Career Fortitude



Seeking guidance with your development action plan to help advance your career is not merely an option, it’s crucial for anyone aspiring to make a meaningful impact in their career.  Leadership is not just about authority; it’s about influence, vision, and the ability to inspire others toward a common goal.  Getting the support needed to fine-tune these skills requires help from someone who can offer an objective view based on their experiences and expertise.

I’m going to share how seeking guidance with your development action plan results in growth and what steps you should take in order to identify your support system.  Support and guidance are critical to your success when working through a development action plan.  Download my free development action plan PDF. 


My template outlines specific steps and strategies needed to enhance skills, expand knowledge, and leverage opportunities for advancement.  This is a legit roadmap that provides the structure you’ll need to not only craft a solid development action plan but also hold you accountable for executing the plan and then reflecting on progress and learning throughout the process.


Seeking guidance with your development action plan provides support that will help you achieve your goals quicker than trying to work through it on your own.  More specifically, working with a coach for support and guidance has a significant impact because coaches are solely focused on assisting you in achieving your goal.

I can tell you from my own experiences through my leadership development that the coaches who helped me were instrumental in advancing my career.  Coaches offer invaluable lessons that can’t be taught in schools and often aren’t provided by organizations.  These leadership lessons and growth opportunities only come from aligning your current career with what you aspire for in your career advancement.

A coach guides you as you fill in the gap between where you’re currently at in your career and then supports your development and growth to help you get to where you want to be.  Coaches offer objective guidance, feedback, and accountability as you progress toward your goals.

Part of any effective development action plan should include your support system such as a coach to help throughout your development journey.  I’m going to review 4 ways coaching empowers growth when seeking guidance in your leadership development, but more specifically during your development action plan.


  1. Coaches promote growth by offering you unique perspectives

Coaches offer a unique perspective based on their wealth of experience and knowledge.  Coaches can provide guidance on navigating challenges, making critical decisions, and capitalizing on opportunities.  All of which will surface as you progress through your development action plan.  A coach’s seasoned advice can help you avoid pitfalls, accelerate learning curves, and gain a deeper understanding of your industry or profession.

I personally would not be where I am today without the invaluable guidance and support from coaches throughout my career.  Now, that doesn’t mean I was always completely open to feedback and immediately understood that developing myself meant putting myself in uncomfortable situations.  When I did come around to embracing the uncomfortable, listened to feedback, and took action on it, I was able to accomplish significantly more.  Without that guidance, my career advancement would have taken much longer to unfold.

Guidance from experienced coaches offers a treasure trove of insights and wisdom.  Coaches have navigated through various leadership challenges, honed their skills, and learned valuable lessons along the way.  By tapping into their reservoir of experience, you can gain a broader perspective on leadership dynamics, decision-making processes, and effective strategies for managing teams.

Seeking guidance provides you with a sounding board for your ideas, decisions, and actions.  Coaches offer constructive feedback, challenging your assumptions and perspectives in a supportive manner.  This helps you to identify blind spots, refine your leadership approach, and continuously improve.  Coaches hold you accountable for your goals and commitments, ensuring that you stay on course and make progress in your development journey.


  1. Coaches promote growth by serving as a role model

Coaches serve as role models by inspiring you to reach for greater heights as you work through your development action plan.  By sharing their own career triumphs and setbacks, coaches instill confidence and motivation.  Witnessing the achievements of coaches reinforces the belief that success is possible through dedication, perseverance, and strategic planning.

Early in my career, I didn’t think I was capable of achieving anything more than an associate role in an organization.  I assumed my introverted personality disqualified me from having an influence on others and I didn’t see myself as a leader.  My coaches were able to see parts of me that I resisted bringing to the surface and showed me how to improve those skills through my development action plan.

Helping me understand how investing in my personal and professional growth allowed me to become a more self-aware person and have opportunities to earn more.  By supporting me in writing an effective development action plan and achieving goals I was able to fully embrace my development journey.

My coaches shared their own experiences that helped me understand that all development action plans included facing uncomfortable situations, not just mine.  Understanding that everyone’s development path is littered with obstacles and challenges helped me build my confidence and learn how to work through setbacks and failures.

Seeking guidance in your leadership development fosters self-awareness and personal growth. Through introspection and dialogue with a coach, you gain clarity about your strengths, values, and areas for improvement.  This self-awareness enables you to align your actions with your core principles, cultivate authenticity in your leadership style, and evolve into a more resilient and adaptable leader.

Ultimately, seeking guidance in your leadership development is about leaving a lasting legacy and making a meaningful impact.  By investing in your growth as a leader, you not only elevate your own potential but also inspire and empower others to unlock theirs.  The guidance you receive today lays the foundation for the leaders you’ll develop and the positive change you’ll catalyze in the future.


  1. Coaches promote growth by supporting your skill and competency development

Coaches use their experience to facilitate skill development and competency enhancement activities.  They offer constructive feedback, identify areas for improvement, and provide tailored advice on honing specific skills.  Whether it’s communication, leadership, or technical expertise, a coach guides you in refining your abilities and becoming a well-rounded professional.  This guidance is critical when creating your development action plan because understanding your skillset and leadership competency creates a foundation for creating effective and obtainable goals.

In my developmental experience, some of the most impactful support I received from my coaches was very focused on leaning into a growth mindset and helping me better understand the softer skills needed to be a great leader.  My coach was able to identify that I had strong business acumen, but needed more support with my confidence and overcoming my fear of failure.  By understanding my leadership competency, my coach was able to help me form goals that strategically addressed my developmental focuses.

Learning from the experiences of others can significantly shorten your learning curve as a leader. Instead of reinventing the wheel, you can benefit from the tested methods, best practices, and proven strategies shared by your coach.  This accelerates your development trajectory, enabling you to adapt and respond more effectively to the complexities of leadership roles.

Effective leadership is not just about technical expertise; it also requires mastering soft skills such as communication, emotional intelligence, and empathy.  Coaches can provide guidance on honing these essential skills, helping you to connect with others more authentically, resolve conflicts diplomatically, and inspire trust and collaboration within your team.


  1. Coaches promote growth by nurturing your professional network

Coaches can support your professional network by introducing you to valuable contacts, connecting them with opportunities, and endorsing their capabilities within the organization or industry.  Building relationships through coaching opens doors to collaborations, partnerships, and more opportunities.

Having your name on the top of a coach’s mind can have great benefits because they’ll be thinking of you when opportunities arise.  Coaches often actively seek out opportunities for you that will help you learn new skills, gain experience, and try new things to help advance your development.


Those are the 4 ways coaching empowers growth while you’re seeking guidance in your leadership development, specifically during your development action plan.

Seeking coaching requires initiative, humility, and a willingness to learn.  While formal coaching programs exist within some organizations, they might not provide the thoroughness and swiftness to action needed to advance your career quickly.

Seeking guidance with your development action plan involves proactive steps to connect with experienced coaches, cultivate meaningful relationships, and leverage resources for continuous learning and growth.


Here’s how to approach receiving guidance in your leadership development journey:

Identify Potential Support: Look for individuals whose leadership style, values, and experiences align with your goals.

Initiate Contact: Try to be specific about what you hope to gain from the relationship.

Establish Trust and Rapport: Demonstrate your commitment to growth and your willingness to implement their guidance in your leadership journey.

Set Clear Expectations: Clarify expectations and goals for the coaching relationship from the outset.  Discuss topics you’d like to explore, frequency of meetings, and preferred modes of communication.  Establishing clear boundaries and objectives ensures a productive and mutually beneficial partnership.

Be Coachable: Approach coaching with humility and a willingness to learn.  Be receptive to constructive criticism, embrace new perspectives, and apply feedback to improve your leadership skills.  Demonstrate initiative by following through on action items and demonstrating progress over time.

Seek Diverse Perspectives: If you work with a coach, you should still be receiving feedback from multiple sources to gain diverse perspectives and insights.  Peers and leaders within your organization are great supporters along your development journey as well.

Invest in Self-Development: Take ownership of your leadership development by investing in self-directed learning opportunities.  Attend workshops, seminars, and leadership programs, read books and articles on leadership, and engage in reflective practices to deepen your understanding and refine your skills

Pay It Forward: As you grow as a leader, consider paying it forward by mentoring others who are earlier in their career journey.  Sharing what you’ve learned through your development not only reinforces your own learning but also contributes to the development of future leaders.


By actively seeking guidance in your leadership development, fostering meaningful relationships, and continuously investing in your development, you’ll accelerate your growth as a leader and make a lasting impact in your professional space.  By seeking guidance with your development action plan, you can tap into the wisdom and experience of seasoned professionals, accelerate their learning curves, and navigate the complexities of their chosen fields with confidence.


Whether embarking on a new career path, aiming for advancement, or seeking to increase opportunities for advancement, coaching provides a support system for realizing your full potential and achieving long-term success.


Take advantage of my free development action plan template by downloading the PDF.


Until next time, always keep learning and always keep growing.


Philip Hilt – Leadership & Career Coach



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