Faced with bank deregulation and increased competition in the 1980s, former Wells Fargo CEO Carl Reichardt understood that cutting costs was essential. Reichardt was up to the task. And, fortunately for Wells Fargo shareholders, he was extremely good at it.
His cost-cutting crusade is well-documented in the magazines and newspapers of the day. He did, after all, beat the S&P 500 by 385 percent during his twelve-year run as CEO.
His commitment is admirable, and his attitude is replicable across a wide range of business objectives. Take this quote from the same Fortune story: “Yeah, I’m tough—on costs. There’s too much bullsh*t waste in banking. Getting rid of it takes tenacity, not brilliance.”
That line is one of the most useful pieces of business advice ever given. There’s rarely a need for innovative, brilliant solutions—99% of the time, tenacity is more than enough.