What You Should Know About Handling a Team of Creatives

handling a team of creatives
handling a team of creatives

If there’s one thing we all understand about creative people, it’s this:

They’re a lot different than the rest of us.

Creatives are “individuals” in the truest sense, and tend to eschew the kind of structure and organization that so many others are naturally drawn to.

How, then, do we go about handling such creatives? What kind of leadership management do we employ in these situations?

As Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s Evan Fry so succinctly sums up, creative folks “are individual people and have unique things that motivate them.”

Look, here’s the deal:

When it comes down to it, in leadership management you need to appeal to the specialized motivations of creatives in order to successfully handle a team.

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Take stock of what you’re going for. Just what are you aiming for with your team and, moreover, your agency as a whole? What’s the overarching directive? Reconsider the process your agency typically employs, and actually sit down and take the time to consider how that process may work well and coalesce with your specific team of creatives — and how it may not.
  2. Lead by example. Don’t be hesitant to dive into work yourself. Leading by example and not just acting as an overseer will show your creative team that you aren’t an absentee overlord. Instead, performing a little work on any given team task yourself will demonstrate to your creatives that you’re a true leader that’s invested in the job and, in turn, each of them.
  3. Cater to your team’s abilities. Consider each member of your creative team as an individual, and examine each one’s particular abilities, strengths, and tendencies. An integral part of successful leadership management is being able to assess all the working parts of your team and assembling them in a manner that can lead to the most efficient results on any given task.
  4. Don’t badger them about their process. Again, creatives are different than the rest of us. They don’t think the same way you do when it comes to accomplishing tasks, so be sure not to attempt to too stringently apply your process to theirs. Creative people have their own way of doing things, and sometimes consider it to be an almost sacred way of working. As long as they attend mandatory meetings, you should allow them to work outside normal hours and remotely, whenever possible. It isn’t necessarily important that you understand how a creative achieved something, just as long as they do.
  5. Keep them producing, but avoid overworking. As someone invested in leadership management, it’s important that you constantly remind yourself that creatives are “funny” people. As with most other kinds of employees, you must be careful not to stress out and overwork your creative team. Allowing timely breaks is important. However, interestingly, creatives need to be encouraged to consistently produce their art. If creatives do not stay productive and instead languish, they can — and likely will — grow unhappy, discontented, and may even lose interest in being creative altogether.

If you’re looking to learn more about handling teams of creatives — or just looking to improve your leadership management in general — we at VTDI are immensely well-positioned to help.

What makes us so special? Here’s the scoop:

Established in June, 2008 in the Kingdom of Bahrain, VTDI is a training institute specifically focused in delivering career-relevant education and enhancing the knowledge, skills, and general know-how of workforces everywhere. VTDI excels at training new leaders and sharpening the talents and knowledge base of existing leaders, adding tremendous value to the field of leadership management.

Whether you’re entirely new to the game or feel that your experiences and expertise can yet be bolstered by furthering your education and training, we’re here to assist you.

Looking to discover more? Contact VTDI today!


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