I’m knee deep in planning an annual fundraising auction at my childrens’ school. This is the second year that I’ve co-chaired the event and I really love it. There are so many things about putting on a successful event that I enjoy.

I love the organization, the planning, the teamwork, but most of all I love seeing the fruits of our labor. When it finally all comes together, the end result is the most rewarding. In this case, I hope that translates into a lot of money made.

As I sift through spreadsheet after spreadsheet and call donor after donor, there are a few things that have become even more apparent to me. There are these constant themes glaring at me, that I know are important when planning an event, but also important in the overall context of life.

First, community. It literally takes a community to put on an event like an auction. We need volunteers, committee members, leaders, donors, attendees and more. Without any of those pieces, the puzzle would not fit together properly. Teamwork is a critical element in life. Family, friends, colleagues, coworkers, everything just works so much smoother when everyone comes together. One common goal can really unite a group. Cooperation is something I highly value and love when people show hearfelt support for others.

Delegating is essential. Everyone has different strengths and assets. By dividking and conquering the work, we can be more successful. If individuals are able to use their talents, they feel more productive and the quality of the work improves. This is important at home, too. As a family, we are a team. Delegating to other members of our team strengthens our unit. The kids can benefit from building work-ethic and responsibility. And, as adults, we can benefit from lighter workloads and knowing that we are all working toward the same goal of a happy household.

Lastly, preparation for this year’s auction has reminded me that there are many levels of success. We are still two weeks away from the big event, but on many levels we’ve already seen success. We’ve seen a team come together and work hard to secure thousands of dollars in donations. We’ve seen event tickets being sold. And, we’ve seen volunteers sign up to work shifts over the next few weeks.

Sometimes, I think, we are too focused on the ultimate goal to realize the small successes we see along the way. As my children grow, all too quickly, I am constantly trying to remind myself to notice the small things. We obviously want our kids to grow up to be productive and successful members of society. The positive things they are doing every day are the stepping stones that will lead them there.