Trump is only the 3rd most powerful person in the world. Let’s stop paying obsessive attention to him and pick someone else.
by Bob Schwartz
In America, and in much of the world, we pay attention to Trump every day, sometimes for hours on end. We do it because he is a powerful public executive who can affect many lives. We also do it because he is there, a major natural disaster or train wreck, fascinating even if it doesn’t affect us. This is exactly what Trump wants, the only thing he wants. If that attention used to be voluntary, he believes it is now mandatory because he is the most powerful person in America and the world.
Forbes just released its ranking of The World’s Most Powerful People:
This year’s list highlights the consolidation of power in the hands of an elite few. Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, seizes the top spot for the first time ever after China’s congress amended its constitution in March, broadening his influence and eliminating term limits. He enjoys a cult of personality not seen since Chairman Mao.
Xi’s elevation to the world’s most powerful person unseats Russian President Vladimir Putin (#2), who held the top spot for an unprecedented four consecutive years. Putin has ruled Russia since May of 2000, and this year he was re-elected to a fourth term with nearly 77 percent of the vote. That’s the largest margin of victory for any candidate for the office since the fall of the Soviet Union.
One year into his term, President Donald Trump falls to the No. 3 spot. Trump has seen limited success pushing his agenda through a Congress controlled by his own party, is under investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies, and can’t shake off scandals arising from his personal and business life –but he’s still Commander in Chief of the world’s greatest economic and military power….
To compile the ranking of The World’s Most Powerful People, we considered hundreds of candidates from various walks of life all around the globe, and measured their power along four dimensions. First, we asked whether the candidate has power over lots of people. Pope Francis, ranked #6, is the spiritual leader of more than a billion Catholics. Doug McMillon (#23), is the CEO of the world’s largest private employer, Wal-Mart Stores, with more than 2.3 million workers around the globe.
Next we assessed the financial resources controlled by each person. Are they relatively large compared to their peers? For heads of state we used GDP, while for CEOs, we looked at measures like their company’s assets and revenues. When candidates have a high personal net worth, like the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos (#5), we also took that into consideration. In certain instances we considered other valuable resources at the candidate’s disposal, like access to oil reserves.
Then we determined if the candidate is powerful in multiple spheres. There are only 75 slots on our list –one for approximately every 100 million people on the planet– so being powerful in just one area is often not enough. Our picks project their influence in myriad ways: Elon Musk (#25) has power in the auto business through Tesla Motors, in the aerospace industry through SpaceX, because he’s a billionaire, and because he’s a highly respected tech visionary.
Lastly, we made sure that the candidates actively used their power. North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un (#36) has near absolute control over the lives of the 25 million people who live in his country, and is known to punish dissent with death.
To calculate the final rankings, a panel of Forbes editors ranked all of our candidates in each of these four dimensions of power, and those individual rankings were averaged into a composite score. This year’s list comes at a time of rapid and profound change, and represents our best guess about who will matter in the year to come.
If you feel the need to pay constant or even obsessive attention to a powerful person, let it be someone—anyone—except Trump. Just about anybody on the list below may be smarter, more interesting, more accomplished, and in many cases more important than Trump.
|#3||Donald Trump||United States||71|
|#6||Pope Francis||Roman Catholic Church||81|
|#7||Bill Gates||Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation||62|
|#8||Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud||Saudi Arabia||32|
|#11||Jerome H. Powell||United States||65|
|#14||Theresa May||United Kingdom||61|
|#16||Warren Buffett||Berkshire Hathaway||87|
|#18||Mario Draghi||European Central Bank||70|
|#19||Jamie Dimon||JPMorgan Chase||62|
|#20||Carlos Slim Helu||America Movil SAB de CV (ADR)||78|
|#21||Jack Ma||Alibaba Group||53|
|#22||Christine Lagarde||International Monetary Fund||62|
|#23||Doug McMillon||Wal-Mart Stores||51|
|#27||Ma Huateng||Tencent Holdings||46|
|#29||Akio Toyoda||Toyota Motor||62|
|#30||John L. Flannery||General Electric||56|
|#31||Antonio Guterres||United Nations||69|
|#32||Mukesh Ambani||Reliance Industries Ltd.||61|
|#33||Jean-Claude Juncker||European Union||63|
|#36||Kim Jong-un||North Korea||34|
|#37||Charles Koch||Koch Industries||82|
|#39||Rupert Murdoch||News Corp||87|
|#41||Jim Yong Kim||World Bank||58|
|#42||Stephen Schwarzman||Blackstone Group||71|
|#43||Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan||United Arab Emirates||70|
|#45||Abdel Fattah el-Sisi||Egypt||63|
|#46||Li Ka-shing||CK Hutchison Holdings||89|
|#47||Lloyd Blankfein||Goldman Sachs Group||63|
|#48||Recep Tayyip Erdogan||Turkey||64|
|#49||Bob Iger||Walt Disney||67|
|#52||Wang Jianlin||Dalian Wanda Group||63|
|#53||Mary Barra||General Motors||56|
|#54||Moon Jae-in||South Korea||65|
|#55||Masayoshi Son||Softbank Corp.||60|
|#56||Bernard Arnault||LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton||69|
|#60||Hui Ka Yan||Evergrande Real Estate Group||59|
|#61||Lee Hsien Loong||Singapore||66|
|#63||John Roberts||United States||63|
|#64||Enrique Pena Nieto||Mexico||51|
|#65||Ken Griffin||Citadel LLC||49|
|#66||Aliko Dangote||Dangote Group||61|
|#67||Mike Pence||United States||58|
|#68||Qamar Javed Bajwa||Pakistan||57|
|#70||Abigail Johnson||Fidelity Investments||56|
|#72||Robert Mueller||United States||73|
|#73||Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi||Islamic State||46|