The 4-Way Test

Of the things we think, say or do


In the early 1930s, Herbert J. Taylor set out to save The Club Aluminum Products Distribution Company from bankruptcy.  His recovery plan started with changing the ethical climate of the company.   First, he set policies for the company that would reflect the high ethics and morals.  He later explained that if the people who worked for Club Aluminum were to think right, they would do right.

He realized he needed a simple, easily remembered guide to right conduct - - a sort of ethical yardstick - - which everyone in the company could memorize and apply to what they thought and did.  Then, he wrote down these 24 words:


  1. Is it the TRUTH?

  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?


  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

In the 1940's, when Taylor was an International Director of Rotary, he offered these statements now known as The Four Way Test to the organization and it was adopted by Rotary for its internal and promotional use.


Never changed, these twenty four words remain today a central part of the permanent Rotary structure throughout the world and is held as the standard by which all behavior should be measured.


This banner is hung at our meetings each week and we recite the Four Way Test.  Our Rotary roots run deep and our ethics carry us forward today.

Rotary 4 Way Test