It began with a couch. When Cathy Thorpe assumed the role of CEO in 2014, she encountered an unexpected symbol in her new office… a large pink couch.

Rather than discarding it, she embraced it as a centerpiece of Nurse Next Door’s BOLD KIND culture and her leadership style. This pink couch represents comfort, the removal of barriers, and a commitment to vulnerability and openness in the workplace.

Earlier this year Cathy published “Bold Kindness.” It is not just a book; it’s a manifesto calling for a revolution in how businesses are led.

As CEO of Nurse Next Door, a company that’s been redefining home care since its inception in 2001, Thorpe has created a workplace that prioritizes compassion and engagement. Her book reveals an unsettling truth that only 20% of employees feel engaged in their workplaces. Cathy provides the recipe for leaders to create environments where employees are not just present but are enthusiastic, empowered, and connected.

I’ve had the privilege of visiting their corporate offices in Vancouver, British Columbia, affectionately dubbed the “Heartquarters” back in 2017. I witnessed their daily morning huddle, a testament to a culture deeply obsessed with doing more for their clients and constantly seeking better ways to serve. This commitment to going above and beyond is also something I’ve highlighted in my previous writings about Nurse Next Door in “Purple Goldfish,” “Green Goldfish,” and “Pink Goldfish 2.0.”

Thorpe’s “Bold Kindness” outlines how the pandemic magnified existing issues within the workplace, with employees demanding more meaning and a fear-free environment. Nurse Next Door’s philosophy of #BoldKindness —breaking norms and genuinely desiring to improve lives—serves as a model for all businesses aspiring to blend profitability with a positive impact.

The book provides guidance for increasing employee engagement and rethinking leadership strategies. It promotes creating a place where people can be real and where work feels like a community. Thorpe’s call to action is for leaders everywhere to consider how their actions and workplace design can fundamentally enhance the human aspect of business.

“Bold Kindness” is essential reading for any leader or future leader who aspires to cultivate a business that is not only successful but also caring. Thorpe’s insights provide a blueprint for fostering an environment where people look forward to coming to work every day, inspired by the possibility of making a difference in the lives of others. I highly recommend it.