Three Little Words, One Big Impact

Karen Feeney CHOP

By Karen Feeney

Ever experience a moment when three little words made a meaningful difference in your life? Recall feeling an immediate adrenaline rush, or perhaps the chills, when those words were said to or by you? Has the gift of sharing a simple heartfelt sentiment helped you feel more alive, worthy, or dare I say even inspired? I will now attempt to recreate this magical moment for you; ready for three little words that matter?

“Take care you.”

Not the three little words you expected? Wondering how this message applies to your professional interests? The inspired whimsy of my daily mantra is based on the well-established but not necessarily well-enforced concept of effective self-preservation helps rescue others. Think back to when you first heard this phrase in the classic movie “Pretty Woman.” Kit reminds Vivian on Hollywood Boulevard to do so before Vivian leans into Edward’s Lotus Esprit and begins a conversation that ends up positively changing both their lives.

NOTE: If you have never seen this 1990 film starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in the prime of their careers, then I suggest you stop reading here and only resume after you have downloaded and viewed this movie on your preferred digital device.

Although no longer a struggling college undergrad working third shifts to pay rent and tuition, I am still enamored by how Vivian stayed true to the “take care you” mantra to transcend her situation. Her story ironically frames an impressive empowerment picture based on the value gained from visualizing and prioritizing self-care then offering that to others. Sharing and supporting a self-preservation mantra with others better ensures your own success, as exemplified on airlines when the flight attendant still instructs you to self-administer an air mask prior to assisting others. The prevalent #MeToo movement now demonstrates the significance and power of positive change with such commitment and alliance.

To succeed as a HR leader in healthcare today, I rely on the “take care you” mantra to remind myself of the importance of prioritizing time to cultivate resources that help me learn, grow, stabilize, recharge, and recognize progress. I am directly impacted by the daily headlines and sense of urgency to address workforce management trends and talent acquisition challenges. The skilled worker shortages, shorter retention time frames, technology support demands, and strategic leadership engagement requires advanced strategy, strength, and stamina. I expect you relate to my observation that the human in human resources begins and ends with your readiness to guide and serve solutions. In this manner, it’s not selfish to be self-centered; it’s smart business to be self-aware.

As chair of the T.A.L.E.N.T. network, I encourage you to consider membership as a way to exercise the “take care you” muscle. I have appreciated in the past six months the opportunity to develop connections, achieve recognition, expand knowledge, and exchange insight and experience with a prestigious group of cross-industry leaders. Focused on talent acquisition best practices, challenges, and associated professional interests, the alliance has already helped each member confirm return on investment. Planned upcoming events later this year, including a book release and learning summit, provide exciting new ways to benefit and contribute. As Vivian would say, T.A.L.E.N.T. “corners like it is on rails!”

Enjoy your summer soaking in rays of self-awareness and appreciation.

Take care you.


Karen Feeney is the senior HR operations manager at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and chair of the Talent Acquisition Leader Executive Network Team (TALENT).

Posted July 31, 2018 in Uncategorized

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