Several years ago I learned a great lesson on accountability from a manager. I made a small mistake that had a MASSIVE impact. And, my massive, I mean that every account, hundreds of thousands of accounts, in the organization was affected to some degree.
As soon as I realized the error I reported it to my manager. She took it and notified the rest of the management team. She was the face of the problem outside of the team. She let me do what needed to be done to fix the problem and never put me in the position of having to answer questions from anyone other than her. She owned the problem and was accountable for my actions.
As a leader, you are accountable for your own actions and the actions of those whom you lead. The buck stops with you!
This experience, while harrowing, built trust among the team and between me and my manager. I knew from that moment on that my manager would have my back!
I found this short article on ways to be more accountable helpful: http://www.brandonhall.com/blogs/the-buck-stops-here-a-culture-of-accountability-drives-effective-leadership/