Ken Rutkowski is the host of the Business Rockstars, a five day a week, two hour show heard (and seen on the Internet) on 140 radio stations. It has 370,000 Twitter followers and 306,000 Facebook likes.
He is also the founder of the entrepreneurial community, METal International, where METal stands for Media, Entertainment and Technology Alpha Leaders. METal, as it is usually referred to, includes weekly meetings held Saturdays at the Crest Theater in Westwood, CA attended by men only every five weeks, with a coed meeting every sixth meeting and then each weekly meeting is followed by coed Sunday hikes throughout Southern California.
Every Saturday Ken orients that 120-200 attendees of METal to practice the 3 C's: Contacts, Credits and Currency. By that he means that members are to share contacts freely, give credit publically for the fine work people do for them and/or pay or get each other paid. On at least every third meeting he admonishes the group that members failing to follow the three C's are not welcome.
Ken is also the impresario and quintessential new technology junkie. For thirty minutes he enthralls, informs and entertains his members about the latest and upcoming advances in technology as well as trends to watch for. One of the most entertaining segment is what he calls Speed to Cool where people attending for the first time get 30 seconds to state their name, what they do and what makes them cool. And by cool he means either something that got them arrested or some sexual feat that has the audiences oohing and salivatig or something they are doing to help people in the world who have less.
He then brings up a handful of people to give short updates from their particular worlds of technology and the entrepreneurial world and every other week invites an up and coming musical talent to perform.
After this Ken introduces the main speaker who are often game changers in the world of media, entertainment or technology and have included people from Larry King to General Wesley Clark to Keith Ferrazzi to Ken Kragen to Walter "Scorpion" O'Brien to futurist, Michio Kaku.
Ken gets my endorsement as the "face of technology and entrepreneurship." And trust me when I say it is unauthorized and will be embarrassing to Ken.
I have been a member of METal since April 2014 and a purveyor of leaders and leadership styles for decades, having been mentored by leadership guru, Warren Bennis. Ken has much that other leaders can learn from.
What I find most fascinating and admirable is his egoless ambition. It has perplexed me for months because it is exactly that leadership plus ambition but without the ego that so often and too often corrupts leadership.
Ken is never about showing off what he knows and what he can do. He is about showing off what is new in technology and entrepreneurship and what it can do for you. He is not a "know it all" but is rather someone who appears to "know all of it" and is eager to share any and everything with the excitement of a stoner wanting to share the newest cut from a heavy metal record.
Another remarkable quality that Ken has is his ability to reign in the natural taker, grabber, "all about me" part of the testosterone and adrenaline audience's personalities which left to their own devices could easily devolve into Lord of the Flies, or even worse, Animal Farm. When Ken is away, his halo affect, keeps that baser side of his audience from breaking through but you can begin to feel it brewing just under the surface.
But why am I taking a moment to write about Ken?
It's because I really do see that technology and entrepreneurship are at their best when they're pushing the limits of what's possible in the context of collective cooperation and collaboration. That represents the best marriage of the yin and yang of technical and human progress and is the synergy vs. zero sum game between the two that the world needs. That is what Ken Rutkowski embodies.
And finally on a personal note, Warren would have liked Ken.