These days, everybody’s a Creative Director.

My brother flew jets for the Navy and is now a pilot for Southwest. When I visited him during flight training, he had a thick binder of procedures strapped to his left leg. “Is that how to fly?” I asked. “No. Flying’s the easy part; this is all about getting out of emergencies.

Being Creative Director is easy, too, until your team doesn’t have an idea, isn’t executing in a compelling way or is marching passionately off-strategy. How do you help them out of a tailspin when there’s no time left? What do you say to motivate them after they’re asked to go back to the drawing board for the third time?

Today, it seems like anyone with an opinion and some authority can assume the role of Creative Director. But being Creative Director isn’t about issuing token judgements on what’s funny or looks cool. It’s knowing the exact right thing to say to persuade others on an idea, to inspire bigger thinking that makes a difference as well as a sale, and to help clients and colleagues believe in the irrefutable power of creativity and emotion when it comes to connecting with an audience.