The world’s greatest leader runs a baseball team

Theo Epstein shown while leading.  Nam Y. Huh | Associated Press

Perhaps the world needs more baseball people running it.

The general manager of the Chicago Cubs, Theo Epstein, has been named the world’s greatest leader by Forbes.

Granted, Epstein is the only baseball person on the list — LeBron James is No. 11, though — and Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau was listed at No. 22. That’s poor timing considering the Department of Justice report that suggested she and other Minneapolis leaders could have been better leaders during the 4th Precinct protests.

Epstein had a better year than Harteau, the pope, Samantha Bee and even Justin Trudeau, earning him the top spot.

His team — you may have heard — got lucky and won the World Series last year.

Sports Illustrated baseball writer Tom Verducci said the world’s leaders can learn a lot from Epstein.

Said Epstein, “ 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. 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.

“When people do things they weren’t even sure they were capable of, I think it comes back to connection. Connection with teammates. Connection with organization. Feeling like they belong in the environment. I think it’s a human need—the need to feel connected. We don’t live in isolation. Most people don’t like working in isolation—some do, but they typically don’t end up playing Major League Baseball.”

A value for people and employees, basically the same thing every management guru has been saying — and 99.9 percent of the world’s managers and leaders ignoring — for generations.

(h/t: Paul Tosto)