Shane Martin says there are three ways you can respond when you screw up:

Explain– Explain stops short of correction or improvement.  To know how or why you screwed up and to explain the downfall has merit.  But explaining it doesn’t mean it won’t happen again.  Offering an explanation is a lot like offering an excuse.

Blame – Blame is a path to failure.  When you are involved in a bad result, the first thing to do is to look to yourself to see what you could have done to avoid the screw-up or can do to get a better result.  Blaming is always counterproductive.  It never provides a satisfying result.

Own– Own is the winner.

Explain helps you to derive a better plan.  Defining the problem leads to better results.

Blame helps you to evaluate the connections.  Getting better teammates, training better, and communicating clearer all are strategies that lead to eliminating the shortcomings of others.

Owning though accepts accountability.  You own it when you acknowledge the issue.  You own it when you accept responsibility for fixing it.  You own it when you get better as a result.  You gain trust when you own it.