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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.


December 9, 2018

Episode 69: Books for Break

This episode details four texts that I recommend you read or gift over the break.

  • Big Potential
  • Talk Like Ted
  • Leadership In Turbulent Times
  • Winnies Great War


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The two most important steps in the change process are creating and communicating a plan. Too often we forget the need to be simple and elegant in our processes and this episode discusses a way to support change in your professional and personal life.

  • Describe how you can employ a step diagram gap analysis tool to help illustrate the need for change.
  • List current situations you are in and describe the desired state.
  • Reflect on ways that you can better employ tools in order to support those you serve in the communication of change.
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In this episode we will explore a strategy to support your leadership by practicing one of the most important behaviors of a leader: reflection. Learn how to use a quick tool to increase your leadership health and set your mind straight. 


  • How far away is a Walgreens so that you can go get a little journal?
  • Can you take 15 minutes a night to strengthen your leadership health?
  • List ways that you could encourage others to work on their leadership health.
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November 21, 2018

Energy Reminder!!!!!

Hey - -are you leading with the same energy that you were when you started the journey? A reminder from Episode 54!


Happy Thanksgiving! 

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This episode explores the importance of recognizing the journey when people fail. We reflect upon the importance of looking at things that don’t work out so that we can coach others to the next level of success by building off of failed experiences.

  • Describe ways in which you can recognize those you serve when they miss the mark?
  • List strategies that can be employed to encourage risk-taking in your organization or life after failure.
  • How good are you at creating a culture where people can rebound from a lack of immediate success?


ted @cesa6.org


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This episode explores the W.A.I.T. strategy for when we are in conversations with others (Why Am I Talking?) We also explore tools you can employ to foster a culture that allows all voices to be heard.

  • Can you practice WAIT?

  • List strategies you could shift to a consensogram format.

  • Describe ways that you can create a culture of W.A.I.T.
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This episode is a discussion on how to approach performance results and new information by shaping the mindset of those you serve. We will explore fixed mindset verses a continuous improvement mindset and review strategies to help you set the stage for success.

  • Describe how you prepare others for information that details their work or performance.
  • List the improvement mindset qualities.
  • Develop a plan for yourself so that you can model an improvement mindset when addressing problems in your organization.


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This episode focuses on what happens when leadership grows from within. We discuss the importance of supporting others by creating a culture around three values and then watching as the energy creates electrifying leadership.

  • Describe how you will create a core language around what is valued.
  • What are three values you need to reinforce, model, and coach everyday?
  • List ways you’ve seen others take your energy and create electricity!
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This episode is a conversation around the importance of being resilient in your minutes, days, actions, projects, and leadership. Defy the pessimists by being more Churchill.

  • Describe what you need to do to be resilient in your life and leadership.
  • List what you would need to do to march through hell with optimism.
  • Describe what you need to do in order to defy the pessimism around you.
  • List the skills you need to grow in order to lead others to being resilient.




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As a leader are you focusing on the long view or the short term? This episode explores the behaviors of leaders who look to the future, focus on the success of others, and find the energy to get over the obstacles they face. 

  • Describe the type of leader you are – long view or short sited.
  • List the behaviors needed for you to look past the immediate needs and create long viewed conditions for success.
  • When running through your day – do you find yourself reacting to the cracks in the road or jumping over them because you saw them coming?



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