Chairman’s Message: Change or Die

Posted by Bill Sumner on 2/5/24 10:41 AM

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Yes, it’s come and gone, another SHOT show has passed. Whether this was your first time attending or you’re a seasoned veteran, the overwhelming grandeur of SHOT Show is undoubtedly an experience that you will never forget. According to the NSSF data, it was another record-breaking year with more than 13 miles of aisles and 55,000 registered attendees. Dealers, buyers, and manufactures alike can attest to the long days of standing, walking, and meetings; all of which take a toll in the end. The atmosphere seemed positive, as it should be, coming off a strong fourth quarter. One article said it best, 2024 will be a year of “cautious optimism”.  It doesn’t seem like anyone at this point has clarity on what’s in store, but speculation seems favorable.

For those of us who have been attending SHOT for decades, there’s no doubt the show has changed over time. Expansion of floor space, more in-depth robust seminars, and new categories added or broadened, all for the sake of the customer and a market that continues to shift. Change is nothing new to business or life. In fact, we face changes in processes, technology, and buying habits almost daily within our businesses. It’s how we confront change within our organizations that’s important. “Change or Die” a simplistic yet truthful quote that many of us refuse to listen to. I recently attended an outside trade association summit, the theme, “becoming an agent of change”. The two-day summit was filled with guest speakers who covered topics such as: Impact & Influence, Technology, Innovation and The Power of Purpose, just to name a few.

My takeaway: It’s our people who ultimately make change possible, we must ensure we communicate and align our values and strategies while providing the support they need throughout the entirety of the process. In doing so, we must also be willing to take risks and fail, because failure brings opportunity to improve. If we refuse to improve or adapt to change, we’re destined to fail and fall short of our customers’ expectations. Our relevancy lasts only as long as the value we provide; so, let’s foster a culture of innovation and embrace the generational change that’s surely coming; it’s our duty to ensure that our companies and our industry is here for those who will be picking up where we’ve left off.

That change has also been evident over the last 5-7 years at NASGW. This organization isn’t complacent in its goals or position in the industry. We continue to push forward embracing new opportunities and bringing together partners to address solutions that will make an impact for our businesses. It’s an exciting time to be the chairman of NASGW and I look forward to the year ahead.

 

Until next time,

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Bill Sumner

NASGW Chairman

 

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