Red Poling, when I worked for him in Ford of Europe, had a conversation with me once.
He said, 'You know the difference between you and me? If we had a product program that was on track and it was going to produce a fine car, and it was going to be competitive, and it was going to meet all its financial targets, and the devil came to you and said, 1/8Go $5 over the cost targets, and I will make sure that this is the best and most successful car of all time,' you'd say yes, and I wouldn't.' And I said, 'You're right. I would say yes for $5; hell, I'd say yes for $50.'
He said, 'You are willing to compromise financial discipline, but I won't. To me financial discipline is paramount. It comes above everything else. It comes above creativity, it comes above product. If you lose financial discipline, you've lost everything.' He was such a powerful influence on me that I began to think about it, and I thought, why can't you have both?