Admit Mistakes (When it matters)

Conventional wisdom about management mistakes has changed. It’s just not cool these days to hide your blunders: the world is too transparent. The latest trend is towards admitting errors quickly and completely.

Great. It’s a step up from the blame-deflection attitudes of past decades. And leaders who calmly admit they made poor decisions can actually seem more confident. But don’t take it too far. There’s a reason why people used to hide their mistakes, and it’s not just about deception. It’s that we expect others to make mistakes. But if you can hide the effects of your screw-up from me, as far as I’m concerned it didn’t happen.

Don’t be that guy who worriedly over-shares about his inadequacies. Be the one who smoothes over minor bumps quickly and invisibly so that no one even notices the problem. That way, when it comes time to tell people about the mistake you couldn’t magically fix, they’ll take it as a sign of strength.

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