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'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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RYLA – Inspiring Young Leaders

Do you remember what it was like to be a Junior in High School?  Your life seemed boundless -- you were nothing but potential and you had a fire in your heart that you were going to change the world.

I had the amazing privilege of being reconnected with some of our future leaders this past weekend -- about 200 of them.  I had been invited to be the opening Keynote speaker for the Camp RYLA weeklong retreat in the San Jose area (District 5170).  RYLA stands for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards and is a training program specifically for young people, ages 18-30.  The mission of RYLA is to support and nuture our budding leaders by providing them intensive training and education in important leadership qualities and practices such as ethics, integrity, even financial stewardship and time management. (more…)

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