Why the Four Way Test?
Rotarians are guided by a belief system known as The Four Way Test. It was written in the early 1930s by Herbert Taylor who was recruited to rescue a major company from bankruptcy and failure.
Herbert was in his 20’s and had been highly successful in business. He was offered enticing leadership opportunities with growing companies. His friends were surprised when he chose to become the President of a company that paid less money and had significant challenges.
The company was near collapse. It’s failure was attributed to a lack of trust among customers caused by unethical practices, moral failings and broken promises made by management and staff.
It was little wonder that the staff was demoralized and had little faith in the existing leadership to improve the outlook of the company.
A Standard to Live By
Taylor searched for a motto that would signal the new direction of the company. But it had to be more than a slick advertising gimmick.
It had to have meaning and be easy-to-understand! It had to make a statement to customers, his own staff and the public at large. He believed that if employees “would think right, they would do right.” He would transform the company starting with his own employees.
In a climate of mistrust and moral failings by prominent political and business leaders, the value statement offered by the Four Way Test is as relevant and meaningful today as it was then.
It was adopted by Rotary International when Herbert Taylor became President in 1954-55. It provides a moral compass used by Rotarians around the world for personal relationships and business conduct. The test applies to any situation.
Service Above Self
Our Rotary motto is, “Service above Self.” That implies action; doing whatever it takes to help those who need it wherever they are and whoever they may be. It is about providing value by making promises and keeping them. Rotarians are committed to making a difference by helping others with no expectation of return.