Skip to Content

Power Sheet – March 24, 2016

Especially striking in our new ranking of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders, published today, is how many of them you may not recognize. In our media-saturated, personality-obsessed global culture, how can that be? Yet it is so, and that’s what makes this group so heartening. It turns out the world is full of people you’ve never heard of who are rallying followers to make life better in ways you never imagined. The professor who led the group that uncovered the Flint, Michigan, water crisis; the New Delhi government official risking his career to fight pollution; the Italian mayor welcoming Middle East migrants to his tiny town – improving its economy and brightening their prospects. Who knew?

Plenty of other great leaders cited here are rightly famous, and we’ve recognized some in previous editions of the list; this year there are even a few three-peats, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos – our new No. 1 (see Adam Lashinsky’s fascinating feature) – Apple chief Tim Cook, and Pope Francis. Anyone who has been ranked previously must requalify each year with new achievements. As always, we cast a wide net, seeking outstanding leaders in all sectors of society around the world. It isn’t enough to be accomplished, brilliant, or admirable. We recognize those who are inspiring others to act, to follow them on a worthy quest, and who have shown staying power. No mere flashes in the pan, and thus none of the U.S. presidential aspirants, make our list. And no, we didn’t select Donald Trump, the phenomenon of the moment (see Fortune editor Alan Murray’s assessment). Many candidates over the decades have ignited flames that flared brightly and then went out if the candidate lost the nomination or the election; others have proved to be little more than demagogues. Simply applying for the world’s top leadership job, as Trump and his rivals are doing now, does not in itself make one a great leader. Nor, as you’ll see, does having that job necessarily put you on our list.

The leaders you’ll meet here, known and new, will lift your mood and upgrade your assessment of the world’s future. Some may inspire you to join their followers. And those unheard-ofs, so seemingly ordinary, may even prompt you to rethink your own potential as an inspiring leader.

Who do you think are the 50 World’s Greatest Leaders? We want to know! Cast your votes here.

You can share Power Sheet with friends and followers here.

What We’re Reading Today

Starboard Value to launch proxy fight for Yahoo’s board  

Jeff Smith‘s Starboard Value is expected to announce that it will nominate nine new directors for Yahoo’s board seats today. By attempting to unseat every director, it’s demonstrating its view that the company isn’t changing fast enough. Smith has fought with the board over the sale of Yahoo’s internet business and the leadership of CEO Marissa Mayer. Yahoo says it’s pursuing a sale of the core businesses.  NYT

Volkswagen likely to miss a deadline

Volkswagen is expected to tell U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer that it doesn’t have a solution to fix the 580,000 diesel vehicles with emissions-cheating software. Breyer had set a deadline of today. Matthias Müller‘s company and California regulators will likely state they’ve made progress toward a fix to prevent excessive emissions from entering the air, but some experts believe a full fix is not possible. Another option would be a partial fix, which the Environmental Protection Agency would have to approve.  Reuters

One of the Belgian bombers was caught in Turkey last year

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the country deported bomber Ibrahim el-Bakraoui to the Netherlands. Erdogan added that the country then warned the Netherlands and Belgium that el-Bakraoui was a “foreign fighter.” Dutch officials let him go free because it couldn’t establish a link to terrorist groups. CNBC

The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders list

Some of the names you’ll recognize, like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Apple’s Tim Cook. But many of the others aren’t in the news every day, like journalist Chai Jing or professor Marc Edwards. They’ve all shaped this year with their strength, courage, and foresight. Check out the full list of Fortune‘s 50 Greatest Leaders.   Fortune

Building a Better Leader

Businesses lose $63 billion a year…

…because their employees are sleepy. Employee Benefit News

One reason you should listen to your employees more…

…is that they’ll listen to your customers better, says Sailthru founder Neil Capel. Fortune

Board tenures are getting longer

The boards of 24% of large U.S. companies are filled mostly with directors who have served for more than 10 years. Such long tenure raises concerns among investors that directors are too close to top managers. WSJ

New Information Comes to Light

Yum Brands in talks to sell part of its China unit 

Greg Creed‘s company is reportedly speaking with private equity firms, including KKR and some China-based funds, with a view to selling 19.9% of the China business at an overall valuation of $10 billion. Yum says it’s continuing to take steps to spin off the China business this year. Financial Times

NFL’s concussion research comes under scrutiny again 

When the NFL released concussion research 13 years ago – which it stands by as accurate – more than 100 incidents of concussions, including some involving star quarterbacks like Steve Young and Troy Aikman, weren’t included. The NFL says not all teams provided data, and that fact should have been made clearer in the research. Some players have appealed a $765-million class-action settlement with the league, arguing that the concussion research was flawed. NYT

Rockefeller heirs divest Exxon

The Rockefeller Family Fund announced that it would end its investment in fossil fuels. It will sell its stake in Exxon Mobil, which the family says has misled the public about climate change; keeping it would be “morally reprehensible.”  John D. Rockefeller Sr. made his fortune over a century ago through Standard Oil, an Exxon precursor. Fortune

Up or Out

Keurig has named Pinnacle Foods CEO Robert Gamgort to the same position. Gamgort will join Keurig in May.  ABC News

Fortune Reads and Videos

Starbucks CEO says election will be a test of our “morality”

Howard Schultz is a noted progressive, but he said he is surprised by the tenor of presidential race.  Fortune

Google swears its cloud is ready to take on Amazon, Microsoft

CEO Sundar Pichai, Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt, Senior VP of Google’s enterprise business Diane Greene were all on hand at Google’s cloud conference to make sure the world understood. Fortune

52% of the U.S. supports Merrick Garland’s nomination

That’s a typical popularity mark for Supreme Court nominees. Only 29% said they oppose the nomination. Fortune

Donald Trump’s total debt nears $1 billion 

That’s about double the amount he has disclosed. Fortune

Happy Birthday

Tommy Hilfiger, creator of the eponymous clothing line, turns 65 today Fortune

Peyton Manning turns 40 today.  Fortune

Share Today’s Power Sheet: 
http://fortune.com/newsletter/powersheet/

Produced by Ryan Derousseau
@ryanderous
powersheet@newsletters.fortune.com