Pontiff, Catholic Church
Since becoming pope in 2013, Francis (the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio) has been shaking up the management of one of the world’s largest bureaucracies: the Roman Catholic Church. That earned him the top spot on Fortune’s list of World’s Greatest Leaders last year—but his vision, fortitude, and commitment to reform were so extraordinary in 2014 that we’re including him again this year. It is not just that he has led by example—by now it’s well known that the pope, who has long championed the virtues of charity and modesty, has forgone the traditional suite in the Apostolic Palace, opting instead to reside in a one-bedroom apartment in the Vatican guesthouse.
Less known is how decisive he is in personnel choices, replacing the boards of the Vatican Bank and its main regulatory body with highly respected business-people from around the globe. And though there has been pushback from entrenched interests at the Vatican, this pontiff is not easily conned: He gets information on all important church personnel and organizations from a variety of sources and shuns toadies and cronies. Operating budgets are now pruned to ensure that as much moneyas possible can go to charity. This, after all, is a pope who lives his own lessons.