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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 a process that allows you to intentionally collect feedback so that you can pivot quickly, improve, and reflect for greater success.

  • How do you use feedback to grow yourself and others?
  • Can you apply the plus/delta process to everything you do?
  • How could you apply this process in your personal and professional life?
  • What are your deltas and how willing are you to change your behaviors so that you can better serve others?


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In life and leadership many of us individually are working very hard to support and serve others. But what are we doing as leaders each day to prepare those around us to lead and keep the momentum going in our world? This week let’s do some smart thinking on how we can prepare others to be successful by reflecting upon how to support succession.


  • In your life do you think about succession and sharing your skills and knowledge with those around you? 
  • In your professional life, are you looking at those around you and supporting their leadership development by intentionally exposing them to your knowledge, networks, and processes? 
  • Do you treat every relationship in the master/apprentice mode – switching the roles depending on your relationship with others?
  • Do you create succession around you by teaching others to fish – or do you just feed them for short-term success?
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This week in the United States is teacher appreciation week and I wanted us to do some smart thinking and reflection around those that ensure that we have the ability to be one of the most educated cultures in the world.

  • List as many of your teachers as you can? 
  • What did these educators do for you to make you who you are today? 
  • What can you do to reinforce the work of the honorable educators in your life? 
  • What will you do to help guide others into the greatest profession in the world?

 Follow me on Twitter: @tneitzke

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Everywhere you go and everything you do -- people are watching, people are paying attention, and people are formulating judgments. So what do you do with that type of knowledge and how do you lead knowing that the world is watching?

  • What is your leadership reputation amongst your friends and colleagues?
  • If you were to put your reactions to situations in the mirror, what would your image reflect?
  • Who are your role models and would they be proud of how you lead?
  • Finally, do you practice reflection in an effort to grow as a leader for those you serve?


Follow me on Twitter: @tneitzke

Like us on Facebook: ww.facebook.com/smrtthnkng/

Contact me: ted@cesa6.org

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This episode explores the need for leaders to reinforce the energy and effort of others. Take a listen as we discuss the real way to get people to be their best.

  • What is the last compliment you paid to someone between the ages of 13 and 100?
  • If you serve adolescents and young adults – how do you make certain they know that you are proud of them?
  • If you serve older adults—how do you make certain they know that you know that they positively contribute to the team?
  • Can you practice seeing simple successes in others?
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Too often we do not confront the ideas and stories swirling around in our heads. This episode describes two strategies that can be employed to support your ability to make informed decisions and grow your ability to coach yourself and others.


  • What are the stories in your head and will you confront those stories by sharing them?
  • When you get to a point of frustration or anxiety can you demonstrate the courage to expel the new narrative and get to the heart of the matter?
  • Will you take the time to put your eyes on the entire situation so that you see the reasons you are getting the results you are?
  • Lastly, what will you do as you start to feel a story emerging in your head – will you immediately confront it or allow it to grow into a chapter book?


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Leading others is never easy. Leadership is: rewarding, difficult, engaging, stressful, heart swelling and heartbreaking. However, there is one trait that takes leaders from one level to the next – commitment. 

  • Describe how you can coach others to committing to leadership?
  • How committed are you to growing personally and professionally?
  • How do you practice putting others before self?
  • When you commit to serving others and leading -- how do you keep yourself accountable?
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This episode is a conversation with two parents whose daughter grew up to co-found The Well Pennies. Join me for a conversation with two ordinary parents who have an extraordinary mindset. Hear how a 90-cent tip leads to a parenting philosophy around gardening and acceptance. This episode is filled with wisdom and explores how two parents approached raising a talented and confident woman.

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This episode is going to explore the need to be patient in both actions and decision-making. We will discuss the two extremes of people around patience and look at strategies to support you and them on the journey of excellence.

  • Can you shift your mindset to see people you believe to be procrastinators or lazy to people who have high levels of patience?
  • What behaviors need to be adjusted in order to be more supportive of people with varying levels of patience?
  • If you work around impatient people who are rockets, what behaviors do you need to adjust in order to guide those people to success?
  • On the patience scale where do you fall? Overly patient or no patience? How do you explain that to others so that you are not misunderstood?



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This episode is about the power of having a coach to support you in your leadership. We will explore self-coaching as well as having a coach. Never underestimate the power of having someone else in your life to support your leadership in a candid and honest way.


  • Do you have the courage to coach yourself?
  • Can you practice the self-coaching techniques of writing out a process map? 
  • Can you reflect using self-talk?
  • Do you have the ability to challenge the stories in your head so that you can be clear moving forward?
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