by Jim Gibson

It’s that wonderful time of year when we weave into our daily routine the expression of good wishes – joy, contentment, and peace. This holiday season, I would like to wish you the “peace of invulnerability.”

We all desire and cherish a sense of personal peace. Someone once described it to me as “the sleep factor.” If he was sleeping well and not being kept awake at night by concerns, worries, and other demons, then all was okay with his world. Who of us can’t relate to that?

Many things affect our sense of peace, some of which we can control and some of which we can’t. One that we can control, or at least strive to control, is our vulnerability. The ultimate goal in controlling our vulnerability is what I call the peace of invulnerability. This sense of well-being comes from identifying and seeking to eliminate things that have the potential to cause us anxiety.

These are not the matters of urgency that require immediate attention. We all have enough of those. Rather, these are issues that on the surface do not look like problems. They are things that are working well, but on which we rely too heavily. The loss of them would definitely cause pain.

These potential stressors take many forms, depending on one’s role. For someone managing a team, such as professional services or sales, this could be the star performer. The star is often thought of as a blessing, but it’s unpleasant to imagine the team without him or her. For a health plan or provider executive, this could be a seemingly healthy vendor “partnership” that masks a vulnerable dependency. For a salesperson, it could be the need to close a particular deal in order to make quota.

Each of these examples can be addressed before it turns into a problem. Doing so will lessen the stress and increase personal peace. Conventional management wisdom has long taught that relying too heavily on one customer (or supplier or producer) is a recipe for trouble. Several years ago, I had a sales coach who reminded the team, “Most of a salesperson’s problems can be solved with a fuller funnel.”

Pursuing the peace of invulnerability creates a sense of urgency about what we probably ought to be doing anyway. An honest, vigorous pursuit is likely to result in better overall job performance…and a better night’s sleep.

Have a peaceful holiday season.

About the Author

Jim Gibson founded Gibson Consultants in 2002 after careers in healthcare IT and group health insurance. At Dictaphone Healthcare he was responsible for sales of speech recognition solutions to providers in the northeast. Working with the product management group, he also helped position Dictaphone’s automated coding, NLP, and handheld charge capture solutions. As vice president of sales for HSS (now part of Ingenix), Jim was responsible for nationwide direct and third party sales of coding, case mix classification, and prospective payment system (PPS) software to hospitals and payers. Before HSS, Jim sold the DIAMOND payer administration system for Health System Design and clinical guidelines and administrative services for Health Risk Management. Prior to his healthcare IT career, he spent nine years with Prudential Healthcare in sales, sales management, and hospital contracting.

You can reach Jim directly at (910)444-4484 or email


Leave a Reply