A signed deal. A high school diploma. In reflecting on 2021, these two documents illustrate important lessons I have learned in adapting to both bringing in and letting go this year. First, let’s look at what it meant to bring ProCourse Fiduciary Advisors (ProCourse) to MJ Insurance.  

The term “acquisition” can sometimes be construed as negative, which was the opposite of our experience in adding the ProCourse team to MJ. Our similar cultures and shared desire for growth and new opportunities for our clients drove a healthy acquisition process. The work was certainly all-consuming for both organizations as we strived to finalize all the details while also keeping our daily responsibilities under control. At one point, I counted more than 20 associates enlisted to help this acquisition reach the finish line!  

Our ProCourse associates have done a wonderful job of bringing us fresh ideas and new expertise. In this age of the “Great Resignation,” it is exciting to think about how we will be able to help our clients develop a truly holistic approach to financial wellbeing for their employees. These offerings play a big role in employees’ satisfaction with their employer. While the signed deal is an electronic document stored on a server, it represents hundreds of hours of work and great potential for the future.  

While leading this important “bringing in” for MJ, my personal life was focused on the “letting go” symbolized by my daughter’s high school diploma. It was heartbreaking to witness all Klaine lost during her last year and half of high school due to the pandemic. Perhaps that made the moment of seeing her walk across the stage with her honors diploma in hand all the more special. I knew she was grinning ear to ear underneath that mask! At that moment, I realized that our high energy, sparkplug daughter was launching out into the world. 

The letting go process of preparing for and then moving her (and all her stuff!) to the dorm at Ohio State was for sure an adaptation process. While her text messages about a yummy smoothie or Facetime to tell my wife and me that she joined a dance team keep her connected with us back here in Indianapolis, we have had to let go of knowing her every move. We’re blessed that Klaine is thriving in her new environment, and we are starting the letting go process with our son who is a high school senior. Our home will soon be empty, and we’ll focus on adapting to this new season of life.  

In both scenarios of significant transition, I have gained perspective on the importance of having a shared goal and the willingness to listen and learn from others. Our lessons from 2021 will serve us well as MJ continues to grow and accomplish our strategic objectives. Our ability to respond to changes in the market and our evolving work environment will be a differentiator for MJ’s success. 

While there’s no crystal ball to look into for 2022, I’m looking forward to our next deal and the letting go of another child with a diploma in hand.