Creative people are all jerks and divas. I am self admittedly both and probably drive my partners a little crazy sometimes. So you can imagine what it takes to manage a whole team of them. There's also a huge difference when you have a younger and comparably inexperienced staff, to let's say when your dealing with a c-suite with 30+ years of experience each. TO BE OR NOT TO BE NICE
I think the real question (at least for me at first) was can you be a nice, personal, and approachable manager with a high standard of quality, and still get work done on time, in an agreeable way that exceeds your expectations. Unless your paying your team six figure salaries, i think the short answer is no. I tried the first way for about half a year, and found I was doing the same amount of hand-holding I was doing in the beginning of the year. (i.e. - no growth). All in all, you may be well liked, but you probably won't be good at your job. Instead of choosing your battles wisely, you choose less battles. It seems every time you "ease up", let things go, your only rewarded by more attitude, and a step backwards from 'the managers ideal vision of an efficient and process-controlled team that exceeds expectations.
At the same time, being a tough boss means being about work all the time. The moment you have friendly personal relationships, your judgement is biased. And so you remain a cold hard sword of delivery. Its not very personal, and honestly you feel evil. Maybe you can be this cold sword, and reward good work with a very generous monetary incentive.
So what is the answer to this question, there is none, perhaps there is a compromise, perhaps not, I still don't know which side to err on.(hint, hint: comment!)
HOW DO YOU TRUST YOUR TEAM TO TRUST YOU
I thought that being open, giving advice, having positive conversations about issues, empathizing with perspectives, fighting for your employees, and focusing on future improvements were all general rules of thumb that would lead to good relationships with your team.
Apparently I was wrong. What your employees think, and what they actually say to their managers, are 2 extremely separate and different things. I think that while all managers strive to have that ideal relationship with their employees (who doesn't want a World's Best Boss mug), it may be extremely naive in thinking that it will indeed exist.
So this question does have an answer, and it's ironically a question
"What's in it for them?" - Keep asking yourself this at the end of the week, and I think you'll quickly have a better outlook on who is loyal, who is happy, and where your problem areas are.