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Obstacles Welcome by Ralph de la Vega

Ralph de la Vega is no stranger to obstacles. This is a true American success story: born in Cuba, coming to America alone at a young age with nothing but the clothes on his back, working hard, going to college, and ultimately earning his place as a top level executive at AT&T. The author shares lessons from his life and offers plenty of advice for those who aspire to write their own success stories.

While the author’s life is a fascinating tale of overcoming obstacles… I found the author’s style at times to be somewhat of an obstacle to reading the book. When he shared personal stories about his childhood or business challenges, I was glued to the pages. I often wished he had shared more about those experiences. Unfortunately, much of the book was explaining and re-explaining the author’s “Takeaway Messages,” which often overlapped from chapter to chapter. (A couple of times, I found myself wondering if I had accidentally turned back and started re-reading a previous chapter.) That doesn’t detract from the value of the lessons; but de la Vega would have done better to heed his own advice: “A well-honed, effective message makes its point without superfluous clutter.” (p 141)

Yet, there is enough in this book to make it well worth the read. His chapter on sacrifice, while not nearly as unique has he imagines it to be, was refreshing and insightful. His thoughts on inclusion (diversity) were also excellent. There’s nothing “new” in this book — but de la Vega’s perspective is unique and deserves to be heard.

I review for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers

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