Linda S. Chadwick

Linda S. Chadwick photo

Retired Principal, Middletown Twp. School District

Currently p/t adjunct professor, Kean University

Whiting, New Jersey

Q: What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?

A: I firmly believe in the concept of service leadership. Effective leaders set goals, help to determine needs, and then provide whatever supports are necessary for their team to achieve them. In addition, the team should include among its goals some aspect of service to the community.

Q: Do you have a mentor? How have they influenced you?

A: I have had several wonderful mentors throughout my career. Some were “assigned”, others developed through working relationships. In each instance, that person shared something of themselves to help me move forward – sometimes even identifying strengths I had not yet developed. It has been my goal to pay that mentoring forward, and encourage it in the students and other educators with whom I work.

Q: What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

A: Unfortunately, with all the gains made by women in the workplace in the past 40 years, I believe that the biggest obstacle women face in assuming leadership roles remains the balance of career and family. Our nation must value and support women and the development of strong, healthy families in which 70% of mothers are in the workforce. Practical matters such as family leave and affordable quality child care must be addressed along with creative ways of looking at scheduling & job-sharing, and breaking down the prejudicial attitudes towards the commitment of working mothers to their careers.