somehow. Because in the final analysis, that is how you'll be measured. Besides, it is the only way you can measure yourself." –Anonymous
Sheesh! That was a downer. It does have some merit of truth but where does this guy work? What kind of world is it where a creative director has to just duck his or her head and try to get the work done, somehow? One thing that’s obvious is that it isn’t an agency that is committed from the top down to the work. If everyone in the agency knows that “it’s about the work”, the CD is their best friend. That’s a utopian agency experience for a CD. You’re aligned with management because management is aligned with great work. You do work yourself because your staff knows that if you let your blade dull you’re a bad judge of what breaks the rules and you’ve forgotten the pain of rejection. If you’re not aligned with creative, agency management views you as a hack because that’s what you are. Creative should consume the CD. It’s air. Why else would you work in this business? I can sell insurance or real estate and make a lot more money and go home at 5 p.m. every night. I’ve wanted to do great work since my first typography class in college. I was possessed and I still am. The perfect creative director in my book is flawed as a human, but a guardian angel to those who are in this business to do great work.