When it comes to the highest levels of leadership, does size matter? How do you do leadership if you don’t look the part?
In this episode, we curiously dissect leadership from the unusual and sage perspective of a leadership expert and one of the smallest guys to ever join the Special Forces. Gain insights and wisdom from a peek into the world where corporate and military leadership collide, in this interview with Jan Rutherford.

Who is Jan Rutherford?

Entered the US Army at age 17 (and 5’4″ and 103 lbs). He’s grateful to his parents for signing the permission form.

Succeeded as one of the littlest men to ever join the Special Forces as a Green Beret (defying his father, sister, and a condescending drill sergeant). Later served as an officer in the Army.

Ascended to highest levels of corporate leadership

Teaches, trains, and speaks on leadership to corporations, organizations and graduate schools around the world.

Leads Crucibles for Special Force and corporate leaders. Crucibles are leadership training and travel adventures in extreme environments.

What will you learn?

How to know when to quit

Why Jan did quit. Once.

How to overcome physical challenges.

How to avoid getting fired.

How to hear the unheard.

What’s the difference between being in the Special Forces versus an officer in the general Army.

Curious questions.

Why does what we look like have a lot to do with who we become?

When it comes to leadership, what are the differences between being and Army officer and being a Green Beret? (Jim was both)

What’s PONER?

Do you regret not serving during wartime?

What’s unconventional warfare?

Is there a downside to women in the military?

Is there a downside to diversity?

Links and resources:

Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time, by Jeffrey Pfeffer

Houdini Jacket from Patagonia

How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton Christensen

The Littlest Green Beret: On Self-Reliant Leadership, by Jan Rutherford


The Leadership Podcast

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below or Tweet with #ACLR and we’ll find you.
  • Share this show on Twitter or Facebook¬†and your very own favorite social site.

To help out the show:

Join the Tribe of the Curious.

Special thanks to Jan for joining me this week. Until next time!