Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Random thought about director-level hiring

I have heard some iteration of this sentiment from three agency leaders in the past year:

I have been trying to find the right interactive director for my agency. I keep hiring these brilliant, inspirational thought leaders and they always flop. Great speakers, but they just can't get projects done. The next hire I make, I am am going to ask to see applicants' code. And if they can't show me actual code they have written, I am showing them the door.

This makes sense to me. After all, I have never met a creative director who didn't start his career in the trenches, creating work as a copywriter or art director. Why should any director-level position be different?

But then again, maybe it doesn't make sense at all. Not all great workers are suited to be managers. (I know genius creatives with stellar portfolios who never became creative directors.) And not every great manager was a screaming success as a worker. (For instance, John Fox never played a down in the NFL.)

I don't have an answer. I'm not even sure I am asking a question. It's just what's rolling around in my head. Who wants to buy me CD: Y0?

1 comment:

Sandra Vanhooser said...

As far as managing goes- you're spot on. Not everyone is cut out to be a great manager. It's just not in the cards for some people. I've made this statement true through my expience at both managing and being "managed". Some people have that innate ability to lead. To direct and get shit done. All the while producing results. Not only results related to sales or project management, but results relating to the people they are managing. Can that person direct and delegate and lead while also empowering and (in daddy's words) teach the, how to fish. I've met too many managers that do all the fishing and never teach their team how to fish. You mine as well strap an anchor to your leg and dump it in the ocean because that won't get you very far. I think it takes a special person to be a great manager. And unfortunately, not everyone is special.

(just kidding- everyone is special in their own way)