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Surviving Your Serengeti: 7 Skills to Master Business and Life

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    A Must Read....find out which animal you are!

    Surviving Your Serengeti - 7 Skills to Master Business and Life by Stefan Swanepoel was refreshing and informative. Have read lots of business and motivational books over the years but this one stands out as being a cut above the rest. He draws upon his experience growing up in Africa and in the business world and makes relatable parallels. The book attempts to match the reader's basic instinctive skill with one of many animals found in the Serengenti. Stefan Swanepoel has identified 7 skills and drawn parallels to 7 distinctive animals - the "enduring wildebeest", the "strategic lion", the "enterprising crocodile", the "graceful giraffe", the "efficient cheetah", the "risk-taking mongoose" and the "communicating elephant". While the reader may find himself defined as one animal, what is not touched upon is the fact that the reader could be a combination of two or more animals. This book was helpful in identifying business strengths and how to best utilize them but it also helps give you a better understanding of the different "skills" you may encounter in other people and the reader can use that insight to better deal with them and learn from them. We all know an "efficient cheetah" who gets things done in a streamlined manner with everything falling into place or the "risk-taking mongoose" who takes chances and reaps rewards not necessarily seen to the naked eye. It is light reading but quite insightful too. Could not put it down it cover to cover at one sitting. Good for personal reflection and as well as an office book club. Highly recommended. Have discovered my inner Serengeti animal - can you guess which animal from this review? Will give you a can be found in the Serengeti. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze 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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2011

    An amazing read-captivating,eloquent,entertaining,educational !

    I had a chance to read Surviving Your Serengeti several weeks ago. I often dislike reading 'business' books,as they are often droll and dull.This was the polar opposite-I had no idea what to expect,but it was simply a phenomenal read.A well crafted and eloquently written fable,that ultimately is not so much about seven skills that will assist in vanquishing any business challenge-but seven skills that are essential in life.
    Entertaining,effervescent,you won't want to put it down,you will want to share this with others-and it will result in an entirely new outlook in your business and personal life,as well as a different perspective on the people who are in both your business and personal lives.
    I think it would make a great gift,for any business person,or recent grad as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2011

    An Enlightening Personal Experience

    It takes a lot for me to choose a book over the computer; my mind doesn't usually rest long enough for me to just read. But this book was different. It becomes personal as it pulls you in; you begin to relate to how these beautiful animals work alone, as competitors, yet coexist together in the Serengeti. You begin to feel the symbolism, how the story parallels our lives,how people in all walks of life can learn from one another and work together. I found this inspiring and fascinating. A must read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2011

    Must read for business and life!

    Surviving Your Serengeti is a great read for personal and business life. You are taken on an exciting journey through the wilderness and given an insight how animal and human behaviors relate. If you are part of a team or lead on this book will help you understand and utilize your strengths, as well as others.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2011

    Fantastic personal journey - a MUST READ!

    This book is a great learning experience for everyone, young and old, business and non-business alike. I liked is so much I even wrote a blog post and made a video review of the book. Please make an effort to read this book, because I guarantee you that you WILL learn something new about yourself, and you WILL learn a lot about other people and why they behave the way that they do. And you will learn all of these things through the telling of an interesting and quick story. Check out "Surviving your Serengeti." You'll be glad you did!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2012

    I have to respectfully disagree with other reviewers that sugges

    I have to respectfully disagree with other reviewers that suggest the author doesn't explain how to tell good stories. It is true that this is not a book you would use in a creative writing class. You won't learn about the elements of a short story, or what personification is. However, the book explains how to use a certain type of story to become more successful. Guber does clearly explain how to tell an effective story.
    Lately, I have been reading about the power of persuasion, and some experts believe stories can be used to induce a trance-like state. I like telling stories, and have found that as a teacher, students remember the personal stories I tell long after they have forgotten basic facts.
    Everyone who reads this book will admire the moral legitimacy of that position. It's the viewpoint of a winner, rather than someone who is afraid to take on the toughest challenges.
    I found the book to be an easy and quick read. There really wasn't anything earth-shattering between its covers. The message was quite simple, and you'd get it just by reading the title on the cover. So I don't really recommend someone waste their money on this tome.

    Highly recommended book!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2012

    Good Book

    I thought it was awesome.

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  • Posted January 19, 2012

    Fantastic read with immediate application!

    Seven lessons from seven animals that apply to all areas of life? Yes please.

    This easy to read story leads you through a journey to the Serengeti with several couples from all walks of life. While there the lessons/skills are presented conversationally via trips into the wild to observe wildlife as it naturally occurs.

    Endurance, strategy, enterprise, efficiency, grace, risk-taking, and communication - all very valuable life skills are all covered. On a practical level one of the things I really enjoyed about this book was the summary of the skill at the end of each "lesson". Each summary included several bullet points explaining the skill on a deeper level as well as some suggestions on how to maximize the skill. It was possible to put these skills into better practice and take them to the next level almost immediately after reading each section.

    Seven words to describe the book?

    If you have a chance to read it, I hope you do and I hope you get as much out of it as I did.

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  • Posted October 2, 2011

    Surviving Your Serengeti By Stefan Swanepoel

    Near our home, we have a restaurant called "Serengeti". It is supposed to have an interior / theme based on the African wild-life and many friends have recommended it. For some reason, I never thought of visiting this restaurant. Somehow, the name Serengeti was not attractive enough.
    All that changed, after reading this book - It is silly to recommend a book like this, But the truth is, this book was able to create a very grand visual picture in me (someone who had no feelings whatsoever about the name Serengeti) and I could literally see myself roaming around those forests when reading this book. In fact, anyone reading this book will feel like visiting Serengeti.
    But, this is not a travel book. It is a business novel which uses Serengeti as a background. Author Stefan Swanepoel takes seven animals from these jungles and uses them to teach us seven life skills which we need to survive the real world.
    For example, my favorite part in this book is about Elephants. Stefan Swanepoel uses some rich imagery to show how elephants rule the African jungles (in their own way) and how they interact with humans. Using their lifestyle as a base, he explains how communication is an important skill.
    Similar to elephants, this book takes six more animals and explains their life in the real jungle settings. How they live each day and what skills they cultivate, sometimes those skills may be the difference between life and death. After covering each animal a set of detailed review points are given which give us a chance to do a quick review of the book too. A small, but powerful book for anyone to read in a single sitting, and start following the concepts easily!
    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze dot 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 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted August 26, 2011


    I received the book 'Surviving your Serengeti'. I was able to read through it fairly quick and found that it speaks true to human nature and how we can relate to animals in some ways we act. Each chapter has us thinking of what we can do to better our business and everyday life by understanding how the nature that God created works and how we have grown detached from nature and moved into more complex places in our life. This book tells the story of the Serengeti, the survival skills of the animals and how each one from hunter and prey rely on each other. Zachariah, the guide gives a tour to Sean and Ashley helping them reconnects with God by sharing his experiences of the animals he studies with them. As he shows them each animal they move closer to understanding Gods plan and how to deal with everyday situations in their own life. I would recommend this book to anyone that is looking for or needs to be lifted up. This would make a great gift or just a book to have in a personal library.

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  • Posted August 3, 2011

    Great book a must read!!

    Surviving your Serengeti by Stefan Swanepoel is a must read. This book is well written and one that is very easy to read.
    The book takes you an on journey through the African Serengeti. As you go through this journey of learn about the animal in the natural habit you find that they are a lot like us and that we can relate to them. It was amazing to me that there is so much common ground between us and the animal talked about in the books.
    On the Surviving your Serengeti web site there is a quiz that you can take after you read the book to see what type of animal you are. I suggest you read the book and then take the test. I bet you will know which animal you are after you have read the book. You will find that common ground between you and the animal you relate to.
    Thank be to Thomas Nelson publishing for my free copy of this great book. My review is that of my own.

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  • Posted August 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Survivng Your Serengeti

    Surviving Your Serengeti: 7 Skills to Master Business and Life By Stefan Swanepoel is a unique motivational story that draws upon the reality of African wioldlife, and applies it to life in general. Using the wilderness of the African desert as an allegory, Stefab Swanepoel pieces together an inspirational story using observations of animal interaction to apply it to human personalities and interaction. This unique hybrid work: a blend of a fiction allegory, motivational piece, and business startegy guide, can be appreciated and enjoyed by any reader. This simple to read book can be completed in one sitting, yet the common sense truths are far reaching. While it is true that animals do not have free will and act based on instinct, much of the world around us- such as the personalities of others and the challanges we face, are for the most part, not always within our control. Nevertheless, within such external constraints, certain personality types, just as animals in the wild, can use certain traiths or conditions to their advantage. In a entertaining, and easy to read format, the author teaches the reader to harness the force and will as well as perseverance of the animal kingdom and apply it to our own unique and individual lives. As a blogger for booksneeze, I recieved this book for the purpose of writing this review. The opinions expressed are my own. Just as a side note- I recieved an email from bookszeeze informing me that booksneeze will be sutting down its blogger program and that we did not have to submit a review for our final books recieved. I do not know if its legit, ot if its a scam on the part of a fellow, competetive blogger in an attempt to thwart the competition for the top 5 blogger spots. So, as I post this on booksneeze, the mystery will be solved

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  • Posted July 23, 2011

    Surviving Your Serengeti by Stefan Swanepoel

    Surviving Your Serengeti shares 7 skills to mastering business and life. The book is masterfully written and shares a story which takes the read through a self discovery journey. The author tells a story about what we can learn from the animals in Africa. Where he discusses 7 different types of animals and skills. The animals and skills you will learn are,
    The enduring wildebeest- "Endurance is the steadfast capacity to hold on for one more day."
    The strategic lion- "Strategy is the road map you need to define and achieve your goals."
    The enterprising crocodile- "An enterprising person explores all options and boldly seizes every opportunity."
    The efficient cheetah- "Efficiency is the optimization of all resources to achieve the best results."
    The graceful giraffe- "Grace is more than style and finesse, it's doing the right thing."
    The risk-taking mongoose- "Taking calculated risks is an essential part of every journey."
    The communicating elephant- "Effective communication is the art of successfully delivering your message."
    Reading this book allows you to discover then master these 7 essential skills. I would recommend this book to anyone who desires to become better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    I truly enjoyed this book. This fable of self-discovery will instantly draw you into the journey of Sean and Ashley Spencer's three day trip to Africa's Serengeti.

    Sean's old friend, Zachariah Maekna, allows them to accompany him to witness survival skills displayed by seven animals that thrive in the extreme, constantly changing conditions of the beautiful Serengeti.

    What I enjoyed most in this fable was the excitement provided in each chapter as the characters observed nature's reality in one of the most difficult places on earth. I became curious to read the strength of each animal and how each trait is translated into the world of business and our personal lives.

    Aren't you just a bit curious to read and discover what survival skill you possess? I highly recommend this book.

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  • Posted July 14, 2011

    I'm a Crocodile -- What are you?

    There's a reason why Surviving Your Serengeti is a New York Times bestseller. Author Stefan Swanepoel has written a wonderful little tale. While the application was intended for the business world, as a swim coach I can see potential, as a teacher I can see potential, and as a mom just trying to raise her kids, I can see potential. It's book that tells me, whatever venue I happen to operating in, how to be a better me. The story is a bit contrived, but don't let that stop you. It's a easy read, that essentially describes seven animals on the Serengeti and what we can learn from them. The animals are the wildebeest, lion, crocodile, cheetah, giraffe, mongoose and elephant. Each has a lesson for the reader to learn and apply. Each chapter ends with application points which would be great for any team - business, sports or otherwise - to discuss and use. Not surprisingly, they've developed a website with a quiz to help you figure out what kind of animal you are. I took the test. I'm a crocodile. I was hoping to be the graceful giraffe, but it was pretty accurate in describing me -- I'm independent; I like to work alone; I'm not afraid of a challenge; I'm painfully aware of my weaknesses. In the business world, being a crocodile would mean that I'm enterprising, which, thankfully, the author differentiates from being an opportunist. The crocodile understands its weaknesses and its strengths, then makes strategic decisions based on what it knows. For a swim coach, this could be in deciding what events to enter swimmers in. For a busy mom, it means choosing what to involve myself in based on what I know about myself and others. Read the book to see if you can identify what animal you are. You may be surprised to learn something about yourself!

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    ROAR! Are you like a cheetah?!?

    Recently I had the chance to read "Surviving Your Serengeti: 7 Skills to Master Business and Life" by Stefan Swanepoel through at opportunity at BookSneeze, which gives bloggers books in return for a reviewing the book, whether good or bad.

    I signed up for this book because it seemed interesting and I really liked the title. I thought, who in their right mind wouldn't want to learn the secret(s) to overcoming life's obstacles?

    I began reading and was immediately drawn to the entertaining story of a man and his wife who upon taking a trip to Africa, learn life lessons they wont soon forget. I loved the descriptions, I love the way the book was broken up into different sections, and I love that you almost feel like you are there, in a jeep at sunrise with your trusted guide watching all of this unfold right before your very eyes.
    I love the beautifully written correlation between mankind in the real world, and the animal kingdom of the great and vast Serengeti- both assume certain risks, neither are without their own particular brand of hardships, but, both can also be very beautifully and meaningfully lived.
    Most of us would never assume we had much in common with African wildlife. This book came along to show you how wrong you are. The author takes the the seven most common ways in which a human lives, reacts, works, and succeeds, and then cleverly parallels them to their African counterpart. The groups include the "enduring wildebeest", "strategic lion", "enterprising crocodile", "graceful giraffe", "efficient cheetah", "risk-taking mongoose" and the "communicating elephant".
    The greatest thing about the personal assessment that this book takes you through is that there is no right or wrong answer. Everyone sees themselves relating more to, and more like, one of this animals than the other. And more often than not, someone could be the combination of more than one. For example after reading this book, and knowing what I know about myself, I can say I see bits of myself in both the "lion" and the "elephant" but honestly, would like to see myself with a little more "wildebeest".

    This book is fun, and entertaining and will most definitely make you want to book the next flight to Africa- it believe it is a interesting and eyeopening way to look at yourself and how you react to the world you- in a way that you probably never had before

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  • Posted June 30, 2011

    A fun book to read

    This book was a really good read. This couple goes to Africa on a trip and learns a lot about themselves and the animals. They learn a lot about lions, wildebeest, crocodile, cheetah, giraffe, mongoose and elephant. And we learn from the author about how these animals behave in the wild and what there strengthens and weaknesses are and how we can learn from them and find out what animal we are. I found out by taking the quiz at the end of the book that I am most like a giraffe.As a giraffe the book says I seek to make others feel like they're one of the most important people with whom they can spend time, and always put the needs of others first. And that I live according to a personal code that is higher than normal standards of conduct, and incorporate dignity, honor and respect in extending grace to others-even when things have not gone their way. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone. I will say this, this was not really a Christian book at all so if a person wants just a religious or Christian type of book then you may not want to pick this uP I got this book from booksneeze and was not required to write a good review just my opinion

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  • Posted January 13, 2011

    A new employee handbook for your company.

    Buy and give this book to everyone in your company. Let them learn, then empower them using their new-found knowledge. Accessible, exceptional and essential reading for the Business2.0 set; and anyone looking to get their organization there

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    Love it!

    I am always looking for books that confirm how and why I do the things I do. This book Surviving Your Serengeti did not disappoint, in fact, I loved it.

    I was in the midst of reading a few books on TEAM building and understanding the dynamics involved, when this book came in the mail for my review.

    Surviving Your Serengeti provided a fantastic context for understanding how I handle situations and understanding how my team members respond to my Croc style.

    Couldn't put it down! Am buying it when released for all my TEAM members.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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