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The Transformative CEO: Impact Lessons from Industry Game Changers by Robert Reiss, Jeffrey J. Fox

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12Obstacles Are Opportunities

The transformative CEO, by definition, faces obstacles. The company is on life support or the market is tanking or there is no money or a new technology is making the workhouse product obsolete. Obstacles are legion, constant, daily, and deadly. The transformative CEO analyzes the obstacle. He or she does not shrink, or wring hands. The transformative CEO asks of himself, and all others, “How can we take advantage of this challenge? What can we do that no one else would even attempt? How do we win?”

Ralph de la Vega, CEO, AT&T Mobility, and his family were planning to leave Cuba for America. At the last minute, Fidel Castro’s government decreed: “Only the boy can go.” Ralph de la Vega was 10 years old. He left Cuba ...

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