There are at least two or three different types of creative directors you can face in our business. And I suppose what distinguishes these types is their amount of hands-on-ness.
Some, and there's not really anything wrong with this, get right in there with you. They thrash out every word, collaborate over every color, they sweat every detail with you.
Others are more diffident. They work under the assumption that they hired you, or you were hired for a reason, and they leave you pretty-much alone to do your work the way you do it. They're there for important reasons even though they're not in the trenches with you. They make sure you don't go "native," that you aren't just a mouthpiece for the client.
They're also, and I think most important, there to make sure your level of ambition stays elevated. That you keep doing work that isn't merely good under the circumstances but is good, period.
I happen to like the technique of a creative director I'm now working for.
He combines elements of the two methods I described above. He'll push and push and challenge you along the way. But you never cede your work to him. It's yours.
And he's ok with it.
Ok that is if you answer one question to his satisfaction.
Before client meetings he'll ask you, "are you happy?"
If you're not, the meeting is cancelled or you're working all night making yourself happy.
I think the "Are you happy" scheme is a pretty smart way to run a business.
Creatives are hard on themselves and are notoriously hard to please. If they're happy with the work, chances are it will work for the client, for the agency, for the people involved.
I think it's a pretty good way of moving forward.