Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck

By Jess Gerber

One thing I love about working at Germer International is the emphasis on professional and personal development. One way we achieve self-improvement is through reading various books. One book that I felt was extremely beneficial to my growth is The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. This book is divided into four parts. The first section is dedicated to discipline. Peck breaks discipline down into four components: delay of gratification, acceptance of responsibility, dedication to the truth, and balance. Out of these four components the component that resonated the most with me is accepting responsibility.

When people think of accepting responsibility they typically think if you have done something wrong or have made a mistake it is important to own your misdoing. While this is certainly true and something Peck touches on, a true master of discipline also knows when it is not his or her responsibility to claim. This notion has been extremely important for me to learn to be a successful recruiter. Especially because one thing I learned about myself while reading this book is, I have a personality type that accepts too much responsibility and blames themselves for circumstances that are out of my hands.

This applies to my work as a recruiter because while there are many steps and procedures in place that we must follow to ensure a successful placement, there is also an aspect of knowing when and when not to accept responsibility. For example, it is very important to be diligent and interview candidates multiple times to ensure that they would truly be the best fit for a client. On the other hand, we must also be diligent with our clients and make sure that we truly understand what type of candidate is needed to successfully fill the position and add value to their company. So yes, it is important that we accept responsibility and make sure every step is done correctly, but there are also situations where it’s important to not accept responsibility.

One example is when the candidate decides to accept or not accept an offer. In my experience it is very easy to feel like you made a mistake when a candidate declines an offer. On the other hand, it is even easier to feel responsible if a candidate accepts a position and is not happy at his or her new position. The Road Less Traveled has taught me that a true mastery of discipline is knowing that when you have presented the truthful and accurate information and abided by the correct procedures, the responsibility is not yours to accept. While this is a delicate balance and something I am still learning, I feel like Peck has given me a useful tool to navigating this complex dynamic.