“We haven’t had an event like this for years. It was the most on-point, useful dialogue we have had.  Your communication style engaged the crowd quickly and your real life stories really helped cement the concepts. Many thanks for your time and effort. You made a difference.” – Steve Steele, Chief Executive Officer, IBMC College


Jan captivates audiences as he shares real-life stories of his experiences in business leadership, leadership education, the military, and wilderness expeditions. Through these stories, Jan demonstrates how to develop strong, effective leaders who engage and inspire others, and are able to effectively execute the strategy required to grow your organization to new levels of success.


For enquiries regarding speaking, please contact Jeana Webster at Chartwell – (972) 385-1021, or jeana@chartwellspeakers.com.




Jan’s keynotes are designed to engage inherent self-reliance and enhance performance through new strategies that:


  • Reinforce the innate courage within teams to nurture resourcefulness and resiliency
  • Foster humility so when setbacks occurs, the entire team can collaborate and gain confidence from the experience
  • Change a team’s trajectory by questioning assumptions
  • Use solitude and the power of introspection to foster a culture of discipline and innovation to provide focus


Keynote Topics

Self-Reliant Leadership to Foster Audacious, Adaptable & Committed Teams

Developing self-reliance allows you, your team, and your organization to become more resourceful, collaborative and focused in your ability to produce meaningful and sustainable results. This keynote provides an overview of Self-Reliant Leadership principles and concepts. Audience members will leave with a workable plan on how to embrace adversity, strengthen the leader/teacher role, and “hear the unheard” to leverage introspection to create powerful outcomes.

Leadership Levers that Drive High Performance

Self-Reliant Leadership is built on trust and emerges from strong shared values built on solid character traits. This keynote addresses the four key ‘leadership levers’: People, Process, Structure, and Rewards, and their role in developing character in the people around you to foster an environment of uncommon accountability and performance.

Harnessing the Virtues of Leadership for Today's Workforce

Self-Reliant Leadership is centered on embracing adversity, strengthening the leader/teacher role, and ‘hearing the unheard.’ Leaders develop self-reliance to create powerful futures through a confluence of Sparta’s discipline, Socrates’ self-awareness, Aristotle’s courage, Emerson’s self-reliance, and Thoreau’s reflective humility. This keynote addresses how to unleash the virtues of character for leaders to inspire and transform multi-generational organizations with a common purpose.

Retention - The Best Measure of Leadership Effectiveness

What are you doing to attract and retain top talent in a tight labor market?  Effective business is focused on people working across generations for a common goal, but every employee is ultimately a volunteer, and more and more they’re choosing to look for greener pastures. This keynote hones in on retention of top talent as a key indicator of leadership effectiveness and provides valuable tools to keep employees inspired, innovative and engaged.


Executive Workshops


Custom Workshops for Senior Leaders Seeking to Build and Strengthen High Performance Teams


Jan’s workshops unleash the talents of a diverse workforce by helping senior leaders and their teams develop self-reliance and align heroic aspirations across an organization. Designed to accelerate change, drive growth, and achieve extraordinary outcomes, workshops combine rich content in an interactive format that engages leaders in discovery utilizing real-world challenges.


By focusing on the results leaders aim to achieve, and facilitating in the context of specific current and future challenges, participants discover how to:


  • build on core strengths to create unity of purpose, alignment, and resourcefulness, while helping to mitigate derailleurs to profitable and sustainable growth
  • align heroic aspirations across an organization to accelerate change, and drive growth through collaboration
  • engage employees to focus, initiate, and think like owners, by building the trust necessary to unleash the talents of a diverse team
  • use crucibles and conflict as a teaching tool to develop resourcefulness for organizational change and breakthroughs
  • identify and assess the key leadership levers that will foster collaboration and drive organizational results



Contact Jan to learn more about Keynotes and Workshops





Leadership Keynote for Veterans Day, Bonneville Power, Portland, OR – November 8, 2016

Leadership Keynote & Workshops for Startup Gathering in Cork, Ireland – November 18-20, 2016.

Workshop for Veteran’s Job Fair at Western Union – “NOT Networking… Targeting, Connecting and Contact!” – Denver, CO – December 2, 2016,

Lessons from the Patagonia Crucible – Audacity, Adaptability & Accelerating Team Development – University of Colorado Denver – December 6, 2016.

Lessons from the Patagonia Crucible – Audacity, Adaptability & Absolute Commitment, Portland, OR, December 14, 2016.

Corporate Workshop, Denver, CO, January 13, 2017.

Keynote, Oklahoma Fire Chiefs Association, Stillwater, OK, January 19, 2017.

Lessons from the Patagonia Crucible – Audacity, Adaptability & Absolute Commitment, REI Flagship Store, Seattle, WA, January 23, 2017.

How Successful Leaders Retain Employees – Manager Mojo podcast interview with Jan Rutherford, January 24, 2017.

 Lessons from the Patagonia Crucible – Audacity, Adaptability & Absolute Commitment, Chicago, IL, February 8, 2017.

Corporate Workshop, Denver, CO, February 10, 2017.

Keynote/Workshop, Corporate Client, Denver, CO, February 16, 2017.

Northern Colorado Human Resources Association webinar, March 29, 2017.

Corporate Workshop, Denver, CO, March 30, 2017.

The Leadership Podcast Dinner Party in Portland, April 6, 2017.

Corporate Workshop, Minneapolis, MN, April 19, 2017.

Ireland Tour, May 20-30, 2017 with workshops in Belfast on May 25th.

Presentation via hrQ, Denver, CO, June 27, 2017

Webinar, Texas Tech, July 21, 2017.

CEO Wisdom Exchange, Portland, OR, August 11, 2017.

Corporate Executive Planning Retreats in Colorado, July 31, August 16, August 29, and September 20-22, 2017.

Corporate Presentation, Denver, CO, September 6, 2017.

Self-Reliant Leadership and Learning to Lead Others, The Success Mentor Summit, September 2017.

Presentation, COSHRM, Keystone, CO, September 27, 2017.

Corporate Sales Workshop with Jim Vaselopulos, Denver, CO, October 11-12, 2017.

Super Connector Summit, October, 2017.

*C3 3rd Annual CEO Summit, Denver Center for Performing Arts, November 2, 2017 (advising vs. speaking – outstanding program).

Premier of Sacagawea Crucible, Seattle, November 15, 2017.

Presentation, Irish Network of Seattle, November 16, 2017.

Workshop for Special Operations transitioning soldiers, Fort Bragg, NC, November 28, 2017.