Steps Count – Ahead Of The Crowd

Staff at Steps Count
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Enlightened Organizations: inspiration


Steps Count is a small Ontario company with huge inspiration. I have chosen them as the first company I want to profile as an exemplary Enlightened Organization. Located in an office building basement, off the main street in Deep River, Ontario, a little town 2 hours north of Ottawa, it is nothing like any basement office you have been in!


Lee Anne Kennedy (standing) and her staff have created a Feng Shui workplace that has you breathing a sigh of relaxation as soon as you enter the room. Each staff member chose the colors for their visually-appealing offices, ranging from spa-inspired shades of deep chocolate browns, golds and brick reds. Stand-up computer workstations are placed throughout the area encouraging staff to get up and keep the circulation moving. Water fountains trickle over rocks, and inspirational messages adorn the walls – reminding them of the key words by which their organization is run – their Mission Statement of sorts – Inspire – Believe. And people who come to the office just want to “hang around”.

“It is when our lives touch lives that we really begin to make a difference. Is that not the real business, of business?”


David, you will remember Lee Anne.  She approached me following the presentation we did in Niagara Falls at the Healthy Workplaces conference. My subject was “Conscious Organizations” and she was ecstatic about what she was hearing. I recall her telling me she always thought a workplace should operate with people as its most important value.  She also believes if you visualize what you want and really believe it will work out – it always does.  Her life has been an example of the truth of this philosophy.  Suddenly, she told me, here she was at a conference put on by Healthy Workplaces magazine from Kingston, Ontario, discovering there were actually theories about why this happens, and more importantly, that there were people who thought just like her!


She wanted her staff to hear and experience the excitement she felt in Niagara, so she decided to bring the message to Deep River. Lee Anne set up an itinerary for me to deliver my 6 hour seminar, not only to her staff, but she also organized a session open to the community, as well as, separate presentations to the High School teachers, the High School student council, and the Property Management staff at the Atomic Energy of Canada. We touched a lot of lives that weekend, thanks to Lee Anne and her staff. It was a wonderful experience for me to see how many people actually want to experience a different workplace… a way  (TAO) that lets go of negativity, competition and scarcity.


GETTING STARTED IDEAS: Lee Anne’s staff shut down the office every day at 11:30am and off they all go to work out in the gym they have created in a separate room in their basement office.  They each set weight and lifestyle goals for practicing better health and eating habits. They encourage each other to succeed. After my presentation, they also decided to add a few minutes of daily meditation.  Initially, as they were meditating, they were also holding an intention for one of their staff who had been experiencing health issues.


Lee Anne believes that positive energy is the foundation of their success.  When positive energy is celebrated in the workplace, morale, work-life balance and job satisfaction score high and Lee Anne believes financial success follows. “Customers are drawn to a company that embraces positive energy.  If positive energy is at the core of everything a business does – from problem-solving – to meetings -  to training -  to day-to-day interactions – it will resonate with customers.”


Lee Anne is a nurse and diabetic educator.  She started this business in the basement of her own home and is now doing over a million dollars a year in the sale of small pedometers! In the office, she developed an environment where everyone is an equal, each with an area of responsibility, but no one individual with an exalted status.  To visitors it is no apparent who is “in charge”. – because there is, in fact, a grass-roots leadership style – everyone is a leader. The entire team is involved in hiring. “Skills can be learned, but it is much more difficult to alter an individual’s outlook from pessimistic to optimistic.  Our first priority when adding to our team is attitude… it truly is everything.”

“Approaching daily life from a positive frame of reference is paramount, it turns challenges and obstacles into wonderful opportunities.” Lee Anne also commented that it becomes quickly apparent when a new team member brings negative energy. “Even one person’s negative energy has a significant impact on positive team energy.  As a leader it is important to openly value, inspire, and even protect, positive energy in the workplace.  This can be a challenge as our awareness of our individual energy’s impact on others is not something we have been taught to think about.”

Positive energy goes beyond the local office environment for Steps Count.  Her manufacturer was chosen as a result of their  positive energy and collaborative approach and has become a good friend.  She has taken advantage of her business trips to expose her teenage children to global travel and interactions with people of different cultures. Her youngest son,  TK, is planning to spend a year with their international friends, learning to speak Mandarin and developing international business skills. He is a mature, delightful Grade 11 student with big dreams!

Lee Anne also paid for her daughter, who is attending her first year of university, as well as two of her daughters university friends, to travel from Ottawa to take the course.  I was so impressed with the maturity and insights of these young people. They will have no difficulty being the leaders that Enlightened Organizations will be seeking to hire.


The business is truly an extension of everything Lee Anne and her staff believes in for their personal lives.  Their personal and work lives are interconnected.  They share a compassion for each other that is unheard of in most organizations.  Lee Anne sets the tone for this to happen by having a strong belief that the money will follow if they, daily, live their values and ethics and, if they place emphasis first on relationships with staff and customers.  Her growth from a tiny operation in her basement, to a million dollar a year business, is proof the money does follow.


Kudos to this amazing little company – a little company that has made a conscious decision to stay “little in size” – but “big in heart”! Welcome to our Hall of Enlightened Organizations.

Do you know of an organization whose values and practices you believe are indicative of an Enlightened Organization? Tell  us! We would like to profile them and add them to our Hall of Enlightened Organizations that will soon be posted on this website.  We also encourage you to support these businesses.

Organizational Behaviour Consultant
author: “Imagine Your Soul Abundant: Attracting Success, Fulfillment and True Happiness”
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One Response to “Steps Count – Ahead Of The Crowd”

  1. Patty Puline Says:

    Dear David<__Congratulations on the new site, it is fabulous, of course. I loved reading the consciousness blogs and the marketing solutions. I am asking your readers who may be interested in safety to please join a new project for Erie: "Safe Communities: Erie, PA" __We are a fledgling group, social service agencies, hospitals, some CEO, and we sprinkled in a few politically minded folks to help with the red tape. __I am your humble servant, Patty Puline__ppuline@ecdh.org__

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