Expected to die, John O’Leary now teaches others how to truly live.
John was burned on 100% of his body in a house fire at age nine. He was given less than one percent chance to survive. The next five months spent in intensive care transformed his life.
Instead of ending tragically, the fire gave him the greatest gift: embracing the truth that regardless of our challenges and circumstances, we choose how to navigate adversity, determine our vision for what’s possible and realize the profound impact our lives have on others.
Today, 28 years later, John has shared this truth as an internationally-acclaimed speaker, writer and expert on leadership and life with more than 1,000 organizations. Some of John’s clients include: Southwest Airlines, LEGO, Wells Fargo and Young Presidents’ Organization.

John is the president of Rising Above, a leadership lifestyle organization designed to encourage you to take back your life, ignite your possibility and change your world. Rising Above offers personal and professional development resources and a community of like-minded individuals. Join the Rising Above community and receive daily inspiration at


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