If you tell Chicago Cubs fans that Theo Epstein is the greatest leader in the world, you’re probably not going to get too much of an argument after he shepherded the organization through a rebuilding process that culminated in its first World Series title in 108 years.
Will everyone else argue, though?
Today, Fortune Magazine revealed its list of the top leaders in the world, and Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein sat at the top:
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) March 23, 2017
You can read the full profile of Epstein here, and see the full list here. It appears that Tom Verducci’s forthcoming book on the Cubs, The Cubs Way, heavily informs the Epstein profile. A selection that will strike you just right, and remind you that – whether he’s the best in the world or not – Epstein is a fantastic leader:
They never stopped searching to find edges, but they made a fundamental decision early after coming to Chicago that the one edge they could exploit was found in a very old-school resource: people.
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.’
I think we all saw that in action in 2015 and 2016.
As for Epstein, he had a typically humorous response to the honor, which he sent to ESPN’s Buster Olney: “Um, I can’t even get my dog to stop peeing in the house.”
In all seriousness, Epstein went on to tell Olney that there’s so much chance in baseball that this kind of label for him is “patently ridiculous,” and the best leaders on the Cubs are the players.