In my last column I talked in general about the relationship between your company's culture and the success you experience in the marketplace. But this month I want to talk specifically about one indispensable factor in creating a company culture that rocks--namely, physical fitness.

Some people think I'm a fitness fanatic because I make it a point to eat right, work out regularly, and avoid bad habits (i.e. tobacco, alcohol, and drugs). Making these choices translates into my having a higher energy level, which contributes to all sorts of qualities that help me in running my business and balancing my life.

Think of it this way. High energy levels translate into many wonderful qualities such as self-confidence, creativity, and the ability to focus and stay productive -- a quality that could quite possibly put you ahead of the competition. I once heard the legendary Green Bay Packer's football coach Vince Lombardi observe, "Fatigue makes cowards out of all of us." Along the same line, I believe that fatigue undermines energy, creativity, focus, and the will to outcompete the competition.

So, I not only live and breathe physical fitness myself, I also encourage all Aquascape employees to stay physically fit, from the 25-year-old tech guy to the 60-year-old executive VP of operations. How do I do it? For starters, Aquascape probably has the most extensive corporate fitness facilities in the entire Chicago area, if not the Midwest. And that facility is going to grow dramatically in our new building which we're scheduled to move into this December.

People who sweat together, stick together

The fitness facilities we provide are extensive. A complete, multi-station workout facility on the premises includes weight machines, free weights, and aerobic equipment like treadmills, stair machines, elliptical trainers, and more. We also have a court upstairs that can be transformed from a soccer field, into a basketball, a tennis, or a volleyball court in no time flat. We also underwrite corporate softball, volleyball, and dragon boat teams, all in the name of playing, having fun, and socializing. In fact our fitness motto is "Those that sweat together, stick together," which sums up our philosophy on physical fitness here at Aquascape Designs.

You see, I expect all Aquascapees (that's what we call our employees) to look forward to coming into work each day, just like I do. And if work is not fun, challenging, interesting, and intriguing, then it's just another JOB, which is precisely what we go to great lengths to avoid here.

Going to such great lengths to provide ample resources for maintaining a physically fit body is just part of what we do to create a great workplace. Caring for our employees physical well-being boosts their energy levels and helps keep them self-confident, well-focused, and productive. Do I believe that sharp and cutting edge creative minds are enhanced and improved by good eating, regular workouts, and a strong and physically fit body? You bet your bottom business dollar I do. If you really want to create a company culture that rocks, one where employees enjoy coming to work, build it on a solid foundation of promoting physical fitness. Healthy bodies beget healthy minds, and healthy minds can help your business outperform the competition.