Well, here we are – at #1. The one who has taught me most, influenced me most and even trained me most. You guessed it – my wife, Chris.

Before I dive into this one, let me reiterate that there are MANY others who could be on this list. Mentoring, and being mentored, is not a science, it’s an art. It’s about friendships that shape you. And I’ve had many over the years. They come at opportune times to teach a lesson. There names are Grant and Nathan and Sameer and Floyd and Greg and Bart and Mike and….. SO many that I and we are grateful for. You know who you are and so does God. Thank you.

Now, back to my #1 – in so many ways. Christine Lymberopoulos. My Greek goddess. My best friend. And…..my teacher.

It’s often joked that wives are “training” their husbands. In our case, she’s had a rough job. There are so many, but here are the main things she’s taught me in our 26 years of marriage.

Be focused on the one in front of you. I tend to be a visionary – which is often nothing more than an excuse to NOT focus. She never does that. She’s fully attentive to whoever is in front of her. 100%. Very much like Jesus!

Be kind to everyone. She talks to people on the street. In the restaurant. The neighbors. The poor. Kids. She’s always kind. I try to be kind – but she’s taught me the actual power of kindness.

Be present for your family. She had great role models in her dad and mom when it came to presence. Her mom was a nurse and the mother of 8. She became a stay-at-home mom once she had kids. Her dad was a Doctor. Both (potentially) very busy – but they always made time for their family. While I was off conquering the world, Chris was present – and she taught me to be as well.

Be hospitable. The power of hospitality was central to all we’ve done and who we are. I grew up with that modeled as well – but Chis had a beautiful Greek version of that which fit into the Middle Eastern way of life nicely. We have people over all the time and Chris is the queen at making them feel comfortable.

Be spiritual. She is perhaps the most intuitively spiritual person I know. She doesn’t have a religious bone in her body. She prays. Studies. Worships. Loves Jesus. That always challenges me.

It wasn’t even close – she’s been the one who’s taught me most. And I love her for it.