On being a bad manager
Jason Fried

This is solid.

One thing I’ve learned is that good managers didn’t just get that way through having somehow stayed employed even as they flubbed a lot, they also have to have fairly quickly gotten comfortable with that flubbing, and then continue to stay comfortable with all the flubbing that happens even once they are pretty good managers. Not comfortable in the sense of lazy, but comfortable in the sense of being able to perceive, acknowledge internally, and admit *to the people they manage* when they’ve failed them. Whether it’s big or small, being honest about your failures — not self-involved and whiny, but just honest/accountable/truly apologizing — does more to build trust than any amount of team-building activities can. Too many folks seem to want to substitute formulas for authenticity in this particular part of the job, or just can’t stand to really look someone in the eye and admit they messed up. Too much vulnerability involved, leads to all kinds of defensiveness.

And great managers don’t just acknowledge that they’re at fault, they work hard to change the situation they pooched (if possible) and to change the things about themselves or the dynamic they’ve fostered that led to the mistake in the first place. Not anxiously, but steadily. Reflective practice all day every day.

Being successful at failing is a key management skill.