If someone tells you to act like famous hard-nosed General George S. Patton towards someone, that might be interpreted as inviting them to yell, scream and boss around like crazy! We have that impression of military leaders--that they wield arbitrary authority in place of thinking things through. With Patton, however, that is very far from the truth.

The General once said, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” That is not just great advice for battlefield preparation. It is also tremendous wisdom regarding how to work with a label printer.

Your label printer will have a great deal of talent and expertise. He will have the kind of experience that engenders creative thinking and ingenuity. If you can advise your label printer of what you want in sufficiently clear terms and leave the rest up to his skills and approach, you are certain to be happy with the outcome.

Often, people make the mistake of trying to micromanage their outsourcing partners. They try to control their label printer as if he was an underling, instead of respecting him as a professional who can really get the job done.

Take a lesson from Patton when dealing with your label printer. Tell him what you need to have done, and let him do it. There is no need to control or micromanage if you have wisely chosen your label printer. You hired him for a reason, after all! Now, let him do his jobs and reap the rewards.

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