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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.


Here are three texts you need to read that will help you advocate for others as well as three songs to fuel your soul for the summer.


List the books you’ll read this summer to fuel yourself.

Describe your process for fueling yourself.

List music that you could share with me to get me dancing on the trails, laughing to myself, or relaxing with a book.



Stamped From The Beginning

Think Like A Rocket Scientist

We Need to Talk



Lennon Stella

Havana Swing

Ben Folds

Simple Minds  

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When times get tough there is only one thing to do—persist! Take a listen as we explore the behaviors and strategies needed in order to make perseverance a reflex!

  • Describe your willingness to follow a process to reflect and build strength.
  • List the people in your life that you can draw together to collaborate around you.
  • Describe your feedback process.
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The world is in chaos and it is all our fault. The problem – no process. Take a listen to the process that could help us all grow. Simply take a walk and change your language! 

  • Identify the gaps in understanding that you have about other people.
  • List where you will go on your walk in order to close those gaps.
  • Describe what you will do to stop the argument AND include the perspectives of others in your own mindset.




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We can do better. As our nation faces unparalleled times and challenges it is up to us to make real and micro changes in order to move forward. Join us for a discussion on "what" needs to be done in order for us to be who we need to be for each other. 

  • Describe what you need to do to demonstrate leadership on a micro level in order to create change.
  • List the behaviors within yourself that need to change.
  • Describe how you can create the conditions on the smallest level to increase the tolerance of the world in which we live.



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There are people in our lives that make a difference for us. We often remember what they've done later on in the journey. Take a listen to this episode and reflect upon how memorable your leadership will be in the lives of others. 

  • Who got you here?
  • Describe how you will instill service and honor in others.
  • List the ways that you take interest in those around you?
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How are you preparing yourself and others to return to the herd as we are being released from quarantine? Take a listen oas we explore a few mindsets and concepts to support you and others.  

  • Describe your process for measuring and monitoring the anxiety of those you serve.
  • List how you can support choice in the reentry plan
  • Describe your approach to monitoring the energy of those around you.
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What are the qualities of great families? Take a listen as we share our list of ingredients that make up the recipe for a great family.

  • List the ingredients that are a part of your family.
  • Describe where you can improve.
  • List the qualities of great families that you know.
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Take a listen as we look at the different leadership styles within your organization. Proactive (fire inspectors) and reactive (Firefighters) people together is pretty normal – but we need to strike a balance to make the organization successful for the long haul.


From Dan HEath's new book: Upstream - 

  • How will you unite the right people?
  • How will you change the system?
  • Where is the point of leverage?
  • How do you create early warning systems?
  • How do you know you’re succeeding?
  • How can you make change and avoid doing harm?
  • Who will pay for what doesn’t happen?
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What is normal in these weird times? What can we do to support ourselves and others when we are feeling anxious or wondering about so many things we can’t control? Process, process, process! Take a listen as we review how to get wonderings out of the minds of those around us and how to support those you serve and love in these strange times.


  • List strategies that are working to help keep you engaged and informed.
  • Describe what the organization could do to help you have enough information so that you feel empowered and informed about the future.
  • Describe what you are wondering about the organization.


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Happiness is ….. a choice. Take a listen as we break down strategies from positive psychology to help you recognize that happiness is always present and available. This episode looks at what real happiness is and explores how to support yourself and others as we move through both good and challenging days.

  • Describe how you can grow your happiness by adhering to PERMA.
  • List ways you can guide others to happiness using PERMA.
  • Describe your strategy for increasing happiness/mindfulness.


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