I first read Surviving Your Serengeti: 7 Skills to Master Business and Life, by Stefan Swanepoel when I was going through a transition in life. What I liked most was the different perspective Swanepoel gives on personalities. I am a big reader of personality books, and his experience in Africa and associations of animal behavior in humans is very interesting. Stefan Swanepoel’s life has been a true “Serengeti journey”—from his birth in Kenya to schooling in Hong Kong and South Africa eventually, running a New York-based global franchise network with 25,000 sales associates in 30 countries.
Often we get caught up in our strengths and limitations and forget to focus on personalities. This book explores people as enduring wildebeest, strategic lions, enterprising crocodiles, efficient cheetahs, graceful giraffes, a risk taking mongoose, communicating elephants. Swanepoel’s very unique perspective shows animals have the same tendencies as humans and act as teams. This compelling business fable offers a riveting tale of life in Africa’s Serengeti and what lessons it holds for today’s business professionals. A wonderful blend of business and fable, the easily translatable antidotes offer advice on what business skills need to be developed to be successful in business and in life!
I had taken the test when I first read the book, so my Client Relations Coordinator decided to take the test. Here are her results:
You are the Strategic Lion!
For lions, it’s all or nothing. If their strategy fails, they go hungry. For us, however, it’s all about organizing our thoughts, ideas, experiences, skills, expertise, and expectations to accomplish a desired goal.
Strategy is not just about the end; rather, it’s the means to that end. For that reason, sound strategies must be flexible, not rigid. In its simplest form it’s a basic road map—albeit one that involves and incorporates change. This might make it not only difficult to accurately read at times, but also somewhat dependent on future uncertainty.
If you are a strategic person—a strategist—you will recognize these characteristics in yourself:
- The ability to create multiple options for solving problems.
- You chart the course that others follow by defining the tactics, steps, and resources that are required to achieve the goal while keeping the bigger picture in perspective. You remain proactive and ensure that the plan is adjusted to meet the objectives.
So what animal are you? What is your survival strategy? If you are so inclined (we all love quizzes, right?) you can take the personality quiz here.
And I am always a sucker for keynote speeches: