How and why did the phrase “curiosity killed the cat” arise? Did we as parents alert our kids of the dangers of being curios? The great leaders and legendary hunters that I have interacted with or read about all displayed high degrees of curiosity. This phenomenon seemed to create in them a proactive drive in seeking new hunting experiences and learning about gear that gets you hitting gongs far beyond 1 mile. It is their curiosity that drives their continuous improvement; a type of energy to reinvent themselves.
Another leadership trait that I find prevalent in successful shooters is “determination”. In most challenging shooting competitions and hunting situations you are faced with continuous difficulties that need courage and will power to overcome. Deeply determined shooters will be on the lookout for any information that points them to a change; and they embrace such change. Recently Henk Meintjies shooting a PRS match changed from dialling in elevation adjustments to using the reticle markers in order to save time. An intelligent risk not having done so before in a match situation.
“Insight and anticipation”. Hunting and sport shooting greats all demonstrate an ability to gather data and convert data into information, rather than to default always on past experiences. Experience is about doing the same thing over and over again whereas leaders with insight subconsciously analyse data to find better ways. They not stuck in old habits, they apply new views into more productive outcomes. Some hunters consider a Buffalo charge as the ultimate experience whereas the great professional hunters use their insights to avoid a charge.
Contrary to the singular judgement of the anti-hunting establishment I recognise in hunters the important leadership trait of emotional intelligence. Real hunters display high ethics and responsibility in hunting because they have connectivity on an emotional level with animals and nature. Real hunters exercise high levels of self awareness and demonstrate empathy with fellow hunters and animals. There are always exceptions but I see more prevalent in the “keyboard punchers” a lack of empathy and an inability to communicate outside of online chats.
I do not judge the anti-hunting establishment, but I do observe their low levels of logic and their default to social media communication (probably they struggle to connect on an emotional level). Still, for the hunting industry to prosper we will need leadership of the future that will communicate our vision in a persuasive manner and some straight shooting!