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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.


Life is filled with opportunities to get to work with others. However, many times there is an underlying conflict that exists. Don't avoid it - -learn about it and engage people who are your opposite!

  • Describe your current cultures ability to confront each other in order to be excellent.
  • List your strengths or colors.
  • Describe one way you can support greater empathy
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Charlie Berens is a hilarious and fun person. He is famous for his genuine nature and the ways in which he presents the midwest. I got to sit down with him and have a discussion about his life and career as well as a few laughs. Was it fun? You betcha! 


  • Describe how you maintain optimism while chasing your vision and dreams.
  • Describe how you maintain your humility.
  • List your favorite refections from Charlie.
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When you view others for their assets - they rise to new levels. Especially, when they've grown to believe that what you see as an asset - is what they see within themselves - as a deficit.

Take a listen as I discuss the lessons learned from a legendary choral director. 


  • List strategies you employ to move forward when you error.
  • Describe how you can employ Bill Ross’s leadership lessons.
  • List people in your life that supported your leadership coaching.
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This episode focuses on the science and behaviors of getting and giving support. In these stressful times we need to be willing to help and receive help. Take a listen and grow your own empathy on why it is so hard to ask for help. 


  • List what stops you from asking for help
  • Describe what you can do to support a culture of seeking and supporting help.
  • List times you’ve helped others without an expectation of reward
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Within each of us is a leader with influence. Imagine if your influence caused a kid -- to change the world. Take a listen to one of my favorite stories from the civil rights movement of the 1950's. 

  • List people who have influenced you in your life and leadership.
  • Describe ways that influencing others can change the world.
  • Describe how Claudette changed the world.
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We all have room to improve when we communicate. Take a listen to why we should assume when communicating with others. 

Two why's and a couple of what's!

  • Why is this important?
  • Why are we doing this?
  • What does this mean for me?
  • What are the consequences of inaction? 


  • Describe how you can avoid communicating with assumptions.
  • List how you can apply two whys and a couple of what’s.
  • Describe your process for avoiding the frustration of assumptions.
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Many of us are in organizations with lots of people and that means lots of personalities. Take a listen as we explore a way to view your world with more empathy. Which role do you play: fan, referee, coach or player? 

  • Describe which roles are prevalent in your organization.
  • List which roles you play most often in your organization.
  • Describe which of the stakeholders you have the least empathy for and analyze what you’ll do different.
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This week, learn about a process to help you reflect and gain perspective on your life. Grade yourself on the 11 categories that actually determine your overall life GPA. A great process for you to use with those you love and serve. 


Category 1: Self. Your own personal health and safety.

Category 2: Immediate Family. The proverbial spouse/partner and your children and loved ones.

Category 3: Original Family. The people you grew up with.

Category 4: Friends. The health of your friendships.

Category 5: Money. Right or wrong, the scorecard most people pay attention to.

Category 6: Career. How fulfilling your work is.

Category 7: Creativity. Your innate creativity outside of work.

Category 8: Discipline. Having the self-control to implement your goals.

Category 9: Lifestyle. Are you actually having any fun?

Category 10: Leadership – Are you influencing and serving?

Category 11: Buffalo – How is your optimism and attitude?

Episode of Smartless: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OtqR89AG0w




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We have created a lot of innovations in 2020. Take a listen as we explore a process to ensure we don't forget or lose all of them. 


  • List what you’ve become proficient in that you were not a year ago.
  • Describe a process that you can employ to collect new wisdom.
  • List the matrixes that you need to create.
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Join us for a discussion about giving the greatest gift to others. How you and your daily interactions make a difference and hear about the four conditions needed to make it all stick.


  • Describe how you have had your life changed by someone else’s wisdom.
  • List opportunities you have to support the learning of others.
  • Describe the ways in which you can increase opportunities for those you serve.

Ted Lasso: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8U_Nt0QNNo

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