Career Fortitude



Have you ever received feedback that expanded your viewpoint and helped you in realizing how to improve your leadership skills?  What about feedback that uncovered a blind spot and forced you to reevaluate how you approached your work?  I tell ambitious leaders working on their leadership development that feedback is a gift.

Feedback might be tough to take in at times because it can create discomfort in how we view ourselves and identify areas where improvement is needed.  But ultimately, any feedback is helpful feedback because it gives us objective views from an outside source.  Professional feedback is a gift, and you should lean into feedback to advance your career.

I’m going to review the importance of feedback and what to do in order to obtain feedback along your development journey.  If you’re a leader or aspiring to become one, using my development action plan template provides structure for how to create a feedback mechanism for your development.

I have created a detailed development action plan template that you can download for free as a PDF.  I created this template based on my own experiences with my leadership development and what I’ve learned from coaching other leaders as they work through their development journeys as well.


Feedback creates a compass that guides leaders toward growth and advancement.  It serves as a critical tool in leadership development by offering insights, perspectives, and areas for improvement.


The absence of feedback in leadership development can take a significant toll on both individuals and organizations.  If leaders and future leaders are not receiving effective feedback to grow and develop, the results are stunted growth and delayed progress.

Here’s why feedback is indispensable as you work through your leadership development:


First, feedback fosters self-awareness.  Effective leadership hinges on understanding your strengths, weaknesses, and blind spots.  Without seeing yourself through others’ eyes, you won’t understand how you’re being perceived by those you are meant to influence.

Constructive feedback provides leaders with valuable information about performance, communication style, and impact on others.  This helps you to reflect on your actions and make necessary adjustments.  If you’re attempting to reach career advancement but are unwilling to accept this objective feedback, your path will be more challenging and you’ll lose precious time.


Second, feedback enhances communication and relationships.  Leaders who actively seek and receive feedback demonstrate openness and humility.  This strengthens trust and rapport with your team and across the organization.

Transparent communication channels built on feedback foster a culture of honesty, collaboration, and continuous improvement within the organization.  Reaching out for feedback will result in strengthening connections and open up avenues for others to seek feedback from you as well.  Engaging in feedback across the organization creates normalcy for offering and receiving constructive feedback.


Third, feedback fuels learning and development.  Leaders who embrace feedback as a learning opportunity are better equipped to adapt to changing circumstances and acquire new skills.

By receiving feedback from diverse sources, such as peers, subordinates, and mentors, leaders gain valuable insights into different perspectives and approaches.  Learning from the experiences and expertise of those around you grows and strengthens your leadership toolkit.  You’ll better understand what skills you’re missing, providing guidance on what goals you’ll need to set out for yourself.


Fourth, feedback drives performance improvement.  Constructive criticism helps leaders identify areas where they can enhance their effectiveness and achieve better outcomes.

Whether it’s refining decision-making processes, honing interpersonal skills, or refining strategic vision, feedback serves as a catalyst for continuous growth and professional advancement.  In order to accomplish the growth needed to be promoted through leadership ranks and realize new opportunities, you must continually improve your performance.


Lastly, feedback cultivates a culture of accountability and excellence.  When leaders actively solicit feedback and demonstrate a commitment to personal and professional development, they set a positive example for their team.

This encourages others to seek feedback, embrace challenges, and strive for excellence in their own roles.  Leaders are responsible for the growth and development of their team and those around them.  Leading by example provides guidance for others, and normalizes seeking and embracing feedback.

In essence, using feedback to advance your career is the cornerstone of leadership development by:

  • Empowering leaders to cultivate self-awareness
  • Strengthening relationships
  • Fostering learning
  • Driving performance
  • Inspiring excellence within teams and organizations


Embracing feedback is a priceless resource that propels leaders toward their full potential.  It enables them to navigate the complexities of leadership with confidence and agility.

Now, let’s switch gears and review what happens when leaders don’t have a robust feedback mechanism in leadership development.  If you can relate to these outcomes, you’ll need to spend time identifying your feedback receptiveness and plan to acquire objective feedback moving forward.


Without feedback, leaders lack crucial insights into their performance and effectiveness.  Blind spots remain unaddressed, potentially leading to repeated mistakes, poor decision-making, and missed opportunities.

The absence of constructive criticism deprives leaders of the chance to identify areas for improvement and refine their skills.  This results in stagnation and complacency.  Without constructive feedback, development is significantly hindered, resulting in lost time and missed opportunities.

The lack of feedback erodes trust and communication within teams and organizations.  When leaders fail to solicit or act on feedback, it sends a message that opinions are unimportant, stifling open dialogue and collaboration.

This breakdown in communication can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and decreased morale among team members, ultimately impeding productivity and innovation.  Leaders who are perceived to be closed off from feedback will suffer from a culture that cultivates division.

The absence of feedback perpetuates a culture of mediocrity and disengagement.  Without mechanisms in place for providing and receiving feedback, employees may feel undervalued and disconnected from the organization’s goals.

This disengagement can lead to decreased motivation, higher turnover rates, and a loss of top talent.   This has detrimental effects on organizational performance and competitiveness.  This type of poor team culture results in leaders being unable to align teams and inspire others to drive results.

The lack of feedback impedes leadership succession and organizational talent development efforts within an organization.  Without constructive feedback, aspiring leaders struggle to identify their strengths and areas for growth, inhibiting their ability to progress within the organization.

This lack of developmental opportunities not only hinders individual career advancement but also jeopardizes the long-term sustainability and adaptability of the organization.  Organizations should be investing heavily in the growth and development of their leaders in order to drive innovation and success.

Ultimately, the cost of deficient feedback in leadership development is multifaceted, including:

  • Missed opportunities for growth
  • Diminished trust and communication
  • Decreased employee engagement
  • Compromised talent development efforts


To mitigate these costs and foster a culture of continuous improvement and excellence, organizations must prioritize feedback as an integral component of leadership development initiatives.


If you’re finding any of those areas hindering the growth and success of yourself or your organization, you’ll need to take action to begin instilling constructive feedback as a normal business function. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re not receiving leadership feedback from your organization, it’s essential to take proactive steps to address the issue.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to identify what’s needed in your leadership development and seek out resources and support to close the gaps.  No one is going to do this for you, so don’t waste time and opportunities by waiting for someone to chart a path for your development.  What you want to accomplish and where your career path goes is up to you to decide.


Here’s what you can do:

Initiate the conversation: Take the initiative to request feedback from your supervisors, peers, and team members.  Express your desire for growth and development and ask for specific areas where you can improve.

Seek feedback from multiple sources: Don’t limit yourself to feedback from only your direct superiors.  Reach out to colleagues, mentors, and even clients or stakeholders for diverse perspectives on your leadership performance.

Create a feedback-friendly environment: Lead by example by actively soliciting and receiving feedback from others.  By demonstrating openness to feedback, you encourage others to do the same.

Utilize an external resource: If feedback remains scarce within your organization, consider seeking external support from a coach for objective feedback and support.  This level of accountability will ensure you’re leaning into feedback to advance your career.


My coaching services help ambitious leaders just like you gain the confidence, clarity, and vision needed to reach goals and advance your career in a 90-day campaign.  Feedback is an integral part of my coaching services.  I guide leaders through 360-degree feedback exercises to fully embrace objective feedback and then use it to create effective goals to close leadership gaps.


If you haven’t downloaded my free development plan template, go ahead and get started on that.  Creating a feedback mechanism is built into this template because feedback is crucial to achieving goals and ultimately advancing your career.


I hope you found this content on feedback helpful and that you’ve downloaded my free development action plan template linked in the notes.  Until next time, always keep learning and always keep growing.


Philip Hilt – Leadership & Career Coach










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