Canadian Security Magazine

Top 10 Under 40: Paul Nicholson, Program director, security & emergency preparedness, Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care

By Canadian Security Staff   

News top 10 under 40

What do you enjoy most about security?

What I’ve come to enjoy most about our industry is the ever-present opportunity to effect positive change within an organization during the most challenging of circumstances or seemingly unremarkable moments throughout a day. Despite the evolving landscape and demands on our industry over time, I’ve always found that this fundamental opportunity to enact change — in attitudes, behaviours, public opinion, understanding and more — remains a constant in every interaction we have as service professionals.

Having been fortunate enough to be recognized and to have grown as a leader throughout these past few years, I find my enjoyment in creating the operational framework and resources that help my staff succeed (in partnership with them of course). By ensuring they not only receive support but also feel supported in their work, my hope is that they will begin to find their own opportunities to enact change and further develop as professionals. As more of them contribute to tangible change within the organization, the more the organization recognizes their efforts and that’s when a department can really grow.

Is there one piece of advice you have received that has helped you engage with your security role more effectively?


I’m extremely grateful early on in my health-care career to have worked alongside two of the most passionate and learned co-workers within my organization’s risk management team. While I can say — with humility — that there was ample advice to go around during my time there, the notion that “a successful security team can’t only care for itself” was something that really set me on my path towards driving tangible change: better collaboration and operational transparency with stakeholders, and ultimately seeing security’s services recognized as a health-care discipline within the organization. As service providers, I have always viewed us as having a dual role: we are able to provide services in support of our patients/clients as well as the organization and its staff, affording us the opportunity to build crucial strategic relationships.

What do you do outside of your job that helps you manage stress or gain perspective on your work?

For me, being outdoors, hiking or camping (when time permits of course) is the best medicine that helps me manage stress, refocus and come back to work with a retrospective mindset most effectively.

Do you have any advice for budding security professionals who are interested in launching a career?

Once you feel you’ve learned how a security team “should” operate, set all of that aside. Redirect your focus towards understanding how your organization (or the organization you serve) operates, conducts business, communicates within itself and with others, and how they approach achieving their goals. While leading or running a successful security department is a great starting point for any career, a department that contributes to the success of its organization — in a way the organization recognizes and appreciates — becomes invaluable.

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