David Rockefeller and His Legendary Rolodex of Index Cards

David Rockefeller and His Legendary Rolodex of Index Cards

It would’ve been a typical sibling rivalry, except David happened to be David Rockefeller, grandson of esteemed oil baron John D. Rockefeller. He longed to live up to the Rockefeller name and its outsized legacy of business and philanthropic success.

“John, of course, had the name,” David wrote. “Of all the children, John was the most like Father in personality; he was hardworking and conscientious.”

These feelings remained over the next decade, becoming more acute during his military service in World War II. As an intelligence officer stationed in North Africa, he began to realize that others depended on his ability to forge relationships and work well on a team.

When David returned from overseas, he dedicated himself to knowing–and being more thoughtful with—people. He started keeping meticulous notes on every person he met to become a better listener, colleague, and friend, resulting in a manual system predating the convenience of personal computers.

David went on to rise through the ranks at Chase Manhattan Bank, eventually becoming its chairman and CEO, all while managing and furthering his busy social obligations as a Rockefeller—a shadow of his former, socially awkward self.

Via clay.earth for the full post. In case you are interested, you can read more about David Rockefeller’s index cards at WSJ.

Lady Bird Johnson, WSJ