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Testing Your Integrity

For more than twenty years, I had the privilege of being a member of the Milwaukee Rotary Club. At each meeting, the organization’s four-way test was shared as a reminder of what the Club stood for.

The test asks the following questions:

Of the things we think, say or do…..

Is it the TRUTH?

Is it FAIR to all concerned?


Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Very simple and direct.

Rotary’s Four-Way Test was created in 1932 to help guide the professional and personal relationships of its members.

It remains relevant today and could be shortened to just one word: integrity.

As a leader, you need to demonstrate your integrity if you expect your employees to behave the same way.

A leader who cannot commit to the Four-Way Test will not be successful in building the trust of their employees, their stakeholders, or others who observe them.

You don’t have to be a Rotarian to buy-in.

How can you demonstrate your integrity?

  • Be transparent in your dealings with others. Never lie.
  • Be trustworthy and reliable.
  • Be accountable for your mistakes.
  • Allow those you supervise to speak openly. I’ve often said that I need to be told when one of my ideas doesn’t make sense.
  • Maintain a focus on the mission of your organization. 
  • Make sure that the same values that guide you in your personal life are also present at in your work life.

If I were to survey your colleagues, would they say you have a high level of integrity?

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