What do I have in common with the African lion? According to Stefan Swanepoel, author of Surviving Your Serengeti, the answer is we are strategic. Both the lion and I map out a plan to succeed in reaching our goals. Then we use teamwork to achieve those goals.

The lion is just one of seven animals Mr. Swanepoel uses to embody skills necessary to succeed in life. The other six are the wildebeest, crocodile, cheetah, giraffe, mongoose and elephant. Each animal plays its part in the story of East Africa’s great migration. Each animal’s primary skill perfectly fits it into the ecology of wild Africa.

Surviving Your Serengeti uses the 1,000 mile-long journey that almost two million wildebeest, zebras and gazelles annually run as a metaphor to describe the skills needed to succeed in business and in personal life. The animals who journey across the Serengeti experience hunger, thirst, predators and exhaustion. To get a feel for this great migration, view one of the videos at http://www.kenya.com/great_migration_overview.asp.

Our lives may not be at stake every time we set off to the office, but the skills used by various animals to survive and balance the ecology are useful in identifying the skills we need to succeed. Mr. Swanepoel masterfully tells a story of one couple’s safari to East Africa in order to put these skills in context of both African wild life and American corporate life.

My advice is to read the book, take the test at http://www.serengetibook.com/your-safari/what-animal-am-i/quiz/ (to confirm which animal embodies your strongest skill) and then listen to Perpetuum Jazzile’s version of the song Africa at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjbpwlqp5Qw&feature=related.

The lyrics in Africa speak of a young man who didn’t like what he had become. If that describes where you are now, perhaps Surviving Your Serengeti will show you a way across your Serengeti.  ??

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