The Book of Excellence: 104 Principles for Living and Working by Dana LaMon

I am fortunate to be located in a Toastmasters district in central California. We have the highly competitive Las Vegas clubs to keep us on our toes for International Speech and Storytelling Contests. Just four hours south is Toastmasters International headquarters. And halfway between here and there is Lancaster, California, home to one of the world’s most unique Toastmasters.

Dana LaMon is the only world public speaking champion who is also a certified speaker. He has also been blind since he was four years old. He has a BA in mathematics from Yale and a BA in law from the University of Southern California. He recently retired as an administrative law judge.

Dana has spoken to audiences around the world and one of her most popular topics is excellence. “The Book of Excellence” is the source of many of those speeches. The 104 principles were briefly written by Dana as she contemplated her life and career as the previous century was drawing to a close. He began to share the principles with friends and colleagues who asked him for copies. Thus the book was born.

It is a pocket book or the size of a wallet. Perfect for taking out and opening when you are in line or sitting in a waiting room. Each page presents a principle that can be cited along with a little comment.

Principle # 2.

Excellence demands that you do the best you can, not that you be the best. “

Dana tells us that even if we are involved in the competition, we must focus on doing our best. For those who are impatient, there is principle # 6:

Along the path of a planned project, excellence is progress towards completion. “

Principle # 22 is mentioned in a previous article titled “How You Gave Me A Vision of Excellence from Dana LaMon, Speaker and Author.” I was able to hear him speak at a recent Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) because he lives so close to our district. He gave us this principle:

Where there is no meaning in what you do, there will probably be mediocrity in your performance. “

Your unique purpose will always be on your mind, giving you enthusiasm and energy for the task, if it has meaning.

These are just two of the 104 principles. Why 104? He would have said “two a week”, but Dana tells us in the intro: that’s where he ran out of ideas. I highly doubt that you will ever run out of ideas in the area of ​​excellence. It’s a convenient-sized book, so I’m glad you stopped writing.