1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to All Concerned?
3. Will it Build GOODWILL and Better Friendships?
4. Will it Be BENEFICIAL to All Concerned?
The 4 Way Test...of what we think, say or do!
Click on a flag to view site in that language.
Word by word translation is not precise. Please excuse!
The 4-Way Test Association was founded by its author, Herbert J. Taylor, as a non-profit organization in 1959.
Members of his family, friends, Rotarians and business associates have served on its board. The Association in the past has sold promotional materials, gift items, instructional materials and provided speakers. In 2004 we pioneered our first web site.
In 2006 we introduced the site viewable in 7 languages with a click on a flag: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.
OUR PURPOSE is to promote use of The 4-Way Test across the globe. This site is to assist you with materials and new ideas that can help you make a difference in your community.
We want to link you with people around the world who are using, promoting and benefiting from use of the Test so that you can share ideas and learn from each other.
How did The 4-Way Test Story begin? 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. Mr. Taylor died in 1978, but his legacy of The 4-Way Test continues to spread its influence around the world.
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.
Metropolitan Campaigns begin. Early in the 1950's community and citywide 4-Way Test campaigns began. These campaigns would involve the active participation of many organizations within a metropolitan area. Often the impetus for these campaigns came from local Rotarians. Since then the Test has been introduced around the world in schools, governments, businesses and homes to stimulate and open communication channels -- to build stronger, more effective relationships between people. With these campaigns, printed materials and instructional resources were needed to assist the Test's outreach.
1959: The 4-Way Test Association, Inc. founded. Its first offices were at 20 North Wacker Drive in Chicago. Robert Walker with the assistance of Mr. Taylor's executive secretary Betty Wells handled its administration. From 1972 - 1978 Larry Kendrick served as General Secretary. In 1978 the Association's office moved to Montgomery, Alabama. Rudy Wendeling served as Office Manager and Caryl Cusick as Promotions Director. Its address was 1233 East South Blvd. and in 1986 it moved again to 4211 Carmichael Drive. In 1999 the office store was moved to 200 Landfall, Atlanta, GA and then in June of 2003, it's main office relocated to the present address in Childersburg, Alabama. Caryl Cusick and Allen Mathis oversee its operations.
BIOGRAPHY: HERBERT JOHN TAYLOR 1893 - 1978Biographical Notes and Sources: God's Man in The Marketplace by Paul H. Heidebrecht 1990; The Herbert J. Taylor Story, his autobiography 1968; Paul Harris and His Successors Profiles in Leadership 1997; personal papers from The 4-Way Test Association.
Herbert John Taylor was born in Pickford, Michigan on April 18, 1893. He grew up in what was a mostly rural, small town community in the logging territory of the Upper Peninsula -- the third of Frank and Martha Ellen Taylor's seven children. He had a typical boyhood -- public school, chores, fishing and church. His industrious father practically ran the town. Frank Taylor established the telephone company and the electric company as well as ran a lumber-supply firm, a bank and a dairy. Herbert was encouraged to work. By raising sheep, selling the wool and later the sheep themselves, he was able to save enough money for his education. He also sold advertising for the dairy. When he was 16, at a revival service, Herb Taylor made a life-changing decision -- he went forward and he accepted Christ as his Savior.
Pickford had no high school, so he moved to Sault Ste. Marie, a small city 25 miles north of Pickford, where he boarded and earned his way through school. Here he worked for Western Union as a telegraph operator.His next stop after high school was Northwestern University in Chicago. He chose Northwestern (rather than the University of Chicago where he had already been accepted) primarily because of the friendly reception he received from the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. He continued to work his way through school selling typewriters, working for the telegraph company, and writing sports news for two Chicago newspapers (using the telegraph to wire his stories) so his arrived first! He was also business manager of the college yearbook, responsible for selling advertising space.
His formula for success was organization. He set up a tight schedule that allowed him about six hours sleep a night, and he stuck to it even when courting the girl who would become his wife, Gloria Forbrich. Gloria was 14 years old when they met on a blind date (not with each other) at the elevated station in Rogers Park. She was a knock-out and he had competition. He also had to break up with a lovely girl, the campus queen, in order to date Gloria. He knew he got the right girl for him, though!
When Herb Taylor graduated from Northwestern in 1917, he volunteered to work with the YMCA in France. The United States officially entered World War I and he immediately signed up with the navy. When the war ended in November of 1918, he was asked to remain in France with the YMCA, which he did for about a year. He returned home to Chicago in the spring of 1919. He and Gloria were married about a month later.
Before year's end they moved from Chicago to Paul's Valley, Oklahoma, where he took a job as assistant manager for a pipeline station the Sinclair Oil Company had under construction. Within a year he was in business for himself as a lease broker for oil exploration and as an insurance salesman. Their first daughter Beverly was born here. It was in Paul's Valley that Herb Taylor first became involved with a Rotary Club. He helped found it!
By 1921 Rotary International (which was founded in Chicago in 1905) was 16 years old and had 758 chapters that spanned the globe. Returning to Chicago in 1924, Herb joined the Chicago Rotary Club in 1927.
In Chicago he was hired to be an executive in training with the Jewel Tea Company. He began as a traveling salesman and by 1926 was assistant to the president, M. H. Karker. (Karker had been his commanding officer in the navy.) In 1928 he became a vice president and director. He also published 2 booklets on office management with the American Management Association. That same year, he and Gloria moved to Park Ridge, a suburb of Chicago. Their second daughter Ramona was born. He and Gloria lived at 300 North Ashland Avenue for the rest of his life.
In late 1929 Continental Bank persuaded Jewel Tea Company to offer Club Aluminum Products Company the services of Herbert Taylor for a period of three years on a half-time basis to help keep the bankrupt company afloat. He was made President. It quickly became apparent the company was in horrible shape. Jewel Tea Cop any wanted him back full time. Instead, Herb Taylor chose to stay with Club Aluminum. He borrowed $6,100 against he Jewel Tea stock and cut his salary from $33,000 to $6,000 -- a level it stayed at for four years. His innovations and the dedication of all members of the company working together using The 4-Way Test (which he wrote in 1932) became a success story.
The late 1930's brought the threat of war in Europe. On the home front, Herbert J. Taylor was elected president of the Chicago Rotary Club 1937-1938. He, Gloria and the girls took part in Rotary's global outreach.
Of course, December 7th, 1941, changed life in the United States drastically. World War II brought new challenges. Club Aluminum was informed that no aluminum for domestic production was available. It was needed by the federal government for the war effort. One plant was overhauled to make weapons. The company diversified into flameproof glass coffee makers and table games made out of fiberboard and plastic for the duration. Frowning on discrimination, he had Club Aluminum hire Japanese workers forced to move to the Midwest because their loyalty was suspect. He joined the War Department's Price Adjustment Board as a "dollar-a-year" man becoming its vice chairman under Maurice Karker's leadership.
One of the reasons Herb Taylor chose to stay with Club Aluminum was because he felt the Lord had a plan for his life which involved becoming enough of a success in business that he could use his extra time to work with youth. In 1940 he set up the Christian Worker's Foundation. With the foundation's assistance and Herb Taylor's personal commitment, five Christian organizations with emphasis on reaching youth were pioneered, nurtured and expanded in the USA -- InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Young Life, Child Evangelism Fellowship, Pioneer Girls and Christian Service Brigade. Through his efforts, large tracts of acreage in Colorado and Michigan were bought and assembled. These would become camps for youth used by each of these organizations. In all, more than 200 youth oriented organizations were recipients of gifts during his lifetime.
Since the early 1940's Rotary International had used The 4-Way Test as part of its Vocational Service Outreach. In 1946, Herb Taylor became a vice-president of Rotary International having served as a district governor and director over the past several years. In 1954, while serving as president of Rotary International, he formally shared The 4-Way Test's copyright with Rotary. Because of its use by so many Rotarians, the Test was already making its way around the world. Several communities in Japan even put the Test on umbrellas offered free of charge as loaners at their rail stations during inclement weather.
In 1959, he founded The 4-Way Test Association to aid its spread into communities worldwide. In fact, over the years, The 4-Way Test has been the cornerstone of labor contracts, adopted by state governments such as the Florida legislature in 1980; promoted in community-wide campaigns: Daytona Beach, FL; Dallas, TX; Pittsburgh, PA; Long Beach, CA; Grosse Point, MI; Oshkosh, WI; Memphis, TN; and introduced into middle school to college level classrooms throughout the USA and abroad.
Mr. Taylor has received many awards for his philanthropy, including one from his alma mater -- Northwestern University's highest awards, its Alumni Medal in 1957. He is also the recipient of four honorary degrees from other universities. Always on the go, despite health problems, he was instrumental in encouraging Billy Graham to hold the first Greater Chicago Crusade in McCormick Place in June of 1962 and served as Chair of its Executive Committee.
A serious illness -- eventually diagnosed as undulant fever -- incapacitated him for a good portion of 1947. It was traced back to some unpasteurized milk the Taylors had purchased in Oklahoma some twenty-five years earlier. This illness and the medications required over the years caused diabetes and migraine headaches. Yet, he was a man who smiled, enjoyed people, always on the go. You would not know to look at him how much he suffered at times.
In 1975 he was struck low by a stroke which resulted in aphasia. He lost almost his entire vocabulary, though his mind functioned clearly. It did not affect his personality, which remained friendly and outgoing. Even disabled by aphasia, his warm personality, faith and energy shown through to family and friends who often visited him. He died on May 1, 1978 with few regrets. "He had followed God's plan for his life as best he understood it."
HERBERT JOHN TAYLOR STATUE ERECTED 2002:
A life size bronze statue to honor Mr. Taylor was erected by Rotary International District 6290 and the Christian Workers Foundation in the summer of 2002 at the intersection of Ashmun and Spruce Street in Sault Ste. Marie, MI.
Betsy Demaray, 2000-2001 District Governor RI District 6290, headed up this effort to honor a native son of Pickford and the greater Sault Ste. Marie, MI area. It took a little over 5 years to complete the project. The memorial statue was unveiled at Rotary International District 6290's annual Conference May 20, 2001.
A 10-minute video with introduction by Richard King, RI President 2001-2002 was made by the District. It features Dan Wakeman portraying Herb Taylor talking about The 4-Way Test and his life. This video is available for purchase. See RESOURCES.
The 4-Way Test continues to impact the global community. We promote the use of The 4 Way Test and it's ethics-based model of thinking. We are your RESOURCE CENTER for The 4-Way Test!