“You’re no longer the genius — you’re the idiot”, Iain Tait

Wieden + Kennedy London ECD Iain Tait on how the agency is changing its creative process, the difference between real and fake collaboration and why creative leaders come in all shapes and sizes


Running a creative team is often the complete opposite to being a ‘creative’. You have to get used to the fact that you’re no longer the genius, you’re the idiot. I’m not sure who, but someone put it brilliantly when they said: “take none of the credit and all of the blame”.

If you’re doing it right your job is to get out of the way of others and let them be as good as they can be. You want to be almost invisible. A few years ago I realised that my work was no longer the direct output of the company. My creative output had become the place, the culture, and the people around me – if I’m helping others to do good work, I’m doing my job. I shouldn’t be looking at individual pieces of work or looking for my fingerprints on them.

But it is really hard to sit on your hands while other people are making things. I guess the dark art is how to influence people to do what’s right, but let them feel like it’s all their idea.