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The Cat Herder: The Role and Function of the Agency Creative Director
Unformatted Document Text:  THE  CAT  HERDER     17   And he went on to describe the skills of the ideal creative director: Good leadership skills are #1. Being a leader, versus a boss. People management. Being able to understand creative when it’s still abstract. Know design well enough and copy well enough to guide a team—to know both sides intelligently. Inspiration occurs first from an acknowledgement of the creative director’s personal track record—leading by example, by having done amazing work. In other cases, that is accomplished by more active means: Sometimes, they create their own boundaries—so I challenge them and rely on their internal desire to do really good work. A creative challenge, a gauntlet (CD S1). Due to the new media revolution, a good deal of inspiration comes from sharing what is new and what is possible. Some creatives and creative directors view that as every creative’s responsibility, others view that as a leadership role via informal (e-mail) sharing or setting up regular weekly or monthly showings of the latest creative innovation and technology in the industry, or by showing of the latest agency creative output to all. The agency CD at S2 said his role as creative director was is to push new looks, styles, directions, mainly because he is more aware of other agencies. He tries to keep in touch with other creative directors and creative awards and the standards of the industry. He knows what look is out/in. A creative director at L3 considered active team building methods “boondoggles,” and unnecessary. He preferred to lead by example: good attitude, good work ethic, being on time and focused. Another CD at that agency said that motivation came from “giving ideas on how to make better” (L3). On the other hand, one writer questioned how much motivation creatives really needed: “It’s hard to get a job here, so they’re already motivated” (L3).

Authors: Mallia, Karen., Windels, Kasey. and Broyles, Sheri.
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THE  CAT  HERDER  
 
17  
 
And he went on to describe the skills of the ideal creative director: 
 
Good leadership skills are #1. Being a leader, versus a boss. People management. 
Being able to understand creative when it’s still abstract.  Know design well enough 
and copy well enough to guide a team—to know both sides intelligently

 
Inspiration occurs first from an acknowledgement of the creative director’s personal 
track record—leading by example, by having done amazing work. In other cases, that is 
accomplished by more active means: Sometimes, they create their own boundaries—so I 
challenge them and rely on their internal desire to do really good work. A creative challenge, 
a gauntlet (CD S1). 
 
Due to the new media revolution, a good deal of inspiration comes from sharing what 
is new and what is possible. Some creatives and creative directors view that as every 
creative’s responsibility, others view that as a leadership role via informal (e-mail) sharing or 
setting up regular weekly or monthly showings of the latest creative innovation and 
technology in the industry, or by showing of the latest agency creative output to all. 
The agency CD at S2 said his role as creative director was is to push new looks, styles, 
directions, mainly because he is more aware of other agencies. He tries to keep in touch with 
other creative directors and creative awards and the standards of the industry. He knows what 
look is out/in. 
 
A creative director at L3 considered active team building methods “boondoggles,” 
and unnecessary. He preferred to lead by example: good attitude, good work ethic, being on 
time and focused. Another CD at that agency said that motivation came from “giving ideas 
on how to make better” (L3). On the other hand, one writer questioned how much motivation 
creatives really needed: “It’s hard to get a job here, so they’re already motivated” (L3). 


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