Herbert J Taylor      The Architect Of The Ethical Yardstick


John Herbert Taylor was the architect of the ethical yardstick, well known as 4 way test.
Like his parents John Herbert Taylor was a religious person and a man of high ethical principle. He was born in Pickford, Michigan, in 1893.
While completed High School Taylor enrolled in Northwestern University and received Bachelor degree in 1917. Herbert then took a job in YMCA in France.

 

 

After working with Sinclair Oil Company he returned to Chicago in 1925 and started work with Jewel Tea Company. He was asked to stimulate the Club Aluminum Company that had suffered bankruptcy. Herbert decided to take over Club Aluminum Company and this incident eventually marked the history of Rotary notion. There was a little hope for the company to get over. Herbert, however, didn’t give up. Instead he thought that the ethical ambience of the company must be changed. And this perspective led him to conceive the idea of 4 way test.

 As he wrote,

“I searched through many books for the answer to our need, but the right phrases eluded me, so I did what I often do when I have a problem I can't answer myself: I turn to the One who has all the answers. I leaned over my desk, rested my head in my hands and prayed. After a few moments, I looked up and reached for a white paper card. Then I wrote down the twenty-four words that had come to me:

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?

 I called it "The Four-Way Test" of the things we think, say or do."