Extracted by Sam McCurdy from a Facebook post by DG Bill Degnan:

The Four-Way Test, was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy.

This 24-word test for employees to follow in their business and professional lives became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy.

The Four-Way Test was adopted by Rotary in 1943 and has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. It is now a test used by Rotarians world-wide as a moral code for personal and business relationships, and can be applied to almost any aspect of life.

 
 
Rotary members should not use The Four-Way Test to look at others, but rather to look at themselves in considering the ramifications of a thought, statement, or action.
 
It should not be a window through which we look to judge others. It is a mirror at which we look to judge ourselves. 
 
Evan Burrell - Changemaker, gave a lot of thought to what each of the Four-Way Test questions asked of us and came up with the step-by-step process above, to give some real clarity behind these most often recited questions.