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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.


How much energy do you bring to the world? This episode explores how ringing the bell can make a huge difference in the lives of those you serve. Hear how a mother and her daughters sparked me to action!

  • Describe how you can support others with their energy
  • List ways you can create more connections between those you serve and the mission
  • Describe how you can demonstrate the impact of others on the outcomes.


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“When you judge others you don’t define them, you define yourself.” Take a listen to the four strategies to employ so that you become a Judge Good'r (yeah it is a thing).

 Describe your strategy for minimizing self-judgement.

List ways you can maintain a healthy level of curiosity about others.

Describe how you can depersonalize the judgments you trap yourself in.



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Take a listen to this discussion and activity around give and thank. Too often people want to give and take. Giving is not a receipt of services rendered, it is a ticket to a better future.

  • Describe your mindset when you give.
  • List strategies for reflecting upon what you have.
  • Describe how you can foster a greater give and thanks culture for those you love and serve.




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No one actually wants to be unsuccessful: however, sometimes they are and it is not clear why. Take a listen and apply this simple process to help you support others.

  • Describe your willingness to address individuals with skill or will deficits.
  • List strategies you can employ to support those with deficits.
  • Describe your strategy to build your own skill or will.


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In this episode we explore processes for increasing perspective. There are two easy to use tools that can significantly increase your likelihood of success.

  • Detail your process for reviewing an issue.
  • Describe your willingness to engage others in addressing your issue. 
  • List others that can offer you a new perspective on your issues
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We need to address the impact technology is having on our wellbeing. This episode is a challenge to create systems to protect us from all the systems that provide us connectedness.

  • List how much time you spend on your devices.
  • Describe how you feel when you know there are posts, emails, and texts waiting for you 
  • Create a process to protect those you serve from 168 hours of access per week – I dare you! 
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We are living on borrowed time – so let’s make the most of it. Take a listen to hear a unique mindset and learn a process to increase moments of lift in your organization!

  • Describe a process you can employ to increase engagement.
  • List your anchors and identify the behaviors you need to live by to create lift for yourself.
  • Reflect for a little while about who in our life taught you to be optimistic.


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Take a listen as we break down G.R.I.T. --- gusto, resilience, integrity and tenacity.


  • Describe one behavior from the grit principle that you need to strengthen.
  • List your strategies to support the growth of grit in others.
  • Analyze your own behaviors – how would you scale your gusto, resilience, integrity, and tenacity when viewing your most recent challenge.


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Listen as we explore why people put themselves in lanes they have no business being in and learn two processes to support your leadership. Stay in your lane!


  • Describe your three lanes and reflect on times you’ve chosen to go off road.
  • List areas that you could benefit others by using a decision-making matrix. 
  • Describe one project that would benefit from an innovation configuration map.
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Developing customs in your worlds is critical to creating an engaging culture. This episode explores how we can take the lessons of homecoming and apply them in all of our environments.

  • Describe how you can provide voice for all involved?
  • List ways that you can celebrate past and present failures? 
  • Describe how you can create collaborative opportunities for people to reflect.


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