In a lecture on rabbinic biographies for Torah in Motion, Orthodox rabbi and history professor Marc B. Shapiro says: “In the haredi world [ultra-Orthodoxy], [Rav J.B. Soloveitchik] is recognized as a Torah scholar but not as a gadol [great rabbi]. Why not? He knew as much as these others. He knew more than them. They know. They’ll tell you he knew more but the difference between a Torah scholar and a gadol is that the gadol has to hold by the da’as Torah [general teachings of the senior haredi rabbis], by the perspective established by the haredi sages of the previous generation like the Chazon Ish. If you break with that and become a Zionist, you’re a Torah sage but not a gadol. You can see by Yated Ne’eman in the Hebrew who’s a gadol, who gets the title of maran, harav ha gaon and who just gets rabbi.
“Ovadiah Yosef used to be a gadol. Now he’s not. Hashkafah (worldview) is the most important thing.”