By Beatrice E. Rangel
According to many, wisdom is a quality forged in the hearth of time that creates a very powerful alloy from experience, knowledge and good judgment.
The end result is the ability to take action with the highest degree of suitability under any given circumstance while reducing errors to negligible proportions.
Knowing David Rockefeller was meeting wisdom.
He would not spare a minute of his time without consequence for him and for all those who crossed his path regularly or tangentially.
He held a promethean approach to life that led him to share with others the fruits of knowledge or experience.
Accordingly, he would take time to present his views, discuss them and lead people into a decision that although was of his making, always felt as collectively owned by the group. Once a decision had owners, he knew action would ensue and he could move onto the next project, idea or endeavor.
And his wide leadership came wrapped in the most exquisite albeit toned down manners and a sense of humility that made him truly charming.
I remember him visiting Neva, his daughter, and my classmate at Harvard to “peep into the next big thing that MBAs will bring into our boardrooms.”
He, that had the most powerful network of world leaders (150,000 people) constantly exposing him to change and transformation, felt the need to sit in a classroom to gaze into the future.
And he would come out feeling he had gained a new and fresh insight into the secrets of development.
Ready to cross Harvard Yard and enter into Elaine’s sandwich shop to frolic in the memories of times past when he was a student who enjoyed the gastronomies of the undisputed queen of college fast food.
And while the world will most probably remember David Rockefeller for his philanthropic work which benefited New York City, Harvard and the emerging markets of Latin America, Asia and Africa, his most salient professional virtue was entrepreneurship and innovation.
When challenged by his board at Chase Manhattan Bank because business was slipping behind archrival Citibank, he led the restructuring effort, brought on board Peter Drucker -- one of the most talented business advisors of all time -- and took a hit in his own office, accepting budget cuts and reduction of headcount.
He knew leadership emerges from common work and common cause.
He accordingly infused his people with the flame of transformation to achieve a remarkable turnaround that made history.
He was an insatiable traveler and a shrewd art collector.
He enjoyed discussing public policy and private business behavior.
His discernment was so remarkable that he could lecture tyrants like Fidel Castro on freedom and development without engaging in abruptness or improper manners.
He was a family man who deeply admired the transformational leadership his grandfather John D. Rockefeller exerted in the United States.
He was candid and transparent to the point that one could read in his sagacious eyes his frame of mind.
That mind was always working to create value, whether in the realm of philanthropy or in business.
He went to his final meeting with immortality while dreaming of the next trip and the next big project for his beloved New York City.Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.
For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.
You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.
Also by Beatrice Rangel in her Latin America from 35,000 Feet seriesBeatrice Rangel: Rio -- Demystifying the Olympic Games
Beatrice Rangel: The Luddite Syndrome in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: Venezuela's Unexpected Transition
Beatrice Rangel: We Now Have a Wider Canal But Has Our Wisdom Expanded???
Beatrice Rangel: From Brexit to Tesla, Progress is Made by Leaders!!!
Beatrice Rangel: As the World Goes Latin, Latin America Gets Logical
Beatrice Rangel: On the Difficulties of Fighting Barbarism in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: The Impending Age of Housekeeping!!!!
Beatrice Rangel: What Happened to All Those Rosy Forecasts for Latin America?
Beatrice Rangel: On Dialogue and the Rules of Geopolitics in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: The Ides of Wisdom in Venezuela
Beatrice Rangel: On the Discreet Charm of Populism
Beatrice Rangel: Three Ladies in Distress
Beatrice Rangel: Trump, Lula, Kirchner and the Last Tupi-Guaranis
Beatrice Rangel: Time for Departures in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: A Contrarian View on the Panama Papers
Beatrice Rangel: Brazil's Lady in Her Labyrinth
Beatrice Rangel: Back to a Divided Home!!!
Beatrice Rangel: A Historical Take-Off in the Americas??
Beatrice Rangel: A Skipped Journey, a Reaffirmation and a Clearing of Path in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: The Demise of Civility in the Americas!!
Beatrice Rangel: The Americas from Boutros Boutros-Ghali to Ban Ki Moon
Beatrice Rangel: The Pope's Difficult Stopover in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: Farewell to The “Diplomacy of Reason”
Beatrice Rangel: 2 Diseases in Latin America -- Different Prescriptions, Very Different Outcomes
Beatrice Rangel: On Health Alerts and the Long Arm of Justice in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: When Crime Meets Glory
Beatrice Rangel: Playing Hansel and Gretel in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: Good News/Bad News Starts The Monkey Leap Year
Beatrice Rangel: The Gifts of Christmas!!!!!!
Beatrice Rangel: Crying Wolf in Venezuela
Beatrice Rangel: A 21st Century Tale of Two Cities
Beatrice Rangel: Are the Americas Ready for President Trump?
Beatrice Rangel: On Predictions of War & Global Confusion
Beatrice Rangel: Paris and the Return of Fear
Beatrice Rangel: Marijuana & Latin America's Next Trade Corridor
Beatrice Rangel: Of Burning Airplanes & Argentinean Tsunamis
Beatrice Rangel: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the Americas!!
Beatrice Rangel: Buena Vista's Magic Covers the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: Pride and Perjury in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: Trompe L’oeils Proliferate in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: The Economic Consequences of Peace in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: Colombia, the FARC & the Makings of Gangland in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: When Extreme Weather Meets Extreme Politics Calamities are Bound to Happen
Beatrice Rangel: When Ladies Hit 70
Beatrice Rangel: About Uninformed Elites and Gullible Leaders
Beatrice Rangel: On US-Engineered Soft Landings in Cuba and Venezuela
Beatrice Rangel: On the Many Ways Cecil Matters
Beatrice Rangel: Blue Moons Lead to Extraordinary Happenings in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: On Why Embassy Openings Do Not Necessarily Herald Different Policies
Beatrice Rangel: When Jupiter meets Venus
Beatrice Rangel: When Markets and Manners Crash
Beatrice Rangel: From Grexit to Exit, Contagion is in the Air
Beatrice Rangel: An Infuriated God & An Environmental Crusader Mark the Summer Solstice
Beatrice Rangel: Between Ionesco & the Falklands Syndrome
Beatrice Rangel: The Ugly Americas
Beatrice Rangel: How FIFA Corrupted the Beautiful Game in the Americas and World
Beatrice Rangel: Could the US RICO Act Be Applied to Latin America?
Beatrice Rangel: On the Discreet Charm of Commodities for Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: The End of the Chinese Free Lunch in the Americas!!
Beatrice Rangel: The Crooked Twig of Democracy in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: Of a White Knight for Three Latin American Ladies in Distress
Beatrice Rangel: Withdrawal Symptoms?
Beatrice Rangel: The Un-Mannered Summit
Beatrice Rangel: Easter Miracles in Latin America and the World
Beatrice Rangel: Two Islands, Two Legacies & One Challenge - Modernity
Beatrice Rangel: Killing Me Softly -- the Obama Administration’s Legacy in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: Of Upcoming Dynasties and Exhausted Ideas in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: Of Thunderous Silences, Quiet Noises and Flash Backs in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: Latin America's Dangerous Exports to Europe & the Demise of an Old Fox
Beatrice Rangel: Of Sweet Deals, Sugar Daddies, Direct Mail & Obama’s Care
Beatrice Rangel: Of Latin American Singing Birds, Femme Fatales & Empty Shelves
Beatrice Rangel: When Flying Dragons & Rage Infusions Turn Against Their Latin American Masters
Beatrice Rangel: Holy Haberdashery!!! Is Fire Building Under the Surface in the Americas??
Beatrice Rangel: 2015 -- A Year for Balance in the Americas???
Beatrice Rangel: Pope Francis Looks at the Americas In His Christmas Remarks
Beatrice Rangel: The Paint Brush Hanging from the Wall in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: A Future for the Americas??
Beatrice Rangel: Going Forward, Going Backward -- It's the Americas!!
Beatrice Rangel: An Eerily Familiar Week in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: Tale of Two Walls
Beatrice Rangel: Across the Americas, We the PEOPLE
Beatrice Rangel: Across Latin America, The Populist Beat Goes On!!
Beatrice Rangel: Oh My, The Patron of the Eternal Feminine Has Left Us!!!
Beatrice Rangel: Communism from China to Cuba Finds Corruption!!!
Beatrice Rangel: From Rio to Hong Kong Discontent Taps the East to Find a New Way
Beatrice Rangel: Will Latin America Miss the Broadband Development Target?
Beatrice Rangel: Kissinger’s World Order and Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: The Third Attempt -- Will Modernity Prevail in Latin America?
Rangel: While US is Away, Latin America Rethinks Development Paths
Rangel: In the Midst of Riots, a Star is Born in Brazil
Rangel: In Mexico Cinderella Gets to the Ball while Colombia Gets a Chance at Peace