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The Survivor Personality: Why Some People Are Stronger, Smarter, and More Skillful at Handling Life's Difficulties...and How You Can Be, Too Paperback – September 1, 1996
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When faced with adversity, tragedy, or just bad karma, what makes one person crumble, another survive, and another thrive? Al Siebert first became interested in this question when he discovered that World War II combat survivors were less like Sylvester Stallone in Rambo and more like Alan Alda playing Hawkeye, the irreverent M.A.S.H. surgeon. Years of subsequent research taught Seibert that those who survive (and thrive) often respond to challenge with humor, wisdom, and mental and emotional flexibility. No, life isn't fair, but Siebert shows us the tricks to regaining our stability in a world that seems hell-bent on knocking us off track.
About the Author
Al Siebert (1934 – 2009) was the internationally recognized author of the bestselling The Resiliency Advantage and The Survivor Personality. The Resiliency Advantage won the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2006 Best Self Help Book Award. His bestselling book The Survivor Personality won the USA Book News “Best Books Award Winner” and has been published in ten languages. Articles quoting Siebert’s work have appeared in Family Circle, Men’s Fitness, the Wall Street Journal, and many trade publications. He had been interviewed on Today, CNN, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.Dr. Siebert was the founder and director of The Resiliency Center. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Among the topics covered: typical characteristics of survivors, how to analyze their survival strategies, how to deal with issues of conflicting personalities and team dynamics. The relationship between survival instinct and leadership is also explored. Illustrating all of these areas, the book is full of inspiring case histories. Some of the stories may be familiar (e.g. the anecdote about Disney), but there should be plenty of new and surprising material for any reader.
One gets the sense, quite early in the book, that this is not merely a list of things to do to become a survivor. Rather, the author's strategy is to help the reader recognize the traits he/she already has, and develop those. Supplementing that, the reader is given tips on how to inherit strategies from successful survivors.
The following readers may benefit most from this book: students in leadership classes; psychology students; student advisors and teachers... and anyone who knows substantial adversity. If you haven't experienced a major challenge to your physical and/or mental well-being, then the book may not engage you as effectively. I used it as an informal text for a course on survival and found that some of my students couldn't connect to it, simply because they hadn't yet faced an issue of survival. Key to the author's zen-like approach is that you learn through your own experiences, so... if your life has been smooth sailing so far then the book simply may not ring any bells... yet. At least for me (~20 years older than my students), the book rang plenty of bells!
I deduct one star because I find many of the illustrations confusing- unnecessarily so. Also, I suspect that today's readers would value more questionnaire-type material and ways for them to evaluate their progress in understanding the concepts. There are a few homework-like assignments in the book, and they are helpful; I'd simply like to see more of that. Also, perhaps it is unfair to expect teaching aids / talking points in a book like this, but... the topic is so apt for college-age students, it'd be helpful to have some of these built into the book.
I recommend this book highly.
At the time I opted to read his book and benefitted from the insights he offered.
It intrigues me that many can endure adversity without being broken.
With a personal challenge to meet, Dr. Seibert's Survivor Personality was appropriate to review for encouragement.