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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 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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It is critical to create conditions so that the people you serve can be vulnerable. It is a leaders responsibility to employ stratagies for success and this episode explores how to use tools to avoid embarrassing moments for everyone.


  • Describe how you could increase vulnerability amongst those you serve.
  • List tools you could use to support risk taking and engagement.
  • Analyze what makes you embarrassed and reflect upon what you do to avoid those situations.


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This episode is an interview with Mike, the older brother of Amy. Amy is special because she is fun, funny and loving and also has Down syndrome. This interview is an inspirational story of how three siblings love and care for their 49-year-old sister Amy. Listen as you hear how they work with, care for, and live with all the gifts that Amy brings to them.


Friend: https://www.facebook.com/PORT-YAMAHA-162375717686/

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This episode is a great activity that will support both your own reflection and those that you serve. Be prepared for a wonderful and emotional opportunity to think about who made you - you!

  • Describe how you can support the leadership of others through reflective practices?
  • Who are your four people?
  • What are your four values?
  • If the people on your list were always watching you – would you be modeling those values in your life, action, and decisions?
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This episode is dedicated to a process that will allow you and those you serve to be in a position to reevaluate how you lead, when you address change, and how you maintain your capacity for leading by developing a map to support your system.

  • One change by leadership means ten for those they serve – how’s that resonating with you?
  • Will you develop a process to see the work?
  • When you institute new projects or expectations - -what is your process to ensure those you serve have capacity?
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The leadership profile in this episode is going to take a little bit of a different angle. I want to reflect with you upon the people --- behind great leaders and review the idea that leadership is everywhere.

Too often we believe that great leaders are born, that there is truly a thing called an overnight sensation. In reality, no one gets where they are without great mentoring, role models, or unique life experiences.

  • List ways that you can send people in a new direction this week.
  • Who in your life needs a little guidance and mentoring?
  • What potential do you see in others when you first meet them?
  • Do you focus on the success of others?


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