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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.


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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Everyone labors in his or her work - -however, did you ever notice how tired you are when you get to lead others? This episode explores the strategies and mindset you need to employ in order to strengthen your emotions.


  • Describe the ways in which you can kill’m with kindness this week?
  • Describe the conditions you need to create in order to take the time to reflect.
  • List ways in which you can provide a break for yourself and disconnect.
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Leaders are not allowed to have bad days. When we have bad days -- so do others -- and that is not leadership. Take a listen to this episode as I discuss strategies and mindsets to help you better serve others.


  • Describe your triggers.
  • Explain how you can create time for yourself to reflect so that you can move to recovery.
  • Can you move from bad days to bad moments so that you can better support those you serve and love?
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December 30, 2018

Episode 72: Defined (Life)

Focus on defining yourself this New Year. This episode explores the mindset of sticking to who you are and focusing on getting better by clearly defining who you are and what you stand for so that you can be a great leader each day.

  • List three words that describes you.
  • What is your definition?
  • In 2020 how will other describe you?


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How are you investing in joy for others? This episode explores the ways in which you can use your leadership to support the future of all those around you.

  • Describe how you will lead this season and create an investment in joy.
  • List strategies to prolong the days and build lasting memories.
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Leadership is not a title we are given - it is a way of life. In this episode, we explore how someone who appears ordinary -- turns out to be extraordinary.

  • How are you serving others to make them better leaders?
  • Describe those in your life that have shaped you in the moment.
  • How are you showing gratitude to those you love in tiny ways to fuel their leadership?


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