Pope Francis holds his weekly general audience on March 5, 2014 at St. Peter's square in Vatican City.
Andreas Solara—AFP/Getty Images
March 20, 2014 10:26 AM EDT

Fortune magazine went in search of the globe’s best leaders. And it came back with Pope Francis—and 49 other change agents, reformers, and visionaries. The list’s members span six continents and operate in fields including business, government, armed forces, philanthropy and religion. Some, such as the Pope, are famous the world over; many are not. “A leader’s job is to define reality and give hope,” American Express CEO Ken Chenault (number 18 on the list) told the publication. Here’s why the Pope ranks at the top; the full list can be found here.

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