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This international chain reaction began in 1932. Herbert J. Taylor, author of the 4-Way Test, had just become president of Club Aluminum Products Company in Chicago, Illinois. The company employed 250 people, was bankrupt - - over $400,000 in debt, in the midst of what is today known as The Great Depression. Mr. Taylor was a Christian man 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 yardstick which they could easily memorize and apply to what they thought, said or did in their relations with other people. This, he felt would facilitate right action on the part of the company. In answer to prayer one evening came The 4-Way Test. He tried it out himself for sixty days, and found it very enlightening. Quite a few of the company’s current business practices did not seem to standup 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, “Is this test contrary to anything in your faith?” The answer was no and they agreed to memorize and use the test in their business decisions. Soon the company adopted it as its official policy of 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, in spite of the continuing Great Depression. The company gained much more from its use than the acquisition of a good financial statement. It helped them win friends, build goodwill and inspired confidence not only in their own internal management/employee relationships, but also in the company’s relationships with business associates, suppliers and customers. It helped each individual become a better person and better citizen. 

In 1943, when Taylor was Rotary International President, it was adopted by Rotary and became a vital part of their Vocational Service Programs. In 1959, Taylor founded a non-profit organization, The 4-Way Test 

Association, Inc. to promote and assist in its use within the larger business and political community. He died in 1978, but his legacy of the 4-Way Test continues to grow.



The four-way test consists of four short questions, 24 words, which can make a difference in our lives. It reads: 

1. Is it the TRUTH? 

2. Is it FAIR to ALL concerned? 


4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to ALL concerned? 


There is a great difference between winning success and being a success. The 4-Way Test helps us as we go about choosing and acquiring our desired prizes to keep our inner eye open to what we are becoming, not just the prizes we strive to acquire. 

The Test does not provide the answers in itself, but encourages creative and effective solutions in problem solving situations. Its application is in the world of human relationships. Interestingly enough, no matter how technologically astute we become, nothing can really be accomplished in this world except through people - - ourselves and others working, playing, communicating, trusting each other. Used, the 4-Way Test can create an attitude and atmosphere in which people can better relate, share and implement ideas. 

The 4-Way Test is translated into the language of more than a hundred countries and sits on the desks of more than 1 million business and professional leaders around the world.