According to Forbes magazine, the average pay of a senior executive in 1980 was 40 times the average workers salary. In 2007 is was 433 times. Want to guess why things got so screwed up? Yeah, I didn’t think it was so difficult to figure out. Greed.
Instead of capping the salaries of the fat cats in the banking industry and on Wall Street, I have a better plan. Make them recite and follow the Rotary 4 way test of the things we think say or do.
- Is it the truth. (boy this one should make as big a change as any to the corporate culture).
- Is it fair to all concerned (a little bit of careing for all the people in the world would make our planet a nicer place to live in).
- Will it build good will and better friendships (this might have slowed down Bernie Maddoff)
- Is it beneficial to all concerned. (wouldn’t that be great).
I have run my businesses with these four principles in mind. I go to sleep each night knowing that I am running an ethical and honest company and that in the long run I will make a positive impact on the world. If maybe, just maybe our government and all business would apply this 77 year old ideal to what they do, we’d have no budget deficits, our economy would be far stronger and our environment would be a lot cleaner.
To read more about how the 4-way test was developed, click on the link and read about why Herbert J. Taylor wrote this brilliant manifesto.