Matt has a great post up at Only Once on Admitting Mistakes.
the ability to admit mistakes [is] a critical component of emotional intelligence, the cornerstone of solid leadership.
I could not agree more. I've made my share of mistakes. And when I was younger, I had a hard time admitting them. Now, I can deal with the fact that I am far from perfect. Admitting them, dissecting them, and moving past them, is a critical business skill. It is essential in terms of managing up. The people who are relying on you to make good decisions need to know that you can recognize the bad ones and learn from them. Otherwise, they'll lose confidence in you no matter how good your batting record is.
Matt goes on to talk about how this plays out in the politcal world. He implies that Bush cannot admit to the screwup he made in Iraq without losing the election. Maybe that's true, but Clinton was toast until he finally admitted to the people that he had lied about the Lewinsky affair and felt terribly about it. After that, it was all over for the impeachment effort.
I'd feel a lot better about Bush if he'd admit he was human and screwed up every once in a while.