Part of it wasn't just Gene Roddenberry's dictates. Part of it were the crew and cast dynamics that evolved in the first season of TNG. I've read that as conceived the relationship between Picard and Riker was supposed to be one like "big brother/little brother" which naturally had room for disagreement and mild conflict. But Stewart and Frakes deliberately chose to play the relationship as "father/son" which of course made Riker far more deferential to Picard. Like wise everyone else in the cast and crew, due to Stewarts age and experience treated the character of Picard as a father figure which cut down significantly on the opportunities for even mild conflict.