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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.


It is critical to create conditions so that the people you serve can be vulnerable. It is a leaders responsibility to employ stratagies for success and this episode explores how to use tools to avoid embarrassing moments for everyone.


  • Describe how you could increase vulnerability amongst those you serve.
  • List tools you could use to support risk taking and engagement.
  • Analyze what makes you embarrassed and reflect upon what you do to avoid those situations.


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This episode is an interview with Mike, the older brother of Amy. Amy is special because she is fun, funny and loving and also has Down syndrome. This interview is an inspirational story of how three siblings love and care for their 49-year-old sister Amy. Listen as you hear how they work with, care for, and live with all the gifts that Amy brings to them.


Friend: https://www.facebook.com/PORT-YAMAHA-162375717686/

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This episode is a great activity that will support both your own reflection and those that you serve. Be prepared for a wonderful and emotional opportunity to think about who made you - you!

  • Describe how you can support the leadership of others through reflective practices?
  • Who are your four people?
  • What are your four values?
  • If the people on your list were always watching you – would you be modeling those values in your life, action, and decisions?
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This episode is dedicated to a process that will allow you and those you serve to be in a position to reevaluate how you lead, when you address change, and how you maintain your capacity for leading by developing a map to support your system.

  • One change by leadership means ten for those they serve – how’s that resonating with you?
  • Will you develop a process to see the work?
  • When you institute new projects or expectations - -what is your process to ensure those you serve have capacity?
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The leadership profile in this episode is going to take a little bit of a different angle. I want to reflect with you upon the people --- behind great leaders and review the idea that leadership is everywhere.

Too often we believe that great leaders are born, that there is truly a thing called an overnight sensation. In reality, no one gets where they are without great mentoring, role models, or unique life experiences.

  • List ways that you can send people in a new direction this week.
  • Who in your life needs a little guidance and mentoring?
  • What potential do you see in others when you first meet them?
  • Do you focus on the success of others?


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How you start out the relationship of a team is critical. This episode will provide you the strategies you need in order to more quickly build connections that lead to greater collaboration.

  • Describe how you could start out your next gathering in order to support greater connections.
  • List ways that you can engage people in new ways.
  • Do you have the courage to create connections in the face of the naysayers?
  • Can you create a culture of collaboration in a new way?
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This episode focuses on a strategy that can be employed to help you maintain a positive mindset throughout the entire year.

  • Will you take 15 minutes today to ensure you’ll calendar reflection questions for yourself throughout the year?
  • How will you support others if you don’t remind yourself to reflect about your current leadership mindset?
  • How can you better serve others through processes like these?
  • Are you leading today with the same energy you were the first day?”
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Leadership is everywhere and anyone who has influence over another person is a leader. Human beings learn best from the example of others and when you have an influential platform you have an opportunity to impact others. This episode profiles a princess who changed the world with a simple gesture. 

  • How aware are you of your words and actions when you are around others?
  • Describe how you use your leadership to support the humility of others so they recognize they’re being studied.
  • Would you have had the courage to take the hand of the man in London?
  • What will you do different today as a leader in order to change the world?
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This episode is a discussion about having a “you first” attitude for those you serve. When you have a “you first” mindset -- you are looking for ways to improve others, you are looking for doors to open in other peoples leadership, and you are looking for strategies to support them so that they realize their potential.

  • When was the last time you opened a door for someone?
  • How can you literally and figurative open doors for those you serve?
  • Finally, What can you do to create a culture of “you first?”


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This episode focuses on a process that will allow leaders to support the learning of those they serve. The process allows the audience to think, talk, and work with the new information in a simple way that will encourage collaboration as well as the retention of knowledge.

  • Describe how you currently support those you lead in their ability to reflect upon new knowledge.
  • What process do you have in place to support the retention of knowledge.
  • Do you have time to go onto the CESA 6 webpage and print off the Knowledge of Illusion Brief? https://www.cesa6.org/cms_files/resources/The%20Knowledge%20Illusion-published.pdf
  • Finally, when you are with others how do you support their ability to learn from your shared experience if you are not employing a process?
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