Streetwise motivational read that injects drive

Book: Walking With Tigers

Book: Walking With Tigers

Author: Frank Furness

Publishers: Piatkus

Reviewer: Victor Mecoamere

Users of Frank Furness's motivational compilation - subtitled Success Secrets From The World's Top Business Leaders - will love how he combines his own personal experiences with those of other achievers in business, sports, philosophy and politics.

Furness, who employs a lively, enthusiastic and humorous style to inspire both his readers and audiences during motivational talks, is a South African who has made London his home.

It is easy to give Furness a hearing. He is a well-respected motivator for those who are struggling with their goal-setting tactics, techniques or methods and has helped inject drive in the lives and work of thousands in 45 countries for more than a decade.

I have read somewhere that his involvement with Toastmasters International for 13 years brought Furness recognition in 1997 as one of the top five humorous speakers in the UK.

Interestingly, Furness continues to prove his finesse as a presentation skills trainer who coaches many top sports people on public speaking.

In Walking With Tigers, he angles his motivational work on those wishing to attain success in business, especially sales consultants lacking the confidence and courage, but anyone else can use the book.

Furness dares the reader to dream, become go-getting goal-setters, seek to be people-friendly, conscious and to respect fellow human beings, develop good habits, think more creatively and to strive to work smarter and to have self-belief.

He uses illustrations including, those of philosopher Galileo, who strove against all odds to prove to the world that the earth travelled around the sun.

Furness's other illustration of untold gains, from daring to dream and taking the less-travelled life-paths, is New Zealand's versatile achiever, Tony Christiansen, who - though limbless - is an accomplished speedway driver, pilot, businessman, gold-medal winning paralympic athlete, surf life-saver, martial arts expert and mountaineer.

At the end of each new, appropriately-themed chapter, Furness enlists the help of philosophers, world-beating entrepreneurs and world leaders in politics with hard-hitting quotes.

He highlights one of the strengths in many successful, influential or inspirational people; people power, or the art of recognising, acknowledging and rewarding potential in other human beings - in a myriad of ways - and deriving immense fulfilment from empowering others, equipping them with hope, confidence and belief in themselves.

An enduring example of people power has been played out by one Dick Hoyt and his disabled son, Rick, from Massachusetts, US, who have competed together in marathons, triathlons and other athletic tournaments.

In competitions, Dick carries Rick in a special seat up front as they bike, pulls him in a special boat as they swim, and pushes him in a special wheelchair as they run.

After learning that Rick was a sports fan, his family took up athletics, with Dick ensuring that Rick enjoyed the thrill of each stride and the ultimate joy and feeling of accomplishment, of finally crossing the finish line.

Motivational talks and books are about the triumph of the human spirit. These differ in formats or presentation styles, tones and illustrations. Furness uses a streetwise, simple approach rich in literary colour.