Campus News

2 CEOs talk about successful leadership at Mason Lecture

Dan Amos, CEO and chairman of Aflac, and A.D. “Pete” Correll, retired CEO of Georgia-Pacific, talked at the Mason Public Leadership Lecture about how hard work, managed risk, flexibility and a willingness to give back can be part of a recipe for success.

“Don’t be set on what you do,” Amos said, addressing the students. “Be flexible, be willing to move and adapt.”

The two businessmen and philanthropists, both alumni of the UGA Terry College of Business, shared the stage at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collection Libraries Sept. 18.

Amos and Correll both have been leaders in corporate and personal philanthropy. Correll helped lead efforts to revive Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. And under Amos’ leadership, Aflac has focused its giving on treating pediatric cancer, including through the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center in Atlanta.

Amos said that corporate giving is good for the bottom line. “I believe people want to do business with companies that make the world better,” he said.

When asked about setbacks, Correll said he had his share of failures in business. But with a philosophy centered on not taking himself “too seriously,” he has been able to let his successes outweigh failures.

Amos also said that risk is important for success, but that smart business people know when to walk away if something isn’t working.