Excellence, not errands.
The pursuit of excellence is a key objective and motivator behind all good work. You cannot approach excellent work with the ambition of simply pushing it through the queue and getting it done.
That is an errand, not excellence.
There is no “simply” behind any good creative work. It takes time, thoughtfulness, care, and revision. Otherwise, it is likely that it will be subpar, or at best it will meet the lowest expectations of anyone involved. Time spent, in what feels like failure, is not by any means the end of the story. Therefore, five hours spent chasing the metaphorical rabbit and his trail, or finding how far it goes, is not time wasted. It is likely that a number of paces back you arrived at a greater idea than you had when you began.
Time is not wasted, just reallocated.
If you don’t think the quality of your work is good, then it is likely that your client will not think so either. If you would not want to use or identify with your work, or you are not excited to present it and don’t feel good about the quality of the material you have designed and developed, then it is likely that your client will agree with you on this, emulating your feelings and lack of enthusiasm.
Therefore, the question becomes: whose opinion is most important…your’s or the client’s? Does the work meet the quality and expectation of your brand, individual and institutional? It may meet the expectation of the brand of your client, but regardless of this, your work should be done in such away that they are framed to be a rockstar as a result of your hard work…your excellent work.
We want to work in such a way that makes our client the hero, that makes them look like the rockstar, and a boss. It is acceptable and even good for them to recieve the credit for the work that we are delivering to them. It is our job to make them look great.
Our work done with excellence must look like their work done with excellence.
Work performed in a vaccuum will not and cannot be your best. You will do better work, especially creative work, with the input and criticism of those around you. You need feedback, you need criticism, and you need contribution from the members of your team. This means that, likewise, it is crucial for you to speak-up, criticize, and share your constructive opinions with your team.
You are just as needed as the director or executive sitting next to you.
Within a creative agency quality always trumps efficiency. Always. Without exception. Work that is done right, and well is better than work that is “crushed” with efficiency, and productivity. Cold, lifeless processes of quantitative work, led only by data and regurgitation, lead to lifeless work and messy floors. You can do more than vomiting up somone else’s second hand work and research. You owe it to yourself to do better work than that. You owe it to yourself to put your heart and soul into your work.