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Ted Neitzke brings you the “The Smart Thinking Podcast.” Smart Thinking is for anyone and everyone — because we are all leaders. Join us weekly for reflective activities and strategies to grow yourself and others.



Five things to do while quarantined. Five games to play to engage others while working virtually, four books to read to grow your mind, three artists to listen to feed your soul, two exercises for the body and one goal. Take a listen!


  • Over Under- The game of guesstimates
  • Word Teasers- American Trivia
  • Joe Name It – not your average party game
  • Who’s Most Likely To….
  • Mixtape- The Songs and Scenario Game.


  • Do Better Work, Max Yoder
  • You’re Not Listening, Kate Murphy
  • You Are Awesome, Neil Pasricha
  • Option B, Sheryl Sandberg


  • Harry Styles: Canyon Moon
  • Old Dominion: Said Nobody
  • The 1975: You and Me Together

App: Nike Training


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Take a listen to this interview with Roger Berg, a school psychologist with over 30 years of experience supporting children, teachers, and families. Roger and I discuss the ways in which parents can support their children as we convert kitchens into classrooms. Roger offers practical parenting advice and shares ways for parents to act in a "teacher mode" as well as how to break some negative behavior cycles. Roger describes the conditions needed for children to change their routines and parents to support this new and hopefully temporary normal. This is a quick and practical conversation that will leave parents the with skills needed in order to help their children through the quarantine.


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Leaders are people who have great influence. Take a listen to the way in which one person greatly influenced me and what we can all learn from Jim.

  • Describe how you live in amazement.
  • Can you adopt a point A mindset?
  • Stop today and demonstrate gratitude for those you love.

Ending Song: The Starling by The Well Pennies



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Take a listen to this interview with Dr. Dave Brousseau, Professor of Pediatrics and Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Children’s Wisconsin. Dr. Brousseau is on the front lines of this pandemic and has great advice and shares his knowledge of what we should all do to protect ourselves and others. Dr. Dave sheds light on the facts around the disease and why the quarantine is so important. He also explains why going to the emergency room for testing for Corona Virus is a bad idea.  “Sometimes when you can’t see things you assume it’s not affecting you.”

Dave’s bio: https://chw.org/physician-directory/b/brousseau-david-c

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How do you live with an unknown future and support children and yourself? Take a listen as we share practical steps to support those you love and serve. There are six steps to help you help children who are home for the next few weeks.

  • Describe the way you will institute the six steps.
  • List routines you will institute to support you and those you love and serve
  • Describe your strategy to maintain empathy.
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Take a listen as we break down the qualities of Generation Z. They may just be the greatest generation in a while!

  • Knowing what you now know - -what will you do different in order to support the Gen Z’rs in your life?
  • Describe the differences between you and the Gen Z’rs 
  • List the qualities of a Gen Z’r


New music at the end: Dear- You Look Happy Now  https://music.apple.com/us/album/you-look-happy-now/1500098111?i=1500098117


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Do you live with a sense of wonder and appreciation? Do you have a process to capture your learnings from each journey? Take a listen to this week’s episode and hear how to better reflect in order to move forward with success.


Describe what you’d tell you’re fourth grade self to these prompts:

What did you sweat that you shouldn’t have?

What did you wait too long to address?

What sacrifice is worth it?

What should you start earlier?

What life experience should you take more time to absorb the joy of?

One thing that you’re never going to believe that you did!

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Each of us impact and influence others. When we do, we need to be thinking about who we are and what we bring to others. Take a listen as we explore the six sides of your influence.

  • Describe why cornerstones change the direction of others.
  • List your strengths, faults, priorities, loves, values, and motivations.
  • Reflect upon how you could guide those you serve to articulate their six sides.


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We are needed by others with frequency – kids and adults. But how do you respond? This episode will help you grow as a leader through reflection. The challenge: Be who you would need in the moment someone else needs you. Take a listen.


  • Describe what it means to be there for others.
  • List supportive and guiding questions that you could employ to support others. 
  • Describe what you need from others when you need them and then - -be that
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What process do you have in place to support reinforcing the strengths and contributions of others? Take a listen as we explore why positive reinforcement is powerful and how to use the game Totem to increase the engagement of those you serve.

  •  List the names of the people that you have positively reinforced in the last three days.
  •  Describe how you can increase your influence by reinforcing the behaviors that lead to others being empowered
  •  When are you going to order the Totem game?

Song: What I Like About You, The Romantics

Game: Totem

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