The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

Students Present at Distinguished Lecture Series


The Distinguished Lecture Series welcomed New York Times columnist and best selling author, Adam Bryant to Malvern on Thursday, March 27th.  For The Corner Office, Mr. Bryant’s twice weekly column in the New York Times, he has interviewed over 300 top executives of companies and has discovered what sets them apart, how they made it to the top, and their leadership styles. He used those interviews as the inspiration for his first book, The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons from CEOs on How to Lead and Succeed.  In this book, Mr. Bryant shares, what he calls, the five essential personality traits that all effective leaders have in common. These traits – Passionate Curiosity, Battle-Hardened Confidence, Team Smarts, A Simple Mind-Set, and Fearlessness – were the main topic of his lecture at Malvern.

[button link=”” color=”silver” newwindow=”yes”] What our Editor-in-Chief Joe DiSipio learned from meeting with Mr. Bryant[/button]

One of the unique aspects of the day was the presentation of a three person student team who modeled a project on Adam Bryant’s theme of leadership.  The student team of Matt Heisler, Tommy Pero, and Arjun Menon were chosen after a long selection process which started with an email from Mr. Talbot to the entire student body offering an opportunity to participate in a leadership role during the Distinguished Lecture Series. Mr. Talbot explained that those selected would have the opportunity to participate on a Project-Based Learning experience   which would include to spending time with and getting feedback from Adam Bryant, whom he described as “an influential New York Times author.”  All those who were interested in participating were asked to write a one page essay addressing their willingness to read Mr. Bryant’s book, The Corner Office, and their willingness to design and execute a project that would reflect their understanding of some key element of leadership.  Also to be included in the essay was a making a connection between their academic, athletic, and activity experiences at Malvern and the insights of three of the CEO’s highlighted in Adam Bryant’s column.  The essay was to be concluded with five questions on leadership that they would like to investigate further.

The selection process was to be done in three steps.  In round one a team of five teachers and administrators reviewed and selected the top applicants.  In round two, the applicants were interviewed, and finally in the third round the three best applicants were selected.  The many snow days during this time led to condensing the rounds, but in the end Matt Heisler, Tommy Pero, and Arjun Menon were the three students who survived the process.

The student team used the divergent question, “How does living in the Twenty-First Century affect leadership?” as the basis of their project. They began by sending surveys to students, Malvern teachers, and business professional from a local company.  Using 21st century techniques, the survey was electronic and results were sent to a Google account that the team set up.  For the next part of the project, they interviewed a chief actuary of a local company. They asked such questions as, “Do you think people today too dependent on search engines, which then affect their ability to think critically and contribute to a team?” and, “How do you use modern technologies, such as smartphones, tablets, and online collaborative resources in the workplace?”

After compiling all of their results into a Prezi, the students gave a 10 minute presentation to the school and repeated the talk later that evening for parents and community members. The presentation was interactive and asked students to text a one word response to the question, “What one word do you associate most with leadership in the 21st Century?  The results were posted live and “inspiration” and “innovation” were two of the leading responses.

Overall, the students were able to conclude that Malvern Prep’s theme of connections, collaboration, and creativity is valued by over 90% of the business professionals surveyed. They found the use of technology at Malvern matches what the professionals view as necessary to be competitive in the 21st Century.

It was a great opportunity for these students to learn firsthand and present to their classmates how to become a successful leader in the 21st Century.

Pero, Heisler, and Menon on stage at the presentation  / Malvern Communications
Pero, Heisler, and Menon on stage at the presentation / Malvern Communications
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