While on your path of leadership development in Philadelphia, it is likely that you have identified several examples of superior leadership to model your evolution after. Influential leaders can be found all over the world but there are certainly those that stand out above the rest.
Here’s a look at the world’s five greatest leaders, according to Fortune.com.
- Theo Epstein – President of Baseball Operations, Chicago Cubs
Leave it to the man that ended the Chicago Cubs’ 108-year championship drought to top this list. World Series ratings increased by almost 50 percent when Epstein’s Cubs won it all in the fall of 2016. The Cubs owe their recent success to Epstein, who began rebuilding the Major League club when he took over in the front office in 2012. Epstein’s team included an effective mix of leadership styles, including that of owner Tom Ricketts and manager Joe Maddon. But ultimately, it was the leadership of Epstein that helped Chicago replicate the success he had as the general manager of the Boston Red Sox.
- Jack Ma – Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group
With a fortune valued at nearly $30 billion, Jack Ma is one of the richest men in China because of Alibaba, a digital conglomerate built around e-commerce. His success has made him one of the first Chinese executives to be universally recognizable. Ma’s platform is both capitalistic and innovative. He argues that the world’s economy can be powered by enabling small businesses to reach an ever-expanding pool of customers through the internet. Ma even promised then-President-elect Donald Trump during a meeting in January that Alibaba would help create 1 million jobs in the United States over five years.
- Pope Francis – Head of the Roman Catholic Church
Balancing the conflicting demands of traditionalism and modernity within the Catholic Church is a daunting task, but now in his fifth year of papacy, Pope Francis has done so thus far with grace and dignity. The first Latin American pope has urged the Catholic Church to be more welcoming toward divorced Catholics and LGBT followers. His progressive thinking has also led him to call for the retooling of a millennium-old tradition of clerical celibacy. Pope Francis has nudged the church to consider allowing “tested” marries men to become priests to help alleviate a worldwide shortage of Catholic clergy. Pope Francis’ leadership has also spilled over into the corporate sector, when he spoke last December at a gathering of CEOs by Fortune and Time at the Vatican. He called upon the corporate leaders to do more to reach the billions of people shut out from the benefits of the global economy.
- Melinda Gates – Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Melinda Gates is leading the charge to make birth control readily available to women across the globe. In February, she pledged to help 120 million women obtain birth control by 2020. She did so in an elegant personal essay that reminded readers of the connection between reproductive rights and economic growth. She is now the face of the foundation her and her husband, Bill, started and she has produced tangible results. Through 2015, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has paid out nearly $37 billion worth of grants that have had a large impact on empowering women and reducing infectious disease in the developing world.
- Jeff Bezos – Founder and CEO, Amazon
Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, has helped revolutionize two industries. Accounting for 43 percent of online sales in the U.S. last year, Amazon has taken over retail and is forcing competitors to sell more cheaply and deliver more quickly. As if that weren’t enough, Amazon’s Web Services have also made their mark on the economics of information technology. Next on the docket for Bezos and Amazon is the entertainment industry. Amazon Studios has already shown its ability to deliver content by scoring three Academy Awards.