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This week on the Syndicast we are talking about NEGATIVITY. We will kick off my rant with a letter penned by Mark Passamanek of Carbon Arms describing what he has been seeing in 2017 with an awesome call to action for the upcoming year. From there I will do my best to put this into perspective for the individual and how you can be part of the solution – All coming up next!
Mark Passamanek – Carbon Arms
I have been shooting competitively for a while, about 20 different sports over the last 20 years, and one thing I constantly hear is “we want to grow the sport”. While it sounds good, most of the people who say that are not being honest as seen in their actions. Most shooters want to protect their own little corner (or group) and will mercilessly tear down anyone who wants to improve the entirety of the shooting sports or try something new. Heck, most of the action shooting sports exist because someone got mad that an organization would not “do it their way” fracturing the collective and creating divisiveness. Profiteers have harmed the sport immensely in the past few years as well.
Lack of communication, lack of respect, lack of professionalism are too common.
This year, I was able to participate in the three most important matches run since I have been shooting. Those with a knowledge of history will appreciate the fact that one of those was run in Missouri. If you will indulge me, I will explain my rationale for making such a bold statement.
The American MarksmanWyoming Magpul Governor’s Match and Lucas Oil PCC Championship are the three matches of which I speak. All of these matches were met with huge resistance and people intent on tearing them down and complaining. Even so, they each did more than any other group to build our 2nd Amendment future and the future of the shooting sports. These matches all had large numbers of people shooting their first competition ever. Some of that was due to access: less specialized equipment and skills were needed to safely compete. These matches all had promoters that have never put on a match, with three extremely successful and influential men at the top; Stan Kroenke, Governor Matt Mead and Forrest Lucas.
Frankly, I am embarrassed and disappointed by many of my shooting friends for being so selfish as to ignore the risk these men, and their organizations took to promote the shooting sports we all love. Every one of us should be praising them and their vision to help the shooting sports. There is a bigger picture folks, and we have opportunity to build greatness that so many have claimed to want, but so easily will attack others success.
So, to some of you…Job Well Done. To others, set aside your type-A and help the whole of the shooting sports make 2018 incredible and historical. 2018 can be the year that the action shooting sports gets off of tearing down and on to building up. If we do, we all benefit. Promote and encourage ALL of the shooting sports even if they are not your preference.
The only complaints I hope to see next year are sadness that you were too slow to sign up for these matches and they were full.
Thoughts on offering criticism on social media
1) The list is short “Don’t be a DICK!
1) Ask yourself the 3 Ds- Does it need to be said? Do I need to say it? Do I sound like a Dick?
2) If you have an issue with someone or something – go to them first!
1) Get your facts straight
    – do the work yourself
    – talk to your trusted circle
    – verify your sources
2) Give constructive criticism and do it in way that doesn’t hurt the industry as a whole and your brand (remember don’t be a dick)
  1. First layer, “P” for Positive, where you talk about what you like:”Great match! I really enjoyed the stages and thought you had an refreshing take on scoring.
  2. Second layer, “I” for Improve, where you talk about the areas of improvement:”However, I thought that there are two things that can be better. Firstly, because there were a lot of new shooters at the match I noticed that things ran late. It might help to identify new shooters at registration and spread them our more evenly on the squads. Secondly, I had a tough time finding things on the range. Maybe you could provide a detailed map online or in the match book.
  3. Last layer, “P” for Positive, where you reiterate the positive points and the positive results to be expected when the improvement areas are worked on:”Overall, great work. I love what you have going on at match x and with a few tweaks it will be a great experience for any shooter.”
3) Don’t make assumptions: When providing criticism, do so within what you know as fact about the person and the subject. There’s no need to make any assumptions. Not only does it make the person look bad, it also makes you look bad ? especially when your assumption is wrong.
Next week – Attraction Rather than promotion
Examining and Idea that I am obsessed with that Marketing, when executed effectively, is all about making the prospect of doing business with you so attractive that the normal dynamics of promotion become inverted.

Check out this episode!