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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 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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Everyone has bad moments or days. But what you choose to do once this occurs makes a difference. Listen this week as we discuss the importance of being able to rebound. Rebounders have three core behaviors -- they persevere, use instinct, and have courage.

Note: sound quality is not as good as normal - -this was recorded at a Holiday Inn in Indianapolis and I had to buffer a lot of noises from the neighboring interstate.

  • This week if you get knocked down in the figurative sense - -can you rebound?
  • How good are you at following your gut? Do you trust your instincts?
  • Who in your life can guide you or coach you to courage?
  • When faced with difficulty this week – will you succumb or overcome?


Facebook: www.facebook.com/smrtthnkng

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Why is it so hard to listen to other people? Join me this week as we explore the science behind our inability to always pay attention and be attentive with intention.

No reflections -- just a challenge this week!

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What happens when you get two obnoxiously optimistic people together for a conversation about being positive? Join me and find out as I have a great discussion with Aaron Sadoff one of the most positive people I’ve ever met.

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Before we are too quick to find a solution – we need to make certain that we have first identified the problem. We have to ask ourselves are we trying to solve the problem or are we trying to find the problem? We should always be trying to find the problem. Without an understanding of the issue we cannot solve anything.

  • What cyclical issues are you facing that could be five why’d?
  • When faced with an issue this week – can you ask yourself if you are trying to find the solution or are you trying to find the problem?
  • Who in your life is naturally inquisitive and would be a good coach to help you drill past the quick solution?
  • How can you avoid quick solutions that may have unintended consequences?
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The key to finding elegance in complexity is to embrace as many people as possible. People have all different talents and perspective – very few times is one person correct in their assumptions – but as soon as you infuse diversity in the decision – you get rich, deep, and meaningful solutions.

The research behind diversity in the workplace is pretty clear. Companies that have a woman on their Board of Directors out perform companies without female leadership and teams that have diversity go even further in performance.

  • How can you demonstrate the wisdom of the crowd?
  • What do you need to do different in order to increase diverse thinking in your leadership?
  • Who are you surrounded with and how willing are they to embrace all others in the decision making process?
  • What groups could use your diversity?
  • Finally, what is one way in which you can embrace the differences of others this week to keep yourself and your leadership honest?

Twitter: @tneitzke

Facebook: www.facebook.com/smrtthnkng/


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Behind each champion there are other people who are championing for him or her. Each of us as leaders has the opportunity to be part of that story when we choose our leadership behaviors and actions. Champions have characteristics that are universal – they are resilient, committed, driven, talented, strong – but champions are not only athletes - -they’re ordinary leaders and people who every day demonstrate the skills and mindsets necessary to be their best for others.


  • What will you do moving forward to ensure that you can support the needs of future champions?
  • How are you advocating for the success of others through your behaviors?
  • When a future champion is in need – how are you demonstrating empathy?
  • Who stood behind you and showed you the way to your success?
  • Can you be kind to everyone you meet and genuinely compliment or encourage them this week?
  • Finally, who in your mind is the most successful person you know and what role did you play in their story?


Twitter: https://twitter.com/tneitzke

Smart Thinking Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/smrtthnkng/

Smart Summary: https://www.cesa6.org/cms_files/resources/The%20Power%20of%20Moments.pdf


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The path of least resistance is paved with things forgotten -- no one remembers the ordinary things we do -- we remember the extraordinary moments of courage and risk. The path of reward is paved with the chances we took and filled with memories, emotions, tears, and joy. Join us this week for a conversation about risk and regret. 


  • If you see a child, student or colleague facing a tough choice – how will you support them in taking the risks they need to find success?
  • “Most of us have two lives: the life we live and the un-lived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.”  -- what is stopping you from the unlived life?
  • What is your greatest failure and what lessons can you share with others to encourage them to take risks?
  • What risks are you facing that you are avoiding taking?
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There is a lot of research that shows that the act of forgiveness in leadership and life makes you a better and stronger person. This episode will help you to develop the practice of forgiveness in your leadership. 

  • Who around you do you need to forgive? 
  • When someone around you falters, what will you do different in order to support them and their leadership? 
  • Do you actively put time between your reactions and actions in situations when those you serve fail to meet an expectation?
  • How good are you at forgiving yourself?
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What is it like to be a professional musician? How do you start? What are the obstacles and lessons when you take on the leadership of following your passions?

Join us for an extended conversation with two extraordinary people as we discuss their journey and their motivations. The Well Pennies provide the theme music for the Smart Thinking podcast and the founders are also a remarkable couple that demonstrates buffalo leadership behaviors.

This episode is especially insightful and powerful for those aspiring to have a life in the arts.

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