Do You Haiku?

Reminding People
How Wise They Are So They Can
Enjoy Work and Life

Since I was a child writing for my elementary school newspaper, I’ve always been fascinated by the simplicity and power of haiku. I recently reconnected with this five-seven-five syllable poetry in a conversation with my clever colleague and conscious connector Emile Paradis of RPM Advisors and The Referral Institute. That inspired me to write the Working with Wisdom haiku above.

Here’s what Emile shared about haiku in his blog. I hope you’ll read this and be inspired to write your own about who you are and what you do. Simplicity is often the best path to clarity.


Haiku and the Art of Business Planning

I was thinking this morning that what the world needs is more haiku. It’s just hard to find places where you can get a good dose of haiku when you need it. So, to help fill a glaring void, I’d like to talk about the benefits of haiku and, hopefully, encourage you to access your inner self enough to express your thoughts and stimulate contemplation.

Actually, what set this all off was “Mission Haiku: the Poetry of Mission Statements,” an article by Chris Finney in The Nonprofit Quarterly. Before you check off the ‘net, please stay with me a little longer.

We’ve all struggled with trying to create mission and vision statements that didn’t sound trite, lame and wordy, and that expressed the passion we felt for our business. Usually, however, these statements did come off as trite, lame and wordy, but we figured they were “close enough.” I’ve worked with a few hundred folks (myself included) and getting something down that really hits the spot is not easy.

Basically, poetry is a form of communication that requires focus and concentrates thought into a few, well-oiled words. That being true, haiku ups the ante and only allows three lines and 17 syllables. Talk about having to be concise, clear and to the point! Even if your haiku isn’t world class (read on), it is a great exercise in condensing your mission. It will express the essence of what you do.

Here are two attempts:

RPM Advisors-

Helping Others
Identify and Connect
With Target Markets


Understanding Self
Observing Others
Paths to New Relationships

Certainly not stuff that will bring tears or flashes of enlightenment. However, it made me consider the essence of my business, stripping away all the other “important” stuff I’m afraid to omit. The same stuff that confuses others (and myself) about the core of what I really do.

So, give it a try. You may feel a little stretched by the exercise but that’s a good thing, isn’t it?


Grateful for People
Like Wise Emile Paradis
Who Get Me to Stretch

15 thoughts on “Do You Haiku?

  1. Keith Moore Reply

    Sitting In Silence
    Lingering in God’s Presence
    Feeling God’s Peace

  2. Yolanda Santiago White Reply

    My balance brings peace
    to my home, work, world and self,
    then I can give back.

  3. Tricia Molloy Reply

    Hmm, Jan. Your second line is eight syllables since imagery is three. Maybe replace superb with a one-syllable adjective?

  4. Tricia Molloy Reply

    You’ve got it, Audrey, Rick and Mimi! Try it out as your 10-second elevator speech and then pause for effect. 😉

  5. Tricia Molloy Reply

    Nancy: I love where you’re going with this! However, haiku is five-seven-five syllables.
    How about:
    Spirited Woman
    Inspired, Empowered and
    Joyfully Alive

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