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Obstacles Welcome: How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life Hardcover – October 27, 2009

3.9 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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About the Author

Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, is responsible for all consumer marketing, sales, content and converged services, customer care and operations for wireless and wireline services. He also represents AT&T's entire wireless business.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 10.2.2009 edition (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595552642
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595552648
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Marcela R. Murillo on May 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is an inspiration and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to climb the corporate ladder. It provides wisdom, lessons learned, success stories, proactive steps to eliminate possible gaps in your career that prevent you from getting where you want to be, and talks about the importance of mastering public speaking skills as a key asset in corporate America. The author shares his success cycle and provides a success framework with which he explains how he assesses the situation and turns obstacles into opportunities. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to be inspired, motivated and has big dreams to achieve success in the corporate world or in their personal life because the content of the book is applicable to both

Ralph de la Vega arrived alone in the USA from Cuba when he was 10 years old. He learned at that young age, one of most difficult and scary moments in his life, to turn adversity into opportunity and focus on the opportunities behind the obstacles. Other key learning's were:
* Hard work was going to pay off. Life was going to get better.
* The meaning of sacrifice and the power of making sacrifice in the present for the sake of a better future.
* The need to make plans and not just drift with circumstances.
* Take risks in search of opportunity.
* Focus on the possibilities.
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Format: Hardcover
Obstacles Welcome is one of the best books I've read recently on leadership. Thought it is not from a church point of view, many of its principles can be applied.

de la Vega is the President and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. A Cuban refugee, he came to the USA in 1962 at the age of 10, without his parents. This book tells of his journey from being raised by friends of his parents in the U.S., to becoming the CEO of AT&T Mobility. It is an inspiring story of his ascent in the world of telecommunications, but more is told of his leadership principles and ideas, which is why I chose this book.

Some of the most interesting parts of the book, personally, is his behind-the-scenes stories of his work in telecommunications, and the merger of AT&T and Cingular Wireless - the largest cash merger in history. His stories of how he accomplished such a feat are interesting and make for a good, solid foundation in leadership that can be applied - at least to some degree - to all kinds of work, including leadership in the church.

I also liked this book because, unlike many books on leadership that tend to be all theory and not practicality (which is fine, to a point), de la Vega gives good, practical advice on creating actions plans, taking calulated risks, vision, recognition of obstacles as opportunities, unlearning "old-think", etc.

I would recommend this book for a couple reasons: 1). it's a good read just for the behind-the-scenes information and 2). it's a well-written, practical leadership resource.
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Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading the book Obstacles Welcome: turn adversity to advantage in business and life. This book by Ralph de la Vega is part autobiography, part leadership history, part leadership principles, part self-help, and part personal development. de la Vega, President and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets has been responsible and overseen everything from the move to mobile to the proliferation of the iPhone. The book starts out, though, with stories from de la Vega's youth in which he emigrated to the United States without his parents through a last minute glitch at the airport. At the age of 10, he began his life in the United States without his parents.

I really enjoyed reading Obstacles Welcome. It was a really accessible and easy read, and de la Vega takes the complexity of managing a huge corporation and a gives simple but not simplistic look into how he does it. I also appreciated the type of leadership de la Vegan seems to exhibit. He appears to be a person who values people, virtue, integrity, hard work, and determination. After reading this book, I thought to myself, "de la Vega would make a good mentor" and that is exactly what he does through this book, becoming a personal and leadership mentor. If you're in a leadership position, it's worth a read.
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Format: Hardcover
I am an avid reader of most genres, especially motivational and business titles. I can honestly say Obstacles Welcome by Ralph de la Vega is one of the best books I've read. It's extremely well written. Once you pick it up you will not want to put it down. The book chronicles the struggles of Ralph's early life on through the triumphs of his business career, culminating in his current role as CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. Throughout the book, the author gives you an authentic look at his upbringing. He also dispenses nuggets of wisdom at the end of each chapter that are applicable for personal or professional growth. After reading this book, I was reminded that obstacles in life are not to be avoided but welcomed. They are designed to help realize your potential. I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: the author of this book is an executive manager in the company that employees me. We've been taking "leadership workshops" at work and they mentioned this book as part of the workshop. I decided to check it out.

Summary: Obviously, as a business book, there's no plot. Well, not quite. There is a bit of plot in that de la Vega chronicles his career throughout the book. Keeping up with his different positions, projects, and goals provides a nice framework for him to impart the business advice he wants to impart. Mainly, it boils down to this: work hard, make sacrifices, get outside your comfort zone, and you will be happy with your advancements at work. It's pretty standard fare as far as this kind of advice goes, the thing that helps keep it engaging is how de la Vega interweaves his own personal story and passion throughout the book. I came away from the book feeling more like I had a conversation with de la Vega instead of simply reading a dry business book.

What I thought: Meh. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't outstanding. As I mentioned before, the advice was commonplace. There really wasn't anything new. The main thrust is reduced to the cliche "obstacles are opportunities." It's really about finding ways to overcome the obstacles, turn them into opportunities, and capitalize on them. When you strip away the fancy words, you're left with working hard and making sacrifices.

I'm glad I read the book, and I think it may have given me some inspiration to try things differently at work to help advance my career the way I want it to advance. There are no easy answers here, but good food for thought.
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