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Ted Neitzke brings you the “The Smart Thinking Podcast” Smart Thinking is for anyone and everyone who has a stake in the future of a child. The goal is to increase reflection, empathy, as well as personal and professional development. The podcast will be posted every Monday with reflective exercises and every other Thursday with guests.


This is a conversation I had with Daniel Pink. Listen as we discuss his latest text When. 

Pink and I discuss his upbringing, his books and his unique ability to write with a voice of discovery.

Twitter: @tneitzke

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There is a fine balance between confidence and arrogance and that is the subject of this week’s podcast. 

  • Describe the difference between arrogant leadership and confident leadership.
  • List strategies you can employ to create a humble and confident culture.
  • Explain what you need to do to support reflection and create empathetic leaders.
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Join me for a conversation with an internationally recognized expert and practitioner who specializes in the support and coaching of children who are savants. Dr. Treffert is recognized around the globe for his strategies and methods in helping children and adults with their gifts. Listen as we discuss everything from autism to parenting and savants.  

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Leadership is not always easy and sometimes the hardest part of being a leader/parent is that you have to let others do what they need to do in order to find success. Take a listen to this episode as we explore the decisions parents and leaders make that can hinder those they serve.

  • Describe the conditions you create in order to support the success of those you serve.
  • Analyze for a moment which Nemo parent you’re more like – Marlin or Crush?
  • List the characteristics you need to have in order to avoid mowing the lawn or flying in on behalf of those you serve.
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While we are all quick to recall or judge kids who are freshman – we have a lot in common with them. Take a listen to this discussion on how we all approach change – just like a freshman.

  • What are you most excited about when there is change?
  • What are you most anxious about when there is change?
  • What stories are in your head when you have to change?
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Take a listen to this fun and engaging strategy to get people to reflect upon the people who influenced their leadership.


  • List the four people who made you who you are today.
  • Describe them each in one word – kleos
  • If you were on someone else’s MT. Rushmore – why would you be there?


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It is truly heroic to go to school every year for your entire life with an attitude that you can save the day. That is what a teacher does and that is why they have superpowers.

  • Which tools do you use and how do you inspire those you serve?
  • List the ways in which you support your colleagues.
  • List your sidekicks.
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Too often we try to identify a solution without understanding the problem. Take a walk with me and explore a strategy to support greater empathy and reflection so that you can address the issue and support those you serve. Two strategies will be explored – one Six Sigma and one from David Bowie.

  • List walks you need to take.
  • Describe a process that you could follow in order to increase your perspective.
  • What is the greatest long term dilemma you face and how can you David Bowie your knowledge in order to get a new perspective?



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When you come upon two roads – do you take time to appreciate who paved them? Listen this week to hear about our role as road builders for others.


  • How do you demonstrate gratitude for the people who’ve come before you? 
  • List the five people you are closest to and identify strategies you could employ to support their journey. 
  • List three people that made the road for you.
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Celebrating the 75th episode by reminding us why it is so important to lead with zeal.

  • List the characteristics of buffalo leaders
  • Describe the ways in which you will approach your next storm.
  • Reflect upon your last storm and analyze your behaviors.
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