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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.


When you end up in new places did you ever notice you have a heightened sense of awareness for what is different? Listen as we discuss the tools and behaviors of leaders when they enter new roles, join new committees, or change within their own organization. 

  • Describe leaders in your life who have successfully on-boarded to your culture.
  • List the behaviors of great leaders as they step onto a moving train. 
  • Describe what you need to do in order to successfully build a culture of excellence as you start on a new team, on a new committee, or in a new organization.
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Each day we are faced with situations that we did not expect. When we face them we have to have a mindset that we “get to” be in this moment. Join me for a conversation exploring how to shift to a positive mindset around any situation.

  • Describe what you normally don’t want to do that now you get to.
  • List ways in which you can create the conditions for yourself and others so that you begin to recognize that it’ll all work out in the end.
  • Describe the bad day that has become a great story.


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Why can’t everyone just think and organize like you? Hear five ways to support your leadership when people have organizational styles that clash with yours.


  • Reflect on the conflict you’ve experienced or created as a result of your organization biases.
  • Describe your trapper keeper compliance.
  • Describe tools you can employ to increase outcomes and decrease compliance when it comes to organization.
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You can’t solve a problem you don’t take the time to understand, you can’t force fixes, and you can’t race to excellence. Take a listen to this episode as we discuss the importance of following a process to get to the root of the issue.


  • Describe process you follow in order to identify the root cause.
  • Explain how you will five why your current problem.
  • List the order of ingredients of problem identification.



Explain how you will five why your current problem.


List the order of ingredients of problem identification.

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In this episode we explore the importance of leaders syncing with those they serve and hear about my kayaking adventure with my son.

  • Describe how you navigate from the back of the boat.
  • List the skills necessary to be in in sync with those you serve.
  • Explain how you can better serve others willingness to take risks by pulling your paddle out of the water.


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This episode we reflect upon the following: When you have your break what are you going to do? What will you do to grow and learn? How will you help others? What will you do to ensure you have moments of joy to fuel your leadership and life?


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This is a conversation I had with Daniel Pink. Listen as we discuss his latest text When. 

Pink and I discuss his upbringing, his books and his unique ability to write with a voice of discovery.

Twitter: @tneitzke

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There is a fine balance between confidence and arrogance and that is the subject of this week’s podcast. 

  • Describe the difference between arrogant leadership and confident leadership.
  • List strategies you can employ to create a humble and confident culture.
  • Explain what you need to do to support reflection and create empathetic leaders.
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Join me for a conversation with an internationally recognized expert and practitioner who specializes in the support and coaching of children who are savants. Dr. Treffert is recognized around the globe for his strategies and methods in helping children and adults with their gifts. Listen as we discuss everything from autism to parenting and savants.  

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Leadership is not always easy and sometimes the hardest part of being a leader/parent is that you have to let others do what they need to do in order to find success. Take a listen to this episode as we explore the decisions parents and leaders make that can hinder those they serve.

  • Describe the conditions you create in order to support the success of those you serve.
  • Analyze for a moment which Nemo parent you’re more like – Marlin or Crush?
  • List the characteristics you need to have in order to avoid mowing the lawn or flying in on behalf of those you serve.
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