Middle managers form the communication bridge between owners and employees on heifer operations. Finding supervisors within your ranks requires awareness, effort and common sense, says Tom Fuhrmann, veterinarian and owner of DairyWorks.

“To identify potential supervisors that possess leadership skills, look for subtle signs in individual workers,” Fuhrmann told the audience at the 2012 Dairy Calf & Heifer Conference.

For example, to identify the next potential head breeder, evaluate how employees who breed heifers handle themselves around you and their fellow employees.

Watch for signs of respect and trust toward you and fellow employees. Ask yourself:

    • Is this person dependable?
    • Does this person do the job right?
    • Does he/she do what you ask?
    • Does he meet and exceed your expectations?
    • Do you trust that this person is sincere, honest and fair?
    • Do you appreciate this worker?

      Also look for signs of respect and trust for this person among employees. Ask these questions:

        • Do fellow workers seem to like this person, depend upon him, and seek him out for help, concerns or problems?
        • Do employees rally around this person because he is genuine?
        • Do you see that others show respect for this person by how they interact with him at work and in non-work situations?

          If you can identify these characteristics in an employee, he or she may be a good candidate for a middle manager position. Support his growth into that position. Look for more advice on identifying future supervisors next month.