Obstacles Welcome: How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life

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Thomas Nelson Inc, Nov 22, 2009 - Business & Economics - 274 pages
4 Reviews

Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, shares the lessons learned in business and in life along the journey from Cuba to Corporate America.

Ralph de la Vega arrived in the United States from Cuba in 1962. He was alone. He was scared. He was 10. Separated from his parents by Cuban authorities just moments before they were to board a plane to Miami, de la Vega was baptized early—and abruptly—in the waters of adversity. It would be four long years before his mother, father, and sister gained legal passage to America. But while the boy would never have chosen such circumstance, it's the man who can look back and say he would not have changed it.

In Obstacles Welcome, de la Vega recounts his journey as a young Cuban immigrant to president and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, a subsidiary of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). A frontliner in the converging worlds of technology and communications, de la Vega takes readers behind the scenes of the Internet revolution, shares insights from the nation's top technology companies, and chronicles the incredible obstacles intrinsic to successfully merging the largest wireless operations in U.S. history—those of Cingular Wireless and AT&T Wireless.

Obstacles Welcome is an innovation manifesto for those committed to bigger thinking and greater results both professionally and personally. He clearly defines how to:

* Create a detailed action plan to boost success

* Identify and take calculated risks without fear

* Create a values-centric, decisive leadership style

* Transform vision into measurable results

* Recognize opportunities and overcome obstacles

* Communicate well and build alignment

* Unlearn thinking that hinders innovation

* Dream big and throw off mental limits once and for all

Opening a powerful cache of business strategy and in-the-trenches wisdom, de la Vega illustrates that within each obstacle we encounter, there's an opportunity that carries the potential to transform our thinking, our organizations, our communities, and our world.

PRAISE FOR OBSTACLES WELCOME

“. . . [T]hrough his compelling story, Ralph shows how to turn almost any challenge into the opportunity of a lifetime. This is great insight for any professional or any young person aspiring to learn how to overcome obstacles and accept new challenges.” — Randall Stephenson, Chairman & CEO, AT&T, Inc.

“I recommend this book to those looking to improve their opportunities, as well as those providing leadership in this diverse society.” — Ambassador Andrew Young, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, former Mayor of Atlanta, former president of the National Council of Churches

“His journey is an inspirational story of leadership vision and the ability to achieve success in the face of enormous challenges and obstacles.” — Gerry Czarnecki, President, CEO & Managing Partner, O2Media

“This book is a must-read for anyone not afraid to make your dreams come true, regardless of where you are in your professional or personal life.” — Ernest Bromley, Chairman and CEO, Bromley Communications, LLC

“Without a doubt, this is one of the most inspiring books and one of the best business publications that I’ve read in my 40-plus years in the communications business.” — John Graham, Chairman, Fleishman-Hillard Inc.

“Ralph de la Vega tells an All-American story for our times.” — Henry Cisneros, Executive Chairman, CityView; former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; former Mayor of San Antonio

 

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User Review  - celticlady53 - LibraryThing

Obstacles Welcome by Ralph de la Vega is an inspiring and motivational book about how a young refugee came to the United States alone from Cuba. He came to Miami and was taken in by a young married ... Read full review

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When Ralph de la Vega was 10 years old, his parents sent him from Cuba to the US. They planned to follow him a few days later, once their travel documents were in order. Ralph arrived in Miami without money, without his family, unable to speak English and unfamiliar with the culture. A young couple, Cuban émigrés and acquaintances of the de la Vegas, took Ralph in, thinking it would be only a few days until his parents arrived. It took four years. Ralph had to take a job after school to help his parents when they, too, arrived with nothing.
Ralph worked hard, moved ahead and went to college. Hired by Southern Bell, he advanced. Today, he is CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. In his inspirational life story, de la Vega draws valuable lessons you can use to attain your own goals. getAbstract warmly recommends de la Vega’s book. He is a great role model for those who aspire to reach personal and professional ambitions. However, once past his personal saga, de la Vega tends to write his solid business advice in the form of ordinary bromides and lists – “four pillars of success,” “six pivotal points” – that do not do full justice to his gripping tale. He writes, “If all this sounds obvious…” Regrettably, some of it does, but he still tells an exceptionally moving story.
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Contents

How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life one Ninety Miles to Advantage
1
How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life two Obstacles Welcome
17
How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life three Opportunities in Disguise
27
How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life four Learn to Unlearn and Relearn
51
How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life five Create a Compelling Vision of the Future
63
How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life six The Only Way to Win
85
How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life seven Lifes a JourneyPrepare for the Trip
97
How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life eight The Success Cycle
111
How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life twelve You Get What You Measureand Then Some
163
How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life thirteen Spotting Opportunities
175
How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life fourteen The Power of Sacrifice
185
How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life fifteen Inclusion Its About Making Heads Count
197
How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life sixteen Make the Journey About More than You
207
How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life seventeen Become the Leader You Want to Be
221
How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life eighteen Adversity to Advantage The Journey Continues
241
How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life acknowledgments
251

How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life nine Transforming Vision into Results
125
How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life ten Communicate Communicate Communicate
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How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life eleven Maximizing Peoples Potential
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How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life appendix Career Timeline for Ralph de la Vega
255
How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life notes
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