Ditto, oh so ditto!
The one singular criteria which for me divides a good manager from a bad one is that the good manager will readily accept criticism from his "subordinates" and act on it (in a way that does not automatically involve firing the critic ;-). There are lots of others, but throughout my career this one has always been true. Unfortunately, the ratio of bad to good is atrocious amongst managers (probably worse than with any other job), because
- Managers are held in higher regard than other employees, thus people who are primarily motivated by status considerations tend to aspire to management careers
- There are few good performance metrics for managers
- People who underperform at their productive jobs are often pushed into management as a way to get rid of them
- Managers are often under the delusion that they need to "lead" people when they should actually be communicating with and facilitating communication between them
- People who do well at their productive jobs but are terrible management material (because they don't communicate well for example) are pushed into management as a promotion. I think this one is probably the worst, whoever came up with the notion that a move to management was a promotion did us all a great disservice.
And for the record, I personally know I'm terrible management material (I believe I'm better than most I've worked under, but still terrible). I'm well aware that management is a tough job and requires several uncommon skills. I just wish the emphasis on employing managers was more on quality than quantity.
There are ten types of people: those that understand binary and those that don't.