Bill Drake. Creative director. Art director. Digital designer.
There is an indescribable magic found when each member of my rock band is clicking. No words are spoken. But when you look around the stage, each one of us has the exact same smile. I experience that same magic when every player in my creative department has found their rhythm — their unique isn't magic. It is a process that leads to magic. My goal is to get all of the off-key, solo artists to find their collective pitch — so the agency can make theirs. I love every step. Defining the strategy. Sharing the strategy. Working in the trenches to bring it to life. And when it all comes together, we all sit back and smile.

The magic doesn't come from sheet music. It is, however, orchestrated. The magic comes from a creative culture. A culture that understands and embraces the creative process — respecting its successes and failures equally. Inherent to that culture is giving creative teams the freedom to take chances, to improvise, to risk bad ideas in the pursuit of great ones. A culture of “directed freedom” is a culture that thrives. Supporting the great ideas and ignoring the bad ones builds confidence. Confidence in themselves. Confidence in their leadership. And from confidence comes great work. I build cultures with energy, with passion and without ego.

Three-part harmony.
Outstanding creative leadership requires the conscious balancing of three variables: great work, great relationships and great profitability. None are mutually exclusive, but each is mutually important. Breakthrough work is the product of the right talent, working on the right accounts. Productive relationships are the result of listening and asking the right questions. And like any well-run business, superior profitability is the ultimate measuring stick. While we'd all like to think we are artists, somebody's got to pay the bills.

Decisive. Decisive. Decisive.
A really good bandleader must be decisive. Time and energy are lost when you waver. The best decisions come from the gut. The gut, however, is not baseless. A solid gut is borne of preparation, talent and experience. It's part instinct. Part experience. All invaluable.

Best ideas win.
At the core of our business are ideas. Ideas move business. Ideas move clients. Ideas move creative teams. Ideas move, period. The math is simple: The more ideas + the better the ideas = the more value we bring to our clients. When you build a creative culture that values an active exchange of ideas, there's a buzz — an unmistakable and infectious buzz. From that buzz, great ideas are generated, collectively pounded out, nurtured and realized. There's nothing better than a great buzz.

There is beauty in simplicity.
My music is always simple. I play with only a few chords, creating the right groove, tempo and voice. My leadership style is equally simple: Start with the fundamentals of clearly communicating expectations and objectives; keep the group on the right path with careful criticism and praise…and watch the magic happen.