I am in the process of joining our local Rotary Club. I’ve been to a couple of meetings now, and at the end of the meeting, they say the Rotary 4-way test.

The 4-Way Test considers the following questions in respect to thinking, saying or doing:

  • Is it the truth?
  • Is it fair to all concerned?
  • Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  • Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

It seems to me that these are good questions to ask yourself in any business transaction or decision. I know in running a business association, I often have to check in with myself when I get a one-off request from a member. If I do this for one member, am I prepared to do it for others? Often the answer is no, but it is a good check-in moment.

I like the 4-way test as it make you think beyond the implications for yourself, and consider all options for others, especially if you are entering into a partnership with others. Don’t you wish that these questions were being asked in the NAFTA negotiations or more closer to home with the Toronto election debacle?

Interestingly, the test was developed by Rotarian and entrepreneur Herbert J Taylor during the Great Depression as a set of guidelines for restoring faltering businesses and was adopted as the standard of ethics by Rotary in 1942. It is still seen as a standard for ethics in business management.

What questions do you ask yourself before you make a decision?

Anne Day

Anne Day

Company of Women

I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.