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Leader Filtration Theory

The Big Idea for Monday, February 18, 2013

Who were America's most impactful presidents? To answer this question one must first ask if events would have unfolded the same way had they not been in office. For instance, would Roosevelt's most likely replacement have led us out of the Great Depression? Would Lincoln's replacement have pushed as hard for the passage of the 13th Amendment?

In today's lesson, Gautam Mukunda demonstrates how Leader Filtration Theory can be used to measure not how good or bad a president was, but how he performed relative to all of the other people who might have gotten the job. This theory can also be used to measure leaders outside of politics -- a CEO, for instance, or even a cancer researcher. 


  1. 1 Can We Measure Presidents Like Baseball Players?
    Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd Big Think TV
  2. 2 Why Presidents Dress Like Flight Attendants
    Simon Doonan
  3. 3 The Poker Presidents
    James McManus
  4. 4 We’ve Already Had a Gay President: Abraham Lincoln
    Andrew Sullivan

Leader Filtration Theory

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