On Thursday, Fortune released its fourth annual list of the world’s 50 greatest leaders, and there’s one name glaringly absent from the list. Theo Epstein, whose Chicago Cubs broke their 108-year curse in November, tops the ranks of the greatest global leaders in business, government, philanthropy, and the arts, followed by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, Pope Francis, Melinda Gates, and Jeff Bezos, the Amazon chief and owner of The Washington Post. Not making the Top 50 is President Trump.
Trump’s second national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, made the cut, coming in at No. 7 with this question: “What will happen if and when his adamantly independent thinking conflicts with his duty of loyalty to the president”? Also in the Top 50: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), one of Trump’s top Republican critics (No. 9); German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Western hemisphere’s anti-Trump (No. 10); Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio), one of Trump’s last GOP primary rivals (No. 12); and a chorus of other people who famously don’t see eye-to-eye with Trump, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (No. 31), comedian Samantha Bee (No. 19), and LeBron James (No. 11).
So how did the nominal leader of the free world not make the cut? “Remember as you scan our list that we evaluate each leader within his or her own field of endeavor,” Fortune’s Geoff Colvin says in his introduction. He began his introduction with the glaring visibility of “tarnished leaders” today, mentioning ousted Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Trump himself, whose “approval ratings are lower than those of any new president for whom such polling exists.”
Colvin also listed the three characteristics that great leaders must promote, including that they “acknowledge reality and offer hope,” and “build bridges.” “As the acerbity of political discourse threatens to infect the whole culture,” he writes, “the best leaders stay refreshingly open to other views, engaging opponents constructively rather than waging war.” Well, there’s always the new Forbes Billionaires List, where Trump at least made the Top 554. Peter Weber