Let's describe a hypothetical situation, just for the sake of this discussion.
You are a new MD and you need to make some courageous decisions. You have no previous experience as MD and you try to postpone some of the decisions till the very last minute. Then you finally make a decision.
2 months later, you do realize that you have made a big mistake. This is a critical mistake which effect badly one of the areas under your responsibility. You have the perspective required to acknowledge the fact that you are responsible for the given situation. The question is what do you do?
Do you admit that you have made a mistake? By doing so, you may be risking your new role reputation as you are constantly under the spotlight. Your future and credibility are on the stake here... Looking at the bright side, you will be known as a leader who set an example, admit mistakes and correct what is needed, accordingly. It is difficult and takes courage, but it is the right thing to do as a leader.
The alternative is burying or hiding your mistake. It may be easier in the short term as your reputation will not be harmed (yet). However, from the nature of mistakes, errors tend to intensify as time goes by. Moreover, you will need to deal with the consequences in the middle and long term, working harder to compensate or even cover your error. Choosing this approach you may maintain your reputation as a good manager, capable of handling difficult tasks...
The two options mentioned above reflects, in my opinion, the fundamental difference between a leader and manager. It is way beyond the concept of admitting a mistake.
Considering the above situation, what would you do? Which approach would you choose in such circumstances?