When I think about the business today, the hard, mucky slog of getting a body of work through the agency, through ten or twenty rounds of client review, back through the agency, back through the client and onto the air (or on the web, or in --heaven forfend--a newspaper) I think the best advice I can give is quite simple.
Develop two sets of eyes.
One set of eyes is there to look at the details. They're there to measure and evaluate and see and weigh every bit of input you get along the way. They're eyes that can turn a broken sentence or some insistent jargon upside-down. They're eyes that can see what the various bodies reviewing work are asking you to do, and can find a way to accomplish what's asked without sacrificing your meaning, intent or the quality of communication your eyes demand.
Your first set of eyes are the eyes that sweat the small stuff.
Your second set of eyes are equally important.
They're the eyes that lock-in like a fighter plane on the bigger picture. They see how your work fits into a bigger campaign. They understand that, like Buddha said, every person (and every account) carries its own burdens. How can we address issues, win points and keep work moving forwards--never taking our eyes off the prize, that the work must be good, must impart useful consumer information in an executionally-brilliant way.
So, your eyes have to see in two time frames--the short and everyday, and the long term.
The trick in this business (after 34 years I think I can say this) is to develop double vision.
Seeing only day-to-day problems without seeing the big picture will eat you alive. And seeing only the big picture without seeing the things that get you there will brand you as a dreamer and idealist--a guru of sorts. You'll be good for inspiration, but not so valuable when work needs to get done.