Taking a stand for Character – the Rotary Character Counts! Campaign is LIVE

Last week I pre-announced the crowdfunding campaign for my new book, "Character Counts: Bringing the Rotary Four-Way Test to Life." I'm pleased to announce that the campaign is launched and contributions are coming in.  In the pre-announcement, I mentioned how much positive feedback I received already from Rotarians and more. I'm particularly excited to see that even non-Rotarians are contributing to the campaign.

Many thanks already to those of you who have been involved, have promised support, and are considering helping. I can't do this without you! I see every dollar raised as an endorsement, not of me and my mission, but of YOUR belief that Character Counts!

Another exciting bit of news: I had a conversation with an influential Rotarian, and he brought up the idea of my becoming a "Roving Ambassador" for evangelizing the mission of Rotary, particularly with the plan of engaging younger members. Clearly THAT is right in line with what the book is designed to help with.  I consider that a great opportunity and honor.

For those of you who haven't seen the campaign yet, you can access it by clicking on the image, or if that doesn't work, the link is here: https://igg.me/at/CharacterCountsRotary

There are a number of great rewards I have set up as a way to say "thank you" for your support.  Every contribution helps, but if the message inspires you but you are unable to participate financially, would you consider sharing it with others who might have an interest?  As one Rotarian shared with me recently, "We may be reciting the Four-Way Test every week at meetings, but do we ever really stop to think, anymore, what it means and how it challenges us to be?"  I hope "Character Counts" will be a resource for just such dialog.

Also, if you'd like to be notified about updates to the campaign or general topics related to the book or Rotary as a whole, feel free to Subscribe by clicking on the button.


Again, I thank each and every one of you for your encouragement and support. As I said in the video, together, we as Rotarians can change the world, for the better. We already do! And, to my non-Rotarian friends...I appreciate your believing in the value of Character!  Let's rock this campaign!


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Character Counts – Rotary’s 4-Way Test in Action (Part II)

Several weeks ago, I embarked on the first of this two-part series of posts, which intended to show how Rotary International's 4-Way Test is mapped directly to key character traits...or social skills...necessary for personal and professional success. This is part of the presentation I do across the country, sharing the Rotary-specific version of my speech entitled "Overcoming Failure to Educate."

In the first post, I took a look at the first two statements of the 4-Way Test.  As a refresher, these are:

  • Is it the TRUTH?
  • Is it FAIR to all concerned?

Today, I'd like to take a look under the hood of the second two statements, and see not only what character traits they represent, but also how they connect with the first two to form a cohesive whole.  As I recently had the opportunity to share with a fellow Rotarian, the statements of the 4-Way Test are not meant to be used as independent "factoids" for assessment.  While we might be able to evaluate one situation against the statement "Is it the TRUTH?" and come up with a "yes," it's also possible that something may be true, yet fail another statement such as "Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER friendships?" In that case, the situation, as a whole, will fail to pass the assessment of the 4-Way Test. (Want a quick example?  Ok...here's one: your spouse asks you the immortal question "Does this outfit make me look fat?"  Depending on how you answer, you may be telling the TRUTH, but you can bet your bottom dollar that answer won't be building any GOODWILL, right? Not only does your answer fail the 4-Way Test, but it's an epic fail!)

Having established that, what say we go on to statements three and four? (more…)

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Character Counts – Rotary’s 4-Way Test in Action

As part of my mission to educate the country on the importance of social skills, positive character and values, I travel nationally and internationally speaking to business, service, and other groups.  Many of these presentations involve speaking to Rotary clubs.  It's a "happy marriage" of form and function, because I also happen to be a Rotarian (Redmond Rotary, WA).

As I present in the Rotary version of my talk, "Overcoming Failure to Educate," there is a direct mapping between what Rotarians believe in and positive social skills and character (for a quick video excerpt of the Rotary presentation, click on the image below or here).

One of the hallmark's of Rotary is "The 4-Way Test."  Originally it was established as a way for Rotarians to evaluate whether any present or considered business interaction was ethical and honest.  But, over time, the 4-Way Test has become the litmus test for how Rotarians should conduct themselves at all times.

Since this is National Character Counts week, I thought it might be very interesting to explore how the 4-Way Test is a study in character...this isn't a stretch for me...it's part of my normal Rotary presentation (and, in fact, our Exploring the Virtues curriculum, under the lesson of Honesty). (more…)

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