Everyone in advertising and marketing has a tough job … constantly asked to do more with less, and engage consumers who just really don’t want to be bothered. But Creative Director is a uniquely challenging role because it demands two types of thinking that don’t generally go well together.
To be successful, a Creative Director must be equally Visionary and Pedestrian.
It wasn’t always that way. Most of the historically great CDs we know and love are celebrated for the almost alchemistic way they seem to come up with great ideas. You know, someone like …
But great ideas aren’t enough any more (if, ever, really, they were.)
To be a truly successful leader, a Creative Director must also be Pedestrian. But not pedestrian as in “dull and unimaginative.” No, pedestrian as in “people in motion.”
A great Creative Director, in other words, must not only focus on the destination (the great idea)— s/he must also build the roads that make it easier to get there (process).
Without both those abilities, a CD might be accused of acting like the little kid in the backseat who endlessly asks Are We There Yet? Not only not knowing where “there” is, but also not offering help in getting “there.”
The best Creative Directors (should) spend as much (or more) time thinking about how to make the path to a great idea as direct and intuitive as possible as on the great idea itself.
And that’s a tough double act to pull off. The big picture thinker isn’t generally the nuts-and-bolts person, too. But, of the two skills – being Pedestrian may offer the greatest value.
And again, no, that doesn’t mean being boring. It means helping everyone travel more effectively and efficiently in pursuit of the best possible solution.
Calling your Creative Director “pedestrian” probably won’t go over very well. But helping your Creative Director be more Pedestrian might be just the thing your organization needs.