Obstacles Welcome by Ralph de la Vega has the sub-title or secondary line, ‘turning adversity to advantage in business and life’.  This line, plus the title of the book pretty much sums up the theme of this book.  In life you should welcome all that comes to you, especially the so called obstacles because through these obstacles you will learn the most and by overcoming them you will turn this obstacles into advantages which you can use to further yourself and become the next top CEO or whatever it is your life or company aim is.

The book is full of tips and principles to apply to life like, “The Learning Cycle” (p53), the “gears of Opportunity” (p186), the “Success Cycle” (p112), the “Leadership Capability Model” which is a bit of a twist on the more classical levels of leaders that you might find in other business books, and the “Success Framework” (p22) which I think is at the centre of how you overcome obstacles – although this wasn’t really clear to me at the end of the book.

Nothing in the book was unhelpful and as I read it I was challenged to think more seriously about my life and my future and what it is that I really want to aim for and achieve.  But I also found the book somewhat disjointed, full of repeated stories, and a lot of self patting on the back.  I also had the feeling from the books advertising that this would be a book that taught things through telling de la Vega’s life story.  Whilst we did get a glimpse into some of his life, it was certainly not as autobiographical as I had hoped.

I would say that if you live in anywhere apart from Australia and have no idea who Cingular Wireless are or AT&T Mobility are then this book is not worth reading.  If you are interested in those companies and their CEO then you may enjoy this book.  I don’t think my life is any better for reading this book and there was nothing really new or groundbreaking in it.  It also never mentioned Jesus which I thought strange for a book published by a Christian book publisher and it seemed very focused on the power of the individual to overcome… that’s not the reality nor the gospel I believe in.

2.5 out of 5 stars for me.  It's ok, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.