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John O’Leary

Founder of Rise Above, Best-selling Author, Inspirational Leadership

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Fee Range: 20000-39999
  • #1 National Bestselling author of ON FIRE: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life
  • Inspirational speaker reaching more than 50,000 people each year for clients such as Lego, Southwest Airlines and Microsoft
  • Contributor for Parade Magazine website and The Huffington Post
  • Devoted husband and father of four
  • Once expected to die from burns on 100% of his body. Today teaching others to truly live.

In 1987, John O’Leary was a curious nine-year-old boy. Playing with fire and gasoline, John created a massive explosion in his home and was burned on 100% of his body. He was given less than a 1% chance to live.

This epic story of survival was first showcased in his parents’ book, Overwhelming Odds, in 2006. Originally printing 200 copies for friends and family, his parents have sold 60,000+ copies. It was this book that first invited John to embrace his miraculous recovery and share it with the world.

John inspires 50,000+ people at 100+ events each year. He speaks to companies and organizations across industries, such as: sales, healthcare, safety, marketing, finance, faith, education and insurance.

Consistently described as “the best speaker we’ve ever had,” John

receives nearly 100% of his engagements from referrals. His schedule is a testament to the power of his message and who he is as an individual. His emotional story-telling, unexpected humor and authenticity make each of his presentations truly transformational.

John’s first book ON FIRE: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life was an instant #1 National Bestseller; 200,000+ copies have sold and it has been translated into 12 languages. John’s Live Inspired Podcast is top rated on Apple Podcast and has more than 2,000,000 downloads.

His second book IN AWE: Rediscover Your Childlike Wonder to Unleash Inspiration, Meaning and Joy will be published by Penguin Random House in May 2020.

John considers his greatest success to be his marriage to his wife Beth, their four children and his relationships with friends and family.

IN AWE

There was a time when we once joyfully raised our hand high to answer every question, connected more easily with others around us, believed that anything was possible and fearlessly jumped into new experiences; when we experienced our days, not as something to endure, but as a marvelous gift to absorb and savor; when we danced through our days In Awe of the ordinary moments of the day and eager for the promise of tomorrow.

Unfortunately, many of us experience life very differently today. The pace of change has never been so stunningly rapid, and it will never be this slow again. With engagement within our professional organizations waning and burnout rising, many of us find ourselves caught in a life of dogged responsibility and mind-numbing repetition, we feel disconnected and burned out. Social media reminds us we don’t measure up and mainstream media barrages us with constant negativity. The years of test-taking, relentless striving toward someone else’s goals, and the daily struggle to earn a living, have caused us to lose the sense of wonder that we once awoke with every day.

In his new book, In Awe, John O’Leary invites us to return to the joy of navigating life like a child. He identifies the five senses children innately possess, explains why those senses fade, and shares emotional, humorous and inspirational stories of how we can return to them.

Where John’s first book On Fire leveraged his life experiences and challenges as a mirror for readers to better navigate their own, In Awe specifically identifies the most substantial challenges readers face in living more fully. It then calls out the cause of those challenges, while providing practical and inspired solutions to address them.

Strengthened by the past, and empowered for the future, In Awe shows us how to seek fresh insights, reach for new solutions, and live our best lives.

Objectives:

INNOVATION:

Whether they want to play professional sports, think they can fly, or expect there is a solution to every problem, children are born with a naturally curious spirit that challenges the status quo. John invites us to explore what might happen when we no longer see obstacles as impossibilities, or rely on what has always been done, but reengage our natural curiosity that asks questions, pushes boundaries, and liberates us to innovate with new ways of thinking, solving, leading, and living.

COLLABORATION:

Many of us find ourselves in a society where we feel isolated, alone, and enduring an epidemic of loneliness. Yet, we once were in touch with our sense of openness. Kids are always looking to expand their world, see potential friends everywhere and aren’t afraid to start conversations with those around them. John invites us to stop building fences focusing on our differences, and instead show our vulnerability and need for others, which resuscitates the feeling of acceptance, belonging and community. Learn how to reignite an environment built on shared goals, values and focus.

EMPOWERMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY:

Despite our best exhortations, kids don’t like to play it safe, but are natural risk-takers and adventurers, dreaming big and boldly going after what they want. John invites to see what’s possible when we set aside the protectionism that keeps us safe, begin to own our choices, claim our power, and live again as if anything is possible.

ON FIRE: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life

We live in a world where “accidental living” – mindlessly moving through routines, wasting countless hours on social media, or complaining about what’s wrong in our jobs, families and society – has become the norm. But John O’Leary reminds us that just because we got out of bed this morning, does not mean that we are truly living.

What would our day, impact and output look like if we lived a radically inspired life, every, single day?

Living radically inspired means you learn from past mistakes, rise above challenges and thrive no matter the circumstances. No one embodies this more than powerhouse inspirational speaker John O’Leary – who was nearly killed in a devastating fire at age nine. Today, John inspires 50,000+ people each year around the world.

In his #1 national bestselling book ON FIRE: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life, John has identified choices to transform your life and business.

John shares the critical truth that “inflection points” – moments in time that change everything that follows – occur daily. John will help you realize it’s your choice how inflection points affect you. Your life has much less to do with what happens to you, and much more to do with how you react to it. Are you ready to live on fire?

ACCOUNTABILITY:

Own your wins and your failures to truly celebrate your outcomes. Discover the power of taking ownership of your life and the impact it will have on your bottom-line. Your team will replace blame-shifting with courageous living.

VICTOR-MINDSET:

Shift your perspective to leverage your strength and reclaim freedom. First, see how perspective is coloring each of your interactions. Strive for progress (not perfection) and learn from defeat. With a new common mindset, your organization will achieve unbridled success.

The Power of One: How One Attitude, One Action and One Person Can Change the World

Expected to die, John O’Leary now teaches others how to truly live.

John was a curious nine-year-old boy. Playing with fire and gasoline, he created a massive explosion in his garage and was burned on 100% of his body. Given less than 1% chance of survival, John is proof of the power of the human spirit.

His unlikely recovery meant a journey of pain and loss that could have easily been insurmountable. However, far from being an example of someone who simply endured tragedy, John is a luminous example of thriving through adversity.

Surprisingly, this “survivor” story isn’t focused on John – rather, it is a celebration of heroes who intimately served him and his family. From a dedicated Hall of Fame sports announcer to a visionary burn nurse (and countless others), every individual involved in this 1987 fire teaches us this truth: one person can make a profound difference in the lives of others.

With emotional storytelling and unexpected humor, John reminds audiences of the significance of daily attitudes, the power of gratitude, and the impact of serving others with courage. He reawakens audiences to realize the gift of today and the possibility of tomorrow. John is consistently referenced as “the best speaker we’ve ever had” – earning five star reviews and inspiring 50,000+ individuals at 100+ events each year. His book, On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life was an instant #1 national bestseller in Spring 2016.

OBJECTIVES:

John illustrates this truth: one attitude, one action and one person can absolutely change the world.

Employee Engagement: 70% of the workforce is not engaged.* John dramatically “wakes people up” to realize their role and responsibility is significant. *2012 Gallup poll

Culture: John helps organizations build a positive atmosphere to increase creativity and productivity. Audiences learn how to reignite an environment built on shared goals, values and focus.

Communication: John outlines unconventional communication methods to dramatically (and positively) impact relationships.

The Phoenix Factor: Transforming challenges into the foundation for success.

John’s most requested program outlines the seven critical components necessary to embrace adversity and enjoy true success. Audience participants learn the power of “STRETCH” into their daily lives.

Ignite Life!

Ignite your passion, enjoy real meaning and fulfill your potential!
To rise above challenges and fulfill potential, you must first discover your passion. This program reveals the value in identifying your passion, the opportunity borne from pursuing it courageously, and the impact this identification has in your professional and personal life.

Be Light: Shining with Faith

Today’s world can seem so dark. We are too often reminded of the pain and disappointment in our everyday lives. Health, financial, and relational challenges impact all who live in this imperfect, fallen world.

Our faith doesn’t offer the guarantee of avoiding adversity, but instead the promise of a loving God who suffers with us in our pain, celebrates with us in our joy, and invites us into an eternal relationship with Him.

In this presentation, John O’Leary illustrates the incredible power of love, gratitude, forgiveness, purpose, courage and resilience. John reminds us that Jesus Christ calls us to be his living presence – to bring light to this dark world. This program will empower you to shine your light of faith for all to see!

Partnership Program.

The power of John’s message has a universal application and can be uniquely personalized for your organization. John regularly partners with leaders to create presentations that complement their annual meetings and events.

This partnership includes the creation and facilitation for Mission Days, In-Services, Team Retreats, and Leadership Summits.

Healthcare

As a former trauma patient and hospital chaplain, John O’Leary is a popular speaker choice for hospital systems, healthcare associations and medical/EMS conferences around the world.

John understands the healthcare profession demands quality individuals dedicated to the service of patients and families – in an environment often filled with limited resources and exhaustive schedules. Sharing from his personal experience as a burn victim, John reveals the difference between curing and healing patients. In addition, John will reignite participants’ passion for their healthcare careers – illustrating the crucial role they have in the patients they serve and the departments they work with.

Safety

As John O’Leary so intimately knows, one poor decision can dramatically affect the rest of your life. This poor decision not only impacts the life of the individual injured, it also impacts their entire family, organization and community.

Leading the mission to eliminate all employee accidents, John challenges audiences in manufacturing and utilities to improve their safety by personal accountability – one employee, one decision at a time. While many safety programs focus on what not to do in order to not get injured, John O’Leary focuses on what to do in order to work safe, lead others, and thrive in life.

Insurance/Financial

John and his family have experienced the incredible impact proper financial and insurance planning can have. John’s father, Denny, has been living with Parkinson’s disease for the past 25 years.

It is Denny’s disability insurance policy that has sustained his family’s standard of living.

Because of John’s message, financial representatives and agents are energized with new passion for their careers. A favorite speaker in network office meetings and Home Office trainings, John also creates memorable client appreciation events. Instead of sharing the typical economic forecast, John helps deepen your relationships with your clients by providing a unique experience of personal triumph and hope.

“I can assure you no one, brokers and clients alike, will be disappointed when they hear John speak….it will be one of the most memorable evenings you will have…the good will you gain from your clients is worth every bit and more….”
Jim Breen, Senior Vice President, Investments, Wells Fargo Advisors, Fort Worth, Texas

Education

From student assemblies to faculty in-service retreats, John inspires audiences to fully realize the possibility of how one can serve, love and impact more profoundly.

John’s youth presentations focuses on celebrating individual uniqueness, the power of everyday heroes, and developing strong character. John’s humor and story-telling mesmerizes student audiences and empowers them to make a positive difference in the lives they lead at school and at home. This one program may be the most important gift you provide your students, your staff, and yourself this year!

Add on (additional cost)

John will play at the end IF they client wants to pay for having a keyboard/piano on site.

Many times, if the client would like, John can end the program with plaything the piano. After they’ve shared his journey and learned how he had his fingers amputated at age 9….it’s just the most powerful and beautiful moment. He often plays The Scientist Coldplay or Amazing Grace, per the client.

LeadingAge
"Your organization name - John O'Leary Inspires - is an understatement! You connect, you educate, you encourage, you open the mind to the possibilities of living life fully....and you do you inspire. Thank you for sharing your story, your talent, your lessons, your energy, and your inspiration." For a gathering of caregivers, you and your message were simply perfect." -
Enterprise
"The feedback from John's presentation has been overwhelming awesome."
NTT Data, Inc
"John was absolutely phenomenal. The response we've received from not only our clients but our staff has been amazing. Everyone has said that he really is the best speaker they've ever heard."
FYZICAL
"Words cannot express my gratitude for your contribution at our National Conference. I know you surely changed alot of lives that day!"
Hartwig, Inc.
"John's presentation was great. Expectations were high, and he exceeded them."
National Credit Management Association
"John absolutely set the tone for the our conference. It was all positive and upbeat. In my opinion, it was the best conference we have had in years, and I know that John played a major role in that."
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