The 4-Way Test

Rotary's 4-Way Test came out in 1934 during the Great Depression. It was developed in 1934 by Herbert Taylor when he took charge of the Club Aluminum Can Company which was facing bankruptcy. He wanted to demonstrate to his employees, associates, clients and suppliers the company's dedication to fairness, honesty and integrity in all their business transactions.


It's not a code, creed or pledge. It simply has four questions to examine the present and future actions "of the things we think, say or do."


The first two questions start with "Is it..." and test the present – "Is it the Truth?" and "Is it Fair to all concerned?" They examine the here and now.


As a side note, when I was growing up in the '70s, there was an expression "If it feels good, do it." Unfortunately, only considering the present led to some detrimental results. We should have been thinking "If it will feel good tomorrow, do it today."


To examine the future effects, the third and fourth questions begin with "Will it...". "Will it build Goodwill and better friendships?" and "Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?" consider those elements.


Together the questions of the 4-Way Test help us consider what our actions mean to ourselves and to others around us...now and in the future.


Of the things we think, say or do:

Is it the Truth?

Is it Fair to all concerned?

Will it build Goodwill and better friendships?

Will it be Beneficial to all concerned.