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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.


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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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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