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545: President's October Message

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  • sunilkzach
    President s October Message Dear fellow Rotarians, The lead headline of the 28 July Chicago Tribune read: Scandals shake faith in big business. The newspaper
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 2002
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      President's October Message

      Dear fellow Rotarians,

      The lead headline of the 28 July Chicago Tribune read: "Scandals
      shake faith in big business." The newspaper reported that more than
      half of area residents polled have little or no confidence in the
      financial reports of public companies, and two-thirds believe that
      the ethics of senior executives have declined in recent decades.
      Understandably, the high-profile criminal investigations into the
      practices of some corporate officers can foster global mistrust of
      the business community, which in turn can destabilize entire

      Given this breach of public trust, Rotarians need to be more diligent
      than ever in upholding high business standards. For almost a century,
      Rotarians have advocated fair business practices and high ethical
      standards. Founder Paul Harris established a classification system to
      achieve a diverse, balanced membership and discourage members from
      pursuing unethical or unfair business interests. This unique emphasis
      on professionalism distinguishes Rotary from all other service

      Over the years, vocational service has lacked the visibility of other
      Avenues of Service. It has even been referred to as the "Forgotten
      Avenue of Service." To commemorate Vocational Service Month in
      October, we must rededicate ourselves to this long-neglected area of
      service. To remain relevant, we must use our vocational skills to
      improve our businesses, provide training and skills to young people,
      and ensure jobs for the disabled. Rotary's second avenue of service
      offers unlimited opportunities to contribute to the community.

      In 1932, during the Great Depression, Chicago Rotarian Herbert J.
      Taylor created The 4-Way Test (see page 53) to help guide his
      company, Club Aluminum. It was not only good for morale, it was good
      for business. Consumers responded enthusiastically to the company's
      emphasis on high quality and honest service. Taylor credited the test
      with saving his company from bankruptcy and transforming it into a
      multimillion-dollar corporation. When Taylor served as RI president
      in 1954-55, he offered Rotary the copyright to his "test."

      Many Rotarians have questioned the relevancy of The 4-Way Test in
      today's challenging business climate. Yet these four simple questions
      have withstood the test of time in serving as a moral compass for
      Rotarians throughout the decades. Today more than ever, it is
      imperative that Rotarians serve as role models in their businesses
      and personal lives. It is not enough that we recite The 4-Way Test;
      we must actually live it. We must show the world that Rotary is
      relevant and acts with integrity.

      Past RI Director Elmer R. Jordan wrote in the mid-1980s, "It is the
      field of vocational service where you and I earn our daily bread,
      that we as Rotarians are judged. The way in which we conduct our
      business and profession is what really matters."

      His words still ring true as Rotary approaches its 100th anniversary.
      As Rotarians, we will be judged on our ability to uphold the public
      trust. We must continue to Sow the Seeds of Love by fulfilling our
      time-honored commitment to vocational service and the highest
      standards of business ethics.

      Bhichai Rattakul
      President, Rotary International
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