Weekly Newsletter | February 26, 2019

February  27 – Willamette Heritage Center

Program: OregonSaves: Work Hard. Save Easy

OregonSaves is the first in the nation state-based retirement savings program for people who do not have an option to save at work. OregonSaves was developed to help put more Oregonians on a path to financial security and empowerment. State Treasurer Read helped craft the legislation while he was a member of the Oregon House of Representatives. Following his election as State Treasurer in 2016, he has been responsible for overseeing the successful implementation.

Program Chair: Bruce Anderson  

Message from President Rus

Hello Salem Rotarians,

Last week I shared history of the Rotary motto, Service Above Self, and we had a fun Wednesday meeting learning about Salem history. I’d like to stay on that historical theme with some background on the Rotary Four-Way Test.

During the Great Depression, Herbert J. Taylor, a Chicago Rotarian and businessman, became the president of Club Aluminum, a cookware company on the verge of bankruptcy. He quickly became concerned with overly aggressive and unethical sales practices within Club and felt a change was key to the company’s survival. To start, he crafted a 100 word ethics test on actions by his employees and quickly determined this was too long. He pared it down to seven points, was still not happy, working it down to four, The Four-Way Test we know today.

Of what we think, say or do:
First: Is it the truth?
Second: Is it fair to all concerned?
Third: Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
Fourth: Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

The test was implemented, behaviors changed, and trust began to build between customers and employees. Within six years, Club went from being near bankrupt to being debt-free.

In 1942, Rotarian Richard Vernor, of Chicago, approached Rotary International to implement The Four-Way Test in Rotary. In 1943, RI adopted it as a component of the Vocational Service Avenue. Herbert Taylor, the author, became President of Rotary International in 1954 and awarded the copyright of The Four-Way Test to Rotary.

This past week I sat in a meeting regarding our amphitheater planning, the team faced with a very tough decision. Much of the criteria were equal across the options. As part of my discussion with the team, I invoked #3 of The Four-Way Test to help in the decision, Will it build goodwill and better relationships? Not to be outdone, past president Barry Nelson pulled #2 off the shelf, Is it fair to all concerned? There were six people in that meeting and after our two comments, what was a difficult decision became easy and unanimous.

The Four-Way Test is timeless, and a fabulous moral and ethical compass. I urge you to take a few moments to reflect on these four simple and basic questions and how they can influence you in your day-to-day decisions.

See you tomorrow,

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