Jan Rutherford Keynote Speaker

  • Author, "The Littlest Green Beret"
  • Self-Reliant Leadership Expert and co-host, The Leadership Podcast
  • Global Expedition Leader with Executives & Special Operations veterans

Jan Rutherford's Biography

Jan Rutherford has over 25 years of business experience and has held executive roles in business development, marketing, sales, training, product management, and as a CEO.

Jan entered the U.S. Army at age 17 (weighing 114 pounds) where he spent six years in Special Forces as a medic and “A” team executive officer, and three years as a military intelligence officer.

In 2011, Jan founded Self-Reliant Leadership, LLC– a leadership development firm focused on helping leaders and teams develop self-reliance to create powerful results through executive workshops, custom programs, coaching, and wilderness expeditions.  He is also co-host of The Leadership Podcast.

As a Senior Instructor at the University of Colorado Denver Business School for over a decade, Jan teaches ‘Leadership in New Ventures’ and ‘Leadership & Entrepreneurship in Ireland’ (delivered on-site in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland) to MBA students.

As a professional speaker, Jan Rutherford presents the self-reliant leadership principles contained in his book “The Littlest Green Beret: On Self-Reliant Leadership” to business leaders across the U.S. and Europe. Half the proceeds of Jan’s book are distributed to the Green Beret and Special Operations Warrior Foundations. Jan also serves as a Senior Advisory Council Member for the Colorado ESGR (a Department of Defense volunteer program) and as a Mentor & Advisory Group Member of the University of Colorado Denver Boots to Suits program. He was recently profiled in Forbes Magazine and was named one of Inc.’s Top 100 Leadership Speakers for 2018. In 2018, Jan’s book “The Littlest Green Beret: On Self-Reliant Leadership,” was added to Heller Search recommended reading list for CIOs and other IT professionals.

Jan holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix, where his research focused on the effects of long-distance learning on job performance. He earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of South Florida, and was a Distinguished Military Graduate.

Jan is a dual U.S. and Irish citizen with a special affinity for Ireland and the wilderness of the Western United States.

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Videos of Jan Rutherford

Sacagawea Crucible Expedition, Wallowa Mountains - Sep 2017
Sacagawea Crucible Expedition, Wallowa Mountains - Sep 2017
Jan Rutherford Preview Video
Jan Rutherford Preview Video
On Self-Reliant Leadership at the Women's Success Forum
On Self-Reliant Leadership at the Women's Success Forum
Patagonia Crucible Documentary
Patagonia Crucible Documentary

Articles, Media & Podcasts

Comments & Testimonials

Certain experiences challenge every cell of your body. And translating that to deep learning is what a former Green Beret teaches as he leads expeditions with executives and special operations veterans all over the world. Jan has been a student of how adversity strengthens character to help leaders and teams realize truly heroic aspirations. Witness Jan Rutherford’s talk, and learn how we can change our own narrative.

Check Jan Rutherford's speaking fees and availability

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