The Four Way Test

Do You know the History of 4 way Test......?

When the Great Depression hit in 1930, many Rotarians faced the greatest challenge of their lives. There was no better time to test for ethical conduct than during such a dire economic crisis and the scramble to survive.

Herbert J. Taylor, a member of the Rotary Club of Chicago, was asked to take over the near-bankrupt Club Aluminum Company in 1932. It was a last-ditch effort to save the company, which had no money, low employee morale, and ruthless competition from other firms in similar straits.

Taylor used his Rotary background to draft a 24-word code of conduct. He used this code of conduct to guide all his daily decisions. He found this ethical compass so helpful that he called all the department heads together and asked them to do the same. The code had four points, so Taylor called it The Four-Way Test:

“Of the things we think, say or do:

1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

Club Aluminum applied The Four-Way Test to its dealings with employees, customers, dealers, and suppliers. It deliberately walked away from business that, while profitable, would have failed one or more of its standards.

The company’s fortunes turned around; it eliminated its debt, and over the next 15 years paid out $1 million in dividends while building a net worth of $2 million. Herb Taylor credited The Four-Way Test.

The RI Board voted to officially adopt The Four-Way Test in 1943. When Herb Taylor became RI president in 1954, he donated the copyright of the test to the organization. The test has been translated into the languages of more than 100 countries.

-- A Japanese Rotary club printed The Four-Way Test on umbrellas for passengers at railway stations.
-- The Rotary Club of Bayswater, Victoria, Australia, sponsored an essay and poster contest among the town’s 11- to 14-year olds using as its theme “A man’s struggle with his conscience.”
-- NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin planted a Four-Way Test pin on the Moon’s surface.
-- In Meerut, India, the Rotary club erected a stone pillar next to the highway, inscribed with The Four-Way Test
-- Similar monuments were built in public parks by Rotary clubs in Brazil, Japan, and the Philippines.

The Four-Way Test has appeared in gymnasiums, courtrooms, and labour contracts. Today, the test appears on highway billboards, in schoolrooms and halls of government, and on the walls of businesses the world over.

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