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What if the vaccine fails? (It’s not about Covid)

John O’Leary discusses the coming Covid-19 vaccine and how its success or failure doesn’t impact this.


“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstance, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor Frankl

What if the vaccine doesn’t work?

I’ve been wrestling with this terrifying possibility lately.

What if in spite of all the work, research, prayers, dollars and the very best we as a global community can throw at it, the vaccine just doesn’t work?

No, I don’t mean in regards to eradicating Covid-19. History teaches that this will pass. The vaccine will be available at scale, cases will drop and the second half of 2021 will look wildly different than 2020.

What concerns me is that the vaccine won’t eradicate the structural issues that have been revealed so profoundly in the wake of this pandemic within our personal lives, our communities and our businesses. Let me explain. 

John O’Leary shares what the universal responses are as he consults with his coaching clients during the time of Covid.


Like every business, our organization has been challenged to shift… dramatically the manner in which we work since the outbreak of Covid. For my team, making the complete transition from live experiences to virtual was arduous. And yet this year, we’ve successfully partnered with more than 100 clients to deliver virtual events, inspirational videos and coaching. The blessing of success we’ve had during uncertain times has not been lost on us.

Having the privilege to speak with tens of thousands of friends virtually at seminars, showing them the power of perspective, the need to give – and receive – grace, and the truth that the best days remain ahead has been a gift… for me. [Learn about my transformational virtual seminars here.]

I personally speak with each client to ensure how best to support their unique business, team dynamics, challenges and goals during our work together. This call as part of our process isn’t new – what is new is that on every call, regardless of industry or location, the leaders describe the unprecedented disruption in their business during 2020:

  • The speed of change required to navigate these days effectively
  • The need for their organization to pivot more quickly than ever before
  • The difficulties of not seeing customers and coworkers face-to-face
  • The desire to harness tech to come through stronger, nimble, better

When I ask how the individuals on their teams are managing… through the pandemic, with social unrest, racial injustices, recessionary winds and personal challenges, they share an even more somber, difficult assessment.

These leaders speak honestly about the uptick of anxiety, the intense stress resulting from managing old jobs along with mounting new expectations, while working from home, managing those responsibilities, without any reprieve, for the past eight months… and counting.

They speak about their own sadness, despair or depression as they consider the litany of challenges facing the world. They openly discuss their sincere concerns for managing their emotional well-being as winter approaches, days shorten, and the loneliness that may come as holiday traditions are canceled.

If you are feeling lonely, you are not alone and, it’s likely not new this year, according to this study about the ‘loneliness epidemic.’


In fact, a national study by Cigna found 64% of individuals… feel isolated and as if they have no one to truly share life with. Perhaps more startling is that the report was from 2019. In other words, the pandemic of loneliness and despair was here long before Covid.

This reality encouraged us to go all in to be a resource to help our clients understand that they are not alone, there is reason for hope and they are capable of effectively managing their current realities.

We do this through our Coaching program. We’ve partnered with dozens of organizations and hundreds of individuals, empowering them to do simple better, stay in their circle and take the next right step. By focusing on the humanity, challenges and dreams of the individual, the entire organization benefits. [Learn more about our coaching and what clients are saying here.]

In anticipation of continued political divisiveness, Covid fatigue, and additional challenges over the holidays, we’ve partnered with Keeley Companies for our first ever Live Inspired Podcast Special Series “Electing Gratitude.” We’ve curated factual, inspirational, action-oriented content that is focused on helping you not just endure these days, but to embrace the gifts within them.

Most recently, with all the disruptiveness and uncertainly in many of our hearts, we invited Tiffany Shain, author of 24/6 and founder of the Webby Awards, to show you how to set life-changing boundaries with your devices each day. My team has embraced some of her amazing tips like digital sabbath – don’t miss it [listen here.]

John O’Leary has created inspirational resources including coaching, virtual events, books and podcasts to help you, your organization and family to navigate the pandemic and all the challenges that have come with it.


My friend, while we’re all in the same storm, we are weathering it in completely different boats. That’s why I wanted to remind you of all the ways we are reshaping our organization to support you, your family, your organization. We’re here for you.

Because the struggle is real and for now the headwinds are intensifying, it’s important to remember a quote shared by a man who endured the truly unprecedented, truly incomparable tragedy of the Holocaust.

Viktor Frankl lost almost everything. He lost family members, status, wealth and experienced unspeakable wickedness. Yet he reminds us to never let go of the last and greatest of human freedoms:

“We get to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances and we get to choose our own way.”

During a time when so many feel that life is out of control, overwhelmed with challenges, and trapped in isolation, let’s choose to galvanize around an opportunity that is alive and well: To be love, to extend grace and to do life better, together.

It’s one vaccine we know that works.

Today is your day. Live Inspired.

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