THREE WAYS IN WHICH JEFF AND MACKENZIE BEZOS DIVORCE IS LIKE “MARCH MADNESS”
The news recently has been filled with reports of the finalization of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos divorce. Their divorce was settled during the same time as the NCAA national basketball tournament, otherwise known as March Madness.
The "conscious uncoupling" of the Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos marriage and their settlement agreement, demonstrate some of the same attributes as championship teams during March Madness. Three of those major attributes are;
- TEAMWORK IS DREAM WORK
Championship basketball teams have great athletes/players. However, great teams win tournaments when the individual players can channel their talents for the benefit of the team rather than for their own glory. Reports of the Bezos divorce, as well as the statements released last week from both, Jeff Bezos and his former wife MacKenzie Bezos, clearly demonstrate that their focus has been for the benefit of their children and each other. It was clear that their goals from the beginning were to make sure that their team effort of being parents to their children and that their business goals would be served by the rearrangement of the family unit, and not about who is going to win. Their divorce was resolved quietly with dignity and in the best interest of their children. There is no question that their partnership as parents and as individuals in charge of their futures remains intact and in place. In the NCAA tournament we saw great individual players passing off to teammates who had a better shot, even though it was clear that either player might have kept the ball and attempted to obtain more individual glory. Such actions are regularly done for the benefit of the team so that the team can maintain cohesion, sticking to the game plan and attain its goals. Such is the hallmark of championship basketball teams during March Madness and great couples.
- THEY FOCUS ON THE GOALS
Championship teams have the vision at the beginning of their season. They wish to become winners and as they become winners, they want to become champions. In order to be successful, championship teams put in the work and the effort and support one another to obtain those goals. During their lengthy marriage, Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos demonstrated the ability to cohesively work together to obtain their common vision, for Amazon.com and the other businesses that they started. It is also clear that they had a vision for their family. It is to their credit that they did not lose this vision during the course of their divorce. These are the signs of two champions. On occasion, during the March Madness tournament you will see teams lose cohesion and they seem to fall apart under pressure, they forget their game plan and their vision for the season and their support for each other as teammates. In the Bezos divorce, we did not see such breakdowns.
- THERE IS NO “I” IN TEAM
It is not about individual awards; it is about what the team achieves. Commentators have consistently stated that MacKenzie Bezos certainly could have gotten far more than the $47 billion stock options and other property that she received as a result of their settlement. However, she chose not to do so. Instead, she negotiated a settlement with her husband, which provided a financially secured future for herself, her children, and future generations of their family. At the same time, she secured the vision of her husband and herself in terms of the businesses by ensuring her husband retained voting control of Amazon.com and other businesses which they commenced in the course of their marriage.
As we applaud elite basketball in this year’s March Madness, who have played exceptionally well, winning margins have been very close. They are all champions. In the same fashion that we would applaud these basketball teams in terms of their greatness, team effort, teamwork, keeping the vision of their goals in sight, we should also applaud Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos. They should be commended and applauded for their conscious and dignified divorce in which they represented the attributes of two champions.