Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Surviving Your Serengeti by Stefan Swanepoel

If you know me at all, you know I am not much into camping or wilderness experiences. The closest I ever desire to being on the African plain is watching YouTube videos of crocodiles eating wildebeests. Yet, I really did enjoy the picture that was painted by Stefan Swanepoel as he tells a fable in his new book, Surviving Your Serengeti.

The book is set in the Serengeti, as a couple embarks on a safari of sorts. As they find out more about the different animals, they are instructed by their guide on the seven skills of seven different animals that allow them to survive. Here are the animals and their corresponding skills:

  • The Enduring Wildebeest - This animal will travel a thousand miles to find water. It is the endurance needed in order to survive. "Endurance is the steadfast capacity to hold on for one more day" (31).
  • The Strategic Lion - The lion works strategically to find their kill and enjoy food for the day. "Strategy is the road map you need to define and achieve your goals" (59).
  • The Enterprising Crocodile - The crocodile cannot chase down its food in order to survive, but they do have to make choices as the food comes near them. "An enterprising person explores all options and boldly seizes every opportunity" (75).
  • The Efficient Cheetah - This amazing animal has to conserve energy and make bold dashes to feed for the day. "Efficiency is the optimization of all resources to achieve the best results" (88).
  • The Graceful Giraffe - The giraffe is a beautiful creature, which appears to be very graceful. "Grace is more than style and finesse, it's doing the right thing" (101). Swanepoel would say it is not just winning that matters, but how you win that makes the difference.
  • The Risk-Taking Mongoose - As the mongoose feeds on smaller rodents or bugs, they take great personal risk of their life. "Taking calculated risks is an essential part of every journey" (116). Those who never take the risk, risk starving to death in their Serengeti.
  • The Communicating Elephant - The elephant can communicate with other elephants in a multitude of ways. "Effective communication is the art of successfully delivering your message" (139).

For the most part, I enjoyed this book. It is a very quick read and is very creative. He uses the African Serengeti, the animals at least, to paint the picture of different personalities that we might have. They have even created a website where you can go, take a quiz, and find out which animal personality you might be (any guesses on which they say I am?)

Let me just make this disclaimer though: this book is not a Christian book. While there may be some undertones of things that are christian, there is no mention of Jesus, the cross, or the gospel. That doesn't mean it's not worth a read. If you are in a business setting, it might be worth the few hours it will take you to get through this book. I just don't want to mislead anyone as to what kind of book it is.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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