Around 5th grade was the first time that I began to notice the different parts of a team for the first time. I watched as Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to some thrilling wins on the basketball court. While some may argue this point, to me it was easy to see that he was by far the most valuable player in the NBA at that time. I could not imagine the Bulls being successful without him.
Over the years I have been blessed to be a part of many amazing teams. From high school and college basketball to my days in Fallujah with 10th Mountain Division, I have watched certain individuals step up and play a critical role in our team’s success.
Even now as I serve with Rooftop Missions I can clearly see how we each play a different part in reaching our goals. Matt, the founder of Rooftop, sets a vision in front of us and encourages us daily to do the things necessary to make it happen. Eric, our Director of Communications, captures critical video and photographs on foreign soil and then gets the final cut on our social media pages in a way that only he can do.
But none of these people are Most Valuable to me and my life.
It became very obvious to me awhile back just who makes my life the best that it can be. She is my best friend, encourager and supporter. She is the only one who has made the commitment to spend her entire life loving me and staying by my side. She is my wife.
When I think about who is “Most Valuable” to me, it really isn’t even close. My wife has been there during the fun moments, but also for the dark ones too. She knows more about me than I would like and she doesn’t even hold it against me. Each day, she is the one that I come home to. She is the one that is affected most by my decisions. She is the one who is always willing to talk and when necessary ask the tough questions.
As you go through this life and the career that you have chosen, your attention will be pulled in many different directions. You will be tempted to focus on titles, salary, goals, possessions and other people. In the midst of all of this, please do not lose focus on the one that has agreed to stay beside you for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.
Take the time to remember who is Most Valuable to you and then treat them like they truly are just that.
Andrew Smith is an Executive Coach and Leadership speaker with the John Maxwell Team, as well as the Director of Rooftop India, an organization that seeks to train leaders internationally, as well as care for orphans through the ministry of the Azlynn Noelle Children’s Home.
Smith served as an Infantry soldier with the Army’s 10th Mountain Division from 2002-2005. Wounded in Fallujah, Iraq in 2003 by shrapnel from an IED, he is the recipient of the Purple Heart.
Because of his military experience, he now assists as a mentor with Honor & Courage (Operation Ward 57), a non-profit organization that financially assists Wounded Warriors and their families.
He has also owns a small business -Yellow Dawg Striping – in Southwest Virginia.