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The 4 Way Test


It started in 1932.  It's author Herbert J. Taylor had just become president of Club Aluminum Products Company in Chicago, Illinois.  The company employed 250 people, was bankrupt -- over $400,000 in debt (equal to about $4.3 million today).  The country was in the midst of what we know today as The Great Depression.  Not an ideal time to be in the hole financially!    Could these 4 questions help?  Mr. Taylor was a Christian businessman who believed that in right there is might.  He believed that ethical conduct played an important role in relationships. He felt that if the company's leadership and its employees were encouraged to think right, they would act right.  What was needed was some sort of ethical code or yardstick which they could easily memorize and apply to what they thought, said or did in relationships with -- co-workers, vendors, and especially clients and customers.    In answer to prayer one evening, came The 4-Way Test.  He tried it himself for 60 days.  An enlightening test!  Quite a few of the company's current business practices did not seem to stand up under its scrutiny.  After 60 days, Mr. Taylor, himself a Methodist, discussed it with four of his department heads, by faith, a Christian Scientist, a Roman Catholic, an Orthodox Jew and a Presbyterian.  He asked if the Test was contrary to anything in their faith.  Each of them answered "no."  They agreed to memorize and use the Test in their business decisions.  Soon the company adopted it as its official policy for business conduct.  He had the Test copyrighted.  Five years later the company paid off the last of the $400,000 debt with interest and distributed over a million dollars in dividends to stockholders -- all in spite of the continuing Great Depression.    Rotary International Adopts the Test.  An active Rotarian in the Chicago Club, Mr. Taylor shared how the Test had helped his business.  In the early 1940's The 4-Way Test was adopted by Rotary International's board and became a vital part of their Vocational Service Programs.  In 1954-1955 Mr. Taylor served as President of Rotary International.  This was Rotary's 50th Anniversary year and Mr. Taylor made the cover of Newsweek's February 28th, 1955 issue.  He and his wife Gloria traveled all around the world that year.  One trip involved over 25,000 miles of airplane travel.  They visited 38 countries. -