My CPLP Journey: Guiding principles and the quest for results, because it matters!


William E Hamilton @ Iman Fiqrie

Photo of a CPLP certification pin on a KLCC glass paperweight

Finally receiving my CPLP Pin after years of study and facilitation

Certified Professional in Learning Performance (CPLP)

When I originally set out to write this article, I had in mind documenting my journey from the early days of becoming a trainer to achieving what one might consider a significant milestone in the learning and development community; Certified Professional in Learning Performance (CPLP). To the extent that results matters (see CIWLEARNING and Web Hosting) the achievement of CPLP represents, at least in my opinion, walking the talk! You do what you say you’re going to do. Looking back, however, it represents so much more than that. It represents the sum of my experiences to get to that point which includes a lot of mentoring, coaching and hard work that I would like to pass on to my readers. 10 years can’t be done in one article, however, over the course of a few articles—maybe more dialogue will present itself.

Don’t focus on the examinations for CPLP

Trying to obtain a CPLP is not for the faint at heart! There were two 150 question, 3 hour exams that felt like a journey in itself, nearly three years of study and a review board before it became official. At this point, I don’t think it’s productive to focus on those examinations. Instead, what might be healthy is a clear vision and purpose of why one would want to become a CPLP in the first place.

Required industry knowledge and expertise to become a CPLP

To be quite honest, when I first became a trainer in January of 2007, I wasn’t that prepared to be a trainer. I had a lot of industry knowledge or subject matter expertise (SME) from my days in the U.S. military and needed a job, much like many of us; it was just a job at first. The company I worked for also needed trainers, instructors and lecturers for the many course demands it had. It was a mutually beneficial relationship. Again, looking back—it seemed more of a body count type operation in the beginning than more of a precision operation that turned out “highly qualified” trainers and lecturers. It was, however, what it was, what one did at the time and I am highly appreciative of the process. Because that’s what this journey is, a process! In that regard, I learned many of these lessons well before I got the trainer job and became a CPLP, I learned this in U.S. military. I believe one of my first big and real lessons was when my senior asked me if I was ready for inspection of my spaces and equipment. I said I was “ready”! Upon which, my senior replied, “…so you’re ready? You will never be ready for one of my inspections, what you mean is you’re standing by…”. After which, he commenced to giving me the greatest lesson and thorough inspection I have ever gotten in my entire military career! Message received loud and clear however painful. This same mentor would administer many such lessons during my tour there. There were many other mentors, commands, places of employment, etc., the bottom line resulting in a few very important lessons condensed here for your information;

Ten Life Principles I Learned in the Military
1. Respect other people’s time!
2. A good plan executed now is better than a perfect plan executed late! (unknown military)
3. If you’re not ten minutes early for a meeting, you’re already late!

4. Never ask a question you don’t already know the answer to!
5. Don’t do other people’s work, hold them accountable!
6. Always keep the cue (“brain box”) loaded with 10 things! (e.g., what’s up next)
7. Anticipate, forward thinking and situational awareness!
8. Find out what you don’t know, weaknesses and make them strong points!
9. Never underestimate the enemy (competition), do so at your own peril!
10. Above all, deliver the results over and above expectations!

Honor, courage, commitment and integrity also help in becoming a CPLP

During my 23 years, plus in the military, these experiences shaped me. And, along with the Navy core values of honor, courage, commitment and integrity—shaped my beliefs and forged a plan of action and career that led to many accomplishments. Referring to my list, I never dwell on past accomplishments to the extent that there’s always something we don’t know as well as the competition won’t rest either. So one can see as I pointed out in the beginning, I didn’t know much as a trainer when I got the job, but already knew the process and mechanism to turn that around; there was never any doubt as I had been “proven” many times over no matter how daunting the task. The CPLP journey initially seemed one that was extremely daunting, but my military lessons set the framework for success. That’s why I’d like to pass them on to my readers in the hopes that it can help others and help continue to make the learning and development community as professional as it already is—at least the part I’m involved in.

Concluding thoughts on becoming a CPLP

To finish the first article, values (e.g., experiences) act as foundation to support the framework (e.g., beliefs) one is embarked on. They create momentum for action and results. They also indirectly give vision and “line of site”. I got another set of foundation core values (tweaking) from the book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, from Steven Covey. Essentially, Covey, begins with the end in mind; how will others see you at your own funeral—not how you would like to be remembered! From this, I got a personal mission statement, vision, guiding principles and roles. Suffice it to say that with passion, purpose, integrity and heart—at least for me, along with the principles, helped me see the result Certified Professional in Learning Performance (CPLP). Lastly, it’s never over as I knew eLearning, virtual classrooms, blended learning, web hosting, content development, delivery and so much more lay ahead. Without passion, one will never be as good as one could be. Keep the passion, feed your purpose, do it with integrity, heart of conviction and all things are possible! Until the next article.

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