Give Theo Epstein another ring. The Cubs GM just notched one more title on his belt. Fortune Magazine named him the World's Greatest Leader.
Which seems pretty right. He helped the Cubs break their 108-year World Series drought—Did you know about that? Have you heard?—which had to be the greatest achievement in all of 2016, outside of slab of ham with sauerkraut for hair getting itself elected President of the United States, anyway. But, seriously, Epstein has also become a model sports executive, encompassing intellectual rigor, ballsiness, advanced analytics, and empathy all at once. He is the alpha GM right now.
He's just one of just two sports-related people on the list of 50. The other is LeBron James (official job title: small forward, Cleveland Cavaliers). The Pope (Head of the Roman Catholic Church) comes in at No. 3. Shakira (Singer, Songwriter, and Producer) is No. 27.
One example Fortune cites is Epstein's decision to highlight makeup -— and not solely analytics — when he took over the Cubs.
"If we can't find the next technological breakthrough, well, maybe we can be better than anyone else with how we treat our players and how we connect with players and the relationships we develop and how we put them in positions to succeed," Epstein said. "Maybe our environment will be the best in the game, maybe our vibe will be the best in the game, maybe our players will be the loosest, and maybe they'll have the most fun, and maybe they'll care the most. It's impossible to quantify."
Against the grain thinking. If it busted, so would the Cubs. Instead, Epstein has a ring and another hosanna thrown at his feet. I hope he celebrates it right.