Fortune Magazine has announced its list of the World’s Greatest Leaders for 2015, and would you believe that I got snubbed again this year?
This makes two years in a row I have been overlooked which, ironically, coincides with the number of years the magazine has being identifying — or in my case, failing to identify — those of us who make the world go ’round.
Admittedly, this is going to sound like sour grapes, but since when has LeBron James become a great world leader? The guy bounces a ball up and down on the floor and then throws it through a hoop while wearing short pants. Like that is going to resolve the issue of Palestinian independence?
Also on the list of World’s Greatest Leaders is pop star Taylor Swift, who finished a couple of slots behind the pope — he must have been relieved — but ahead of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors. The magazine credits her with having “crossed swords with Spotify.” That is how you become a great world leader? Crossing swords with Spotify? Take my breath away.
I would have been more than willing to cross swords with Spotify if somebody would have suggested it (and told me what Spotify is). That would have been a heckuva lot easier than crossing swords with Bible-thumpers who don’t think women are qualified to be preachers, let alone Spotify sword-crossers and loud-talking, know-it-all Yankees who look down their noses at those of us who are Southern by the grace of God but wouldn’t move back North on a bet because there are too many loud-talking, know-it-all Yankees living there.
No doubt, some will be delighted to see me get my comeuppance. That includes one member of my loyal opposition who took me to task last week for something — I’m not quite sure what — but then confessed that he was no “Einstine.” That’s OK. I’m no Playtoe myself.
The guy who should be more than a bit miffed for being omitted from the Fortune list is the president of the United States. Think about it for a moment. Barak Obama, the leader of the most-powerful nation on Earth, can’t scratch a list of the Top 50 greatest leaders in the world, which includes the mayors of Surabaya, Indonesia, and Detroit. Not to mention Jimmy Fallon, the host of “The Tonight Show,” and the guy who owns Starbucks.
The chancellor of Germany is considered one of the World’s Greatest Leaders as are the prime minister of India and the president of China — but not the president of the United States? What is going on here? You could make great-grandson Cameron Charles Yarbrough commander-in-chief, and he could crack the top 10 without missing a day of kindergarten or putting away his Legos.
Liberal you-know-whats are going to rush to Mr. Obama’s defense and point out that this is all George W. Bush’s fault and that Russian President Vladimir Putin isn’t on the list, either. I think Mr. Putin was a shoo-in until he got his picture in the paper astride a horse without a shirt on — him, not the horse. Great World Leaders just don’t ride around half-naked on a horse. They also don’t go play golf at some swanky golf resort in Florida while some shirtless guy is busy invading the Ukraine, but that’s a story for another day.
I don’t know what Mr. Obama’s excuse is, but I can rationalize my being left off Fortune’s list of greatest leaders in the world. It seems that no other journalist made the list, including the snoots at the New York Times or Les Nessman, the revered news director at WKRP in Cincinnati. Fortune Magazine doesn’t want the competition.
Yes, it hurts not being able to tell people that in addition to having graduated from the prestigious Jere Wells Grammar School in East Point, I also am in the pantheon of great leaders. But I remain undaunted and will try again next year. In the meantime, I will draw my inspiration from Taylor Swift, the noted Spotify sword-crosser who said: “When I figured out how to work my grill, it was quite a moment. I discovered that summer is a completely different experience when you know how to grill.”
Whoa. That’s heavy stuff. You can see why she is considered one of the greatest leaders in the world. Now, if someone would only send Mr. Obama a hibachi.
Reach Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; and online at dickyarbrough.com or facebook.com/dickyarb.