May You Be Strong (A Post for Dan Rockwell)

May You Be Strong, Dan
(and How We Can Help)

Dan Rockwell has been writing succinct, powerful, inspiring posts about leadership via his Leadership Freak blog since December 2009. In the first Leadership Freak post, Dan said, with typical candor:

Among others, my battles include, selfishness, the need for the
spot light, and the need to control things.

While I would differ with Dan’s view that he is selfish and greedy for the spotlight, I have read almost every Leadership Freak post and it is clear that one of his battles is the “need to control things.”

That need for control was smashed in an instant in November 2011 when Dan had a serious automobile accident that rendered him flat on his back in a lifeflight helicopter, with a long recovery ahead once he survived the initial near-fatal injuries.

In Pulse magazine, Dr. Bill Ventres wrote about how a case of Guillian-Barre syndrome descended upon him rapidly while he was traveling in Guatemala, transforming him from an average tourist to a bedbound, 99.9% paralyzed patient within six hours. This condition would have been difficult for anyone, but for a physician it was especially grueling. He marvels at the transcendent power of kindness, such as the “nurse who massaged my feet as she trimmed my toenails–a gesture of humble yet profound caring in the face of my devastating loss of control and power.” Dr. Ventres’s nurse reminds me of the medical staff Dan lauded in this post about the healthcare professionals he has encountered since his accident. Despite Dan’s difficulties, he saw the potential in every individual who crossed his path.

In his “Hidden Power of Weakness” post, Dan shares the following observation: “Weakness lets you highlight the strength of others.” Although I know Dan’s spiritual and mental strength remain strong, I also know that the physical challenges caused by the accident are coupled with the financial challenges of mounting medical bills and expenses.

It is time for the strong Leadership Freak community to
unify on Dan’s behalf.

I encourage you to join in this effort immediately so we can get closer to the goal of raising $30,000 by December 31, 2011. The link to donate is here. Even if you can’t give money, you can help by sharing this post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or by tweeting this:

The @LeadershipFreak community is giving back to Dan Rockwell, who has given us so much. To contribute, go to

In his post about his battle with Guillian-Barre, Dr. Ventres shares the mantra/prayer that he repeated over and over while struggling to breathe: “May I Be Strong.” I would like to borrow and modify that mantra in order to send a wish to Dan.

May You Be Strong.

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