Four Way Test
Of the things we think, say or do
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
In 1932, Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor who later served as RI President created The Four-Way Test, a code of ethics adopted by Rotary 11 years later. Taylor was asked to take charge of Club Aluminum Company, a company that was facing Bankruptcy.
Club Aluminum Company was originally organized in Chicago in 1923 as the Club Aluminum Utensil Company for the purpose of selling aluminum pots and pans in the home on the "party" plan, much like Tupperware was sold in later years. A severe downturn in sales during the depression put the company into bankruptcy in 1933.
The 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 following this simple philosophy. Club Aluminum survived the depression and eventually was renamed Club Products; the company was acquired by Standard International Corporation in 1968. (excerpted from Antique Electric Waffle Irons 1900-1960, Trafford Publishing, pg 46)
Adopted by Rotary in 1943, The Four-Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways.