The Four Way Test

From the earliest days of the organization, Rotarians were concerned with promoting high ethical standards in their professional lives. One of the world’s most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics is The 4-Way Test, which was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor (who later served as President of Rotary International) when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy. This 24-word code of ethics for employees to follow in their business and professional lives became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers.  The survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy.

Adopted by Rotary in 1943, The 4-Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways.  The Test is:

1. “Is it the TRUTH?”

When you ask yourself” Is it the truth?”, you are asking
 yourself if what you are about to say is honest. In many
 instances, people stray from the truth in order to keep
 themselves from getting into immediate trouble. In any case, honesty is always the best policy.

2. “Is it FAIR to all concerned?”

When something is fair, it is free from bias, dishonesty,
or injustice..  People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will
 always remember how you made them feel.

3. “Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?”

To build better friendships, Rotarians proceed with the intention and hope that good will result in all relationships.  My mom has 
always explained to me that I don’t have to be BEST
 friends with everyone, but I do have to be nice and
 friendly to everyone. To be a friend with someone, you
 don’t have to spend every minute with them. Sometimes, 
just smiling is enough.

4. “Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

When something is beneficial, it is helpful. The best
 example of saying things that are beneficial to others is 
to use the old phrase my kindergarten teachers would
 say,” If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say
 anything at all.”

This 4-way test is very helpful. By following it, you can
 develop a life of high values and moral character, not
 only professionally but also personally with friends and 
family.