Obstacles Welcome is three books in one.
First, it is a biography. Ralph de la Vega was born in Cuba before Castro’s regime. Soon after Castro took over, De la Vega’s parents tried to leave the country with their two small children. At the airport, they were stopped by officials, and only young Ralph was allowed to proceed to the United States.
For the next four years, he was raised by surrogate parents, and finally joined his parents when they were able to immigrate. Overcoming a difficult start in the United States, de la Vega rose to become the President and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets.
The second theme of the book is the strongest. If you have read John Maxwell or Jim Collins, you will find Obstacles Welcome a book of applied leadership. Where Maxwell and Collins focus on theory, de la Vega sets up his theory, but explains it with story after story from every level of his career.
The third focus of the book is personal leadership development. It is easy to know how to do things, but often we have mental blocks that keep us from moving forward. De la Vega works to help us remove those blocks and go to the next level.
I found this book both delightful and frustrating. The first couple of chapters are choppy. It would almost have been easier if he had left out his early years. After that, the book is really fun and helpful. Some of us learn from other people’s stories. This book fills an important hole in the world of leadership training.
You can learn more about it at the Thomas Nelson web site.
You can buy it at Amazon.com.