Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Carroll School of Management

Daniel P. Amos

Chairman and Chief Executive, Aflac, Inc.

Excerpt from remarks to Boston College’s Chief Executives’ Club of Boston 

November 29, 2012

TAKEAWAY: Getting the news out

Those who work closely with me know that I have a saying, and I live by it, and that is that bad news does not improve with age. By this I mean that even if it isn’t good—we’ll make that, especially if it isn’t good—don’t wait to deliver it. I believe as leaders, it’s important to share that kind of news as quickly and as accurately as possible to begin dealing with it effectively. The fact is: People can handle bad news if you give it to them, but they can’t handle uncertainty.

Don’t get me wrong. We had some news that wasn’t necessarily all bad. We knew we had a lot of good news. Our employees were safe, our business operations were running, and we didn’t expect any material impact on claims, because we mainly did health and life. But there were a lot of things that we did not know. Even so, lack of information does not mean that you can stand back and let uncertainty fester.