The first step involves building strong and diverse teams, says Mike Koehler, chief human resources officer at the University of Missouri Health Care. Leaders should strive to have staff from diverse backgrounds who are smarter than them. They should also encourage them to work together.
Another step is to make human, personal connections. This means meeting one-on-one with direct reports as well as workers who handle the day-in, day-out operations. Acknowledging performance, including a simple ‘thank you,” is a good idea, as is being honest and willing to address the “elephants in the room.”
Finally, embody a leadership style that is not afraid to confront challenges even if they are uncomfortable.