No matter how terrible your corporate catastrophe -- how many acres your company polluted, how many customers your product injured, how many innocents killed -- senior managers always can make the situation worse by saying the wrong thing. Or failing to say the right thing. The Tylenol tampering cases in the 1980s might have spelled the end of that product if it weren't for Johnson & Johnson's immediate overreaction. That is Rule 1 in Peter Frans Anthonissen's book: Always assume the worst and respond accordingly.

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