Obstacles Welcome

Obstacles Welcome: Turn Adversity to Advantage in Business and Life.

Author: Ralph de la Vega

My Description: The “American Dream” is still alive and on display throughout this book. De la Vega combines the power of his immigrant story with practical leadership principles as he guides the reader through an assortment of teachings. This book does not dive too deeply into any one topic, yet covers a lot of ground and material. Not only do you get a glimpse into the life of a boy from Cuba growing into one of America’s top executives, you also walk through some analysis and best practices of one of America’s top wireless carriers, AT&T (formerly Cingular).

My thoughts: I really appreciated the personal touches of this book. Because his teaching is intertwined with real life experience, it kept my attention. Only towards the last 80% did I feel that the content was getting a little dragged out. One of my main issues with the book is the focus on “self”. A common theme that de la Vega emphasizes is belief in yourself, setting your own direction, and taking control of your life. Although I believe these things are important in some aspect, I do not see them as central, as the author does. I believe that we should be seeking God’s direction for our life, not our own. We should be allowing Him control, and seeking to live under His plan, instead of creating our own. Aside from the self-centered nature of this book, many principles and teachings still ring true. This is a great book for a quick covering of business leadership, coming from a great perspective.

Nuggets:

  • Throughout the book, the reader is let into the process, planning, and practices of some of Cingular and AT&T’s largest moments, including the largest cash merger in America.
  • Obstacles are really opportunities
  • There are a bunch of insightful graphs, illustrations, and descriptions throughout the book that help the reader to visualize and grasp the concepts.
  • The end of each chapter includes a short summary of the key “Takeaway Messages.”
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