Great Creative Directors – a model for great managers everywhere

We’ve probably all heard the saying that employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers. And we all know full well the impact a bad manager can have on their staff, not just in being the reason for staff updating their CV and looking for the exit. But what impact can a great manager have?

There are so many theories on the subject, but a recent AdWeek article ’18 Things Great Creative Directors Do Everyday’ provides a pretty good summary of things that a great manager will incorporate into their approach to management on a daily basis. Take out the details about what is particularly needed to manage creative people, and you have a pretty good model of great management for many industries. As with most things to do with managing people, it’s all a matter of balance…

I was particularly interested in this part:

7. Give people a fair chance, but get rid of the duds

A creative department isn’t as good as its best talent. It’s only as good as its worst. If you’ve done all of the above but still have people who aren’t delivering the work that makes your organization or agency famous, they need to move on.

Of course, poor performance doesn’t always have to mean people being shown the door, but arguably it’s better for managers to tackle poor performance or poor productivity early on rather than waiting for it to get worse and drag good performers down.