By Grace Carter, who is proofreader at Revieweal, website that reviews online writing services.

Running a creative agency is no easy feat, but as a creative director, your job and responsibilities takes things to a whole new level. There are many essential, yet generic management tips that you may already know or have read about, but what about tips from people that are actually living the role you’re in?

Today, we’re going to explore some of the best tips from some of the world’s leading creative directors, such as Rudi Leung and Mark Radcliffe, helping you to improve your skills to become the most successful creative director you can be.

1 – Develop a Mature Mindset

When it comes to people in the creative industry, it’s not uncommon to come up against people who find the creative stereotype. This means people that sleep in until ridiculous hours of the day throw tantrums when things don’t go their way and so on.

As a director, you need to make sure that you’re developing a leader’s and mature mindset that can professionally handle anything your day throws at you.

2 – Respect is Essential

In the successful creative industry, everybody has worked incredibly hard to get to where they need to be, and this is something in itself that deserves the utmost respect and appreciation. As a leader, it can sometimes be easy to be belittling or condensing, but ultimately, this will achieve nothing.

3 – Enlist Fresh Talent

There are more people than ever before who are attending and graduating in creative fields from colleges and universities, some of which have the potential to be amazing talented at what they do.

“Make sure you’re opening opportunities in your business for these young stars to be a part of your business because you’ll never know what incredible energy and excitement they can bring with them,” says Nick Anderson, a creative director for BoomEssays and PaperFellows.

4 – Engage with Individuals

As a leader, it’s easy to generalise your team and consider them all as one big functioning unit. However, this will ultimately lead to the team not respecting you, and this will cause issues in your team dynamic.

When you’re speaking to your team and the people within it, make sure that you’re treating everyone as their own individual, not as a cog in the machine.

5 – Spread the Responsibility

Although you are the creative director in your firm, there’s no reason why you need to on all the responsibilities and graft yourself. After all, you and your creative team are a team, and you’re all working together to achieve a common goal.

If you’re working on a certain project together, exercise a bit of trust by letting certain team members take control of certain tasks. Not only will this help to lighten your own workload, so you can focus on other things, but the sense of trust and responsibility that these individuals have is also not something they’ll take lightly, and they’ll work extra hard to ensure that they succeed in this opportunity that you’ve given them.

6 – Be Proactive When Eliminating Anxiety

As a leader and this rule applies to all leaders in business, you need to make sure that you’re not set apart from the rest of your team. This means that you’re approachable and friendly, yet professional, at all times.

If something is going wrong with a project, you need to make sure that the members of your team are willing and able to approach you to notify you of these problems, without running the risk of being shouted out or scared by you.

Bullying tactics are not the right way to run any kind of business, especially a creative firm so make sure that you’re instilling that team ethic but tackling problems as a team, not just getting angry over them.

7 – Engage in Team Building Exercises

All work and no play is going to put a downer on the spirits of your team. This is why it’s so important to make sure that you’re setting time aside, ideally every week, to allow your team to come together and bond in a way that is going to improve the relationships and the overall working dynamic.

“By allowing your team members to create happy memories together, not only is this going to improve the way they work together dramatically, but it’s also going to bring a much more positive and creative atmosphere into the workplace,” shares Darren Turner, a creative director for Essay Help and Essayroo.

8 – Be Selective with Your Team

A creative firm can only be as good as its worst team members. While some members of the team may have seemed ideal when you were hiring them, it’s safe to say that not all of them will be operating at the level you expect them too, which means that they’ll need to go. Otherwise, you run the risk of holding everybody back.

While you need to be fair and give individuals the chance to excel, there’s only so many chances you can give before they will become more of a problem and will, therefore, cause more problems for your team.

9 – Take the Good with the Bad

As a creative director, when a client or your boss stands up to congratulate you on the work that you’ve produced, it’s easy to stand up and take credit for it. However, when things go south, it’s easy to point the blame at the direction of your team.

As a leader, you’re responsible for when things go both good and bad, so make sure that you’re proactive in this concept.

10 – Give Complete Freedom

While the most important aspects of being creative come from being free to experiment with ideas, saying something along the lines of ‘okay, you can have complete creative freedom on this project’ is a no-go area.

At the end of the day, you need to remember that your creative firm is a business that serves clients and the client is paying the bills and will have a specific product or idea in mind that you need to adhere to at all times.


Written by Grace Carter. 

Prepared and edited by Andrew Carroll, Journalism MA in DIT.  


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