Reflections from a Visiting Researcher: Marko Liu’s Takeaways from KLI

By Gina Wu ‘19 and Jennifer Bernardez ‘22

 Marko presenting at the 27th annual Kravis de Roulet Conference
Marko presenting at the 27th annual Kravis de Roulet Conference

It has been nearly two years since Marko Liu first came to KLI with hopes of changing the Chinese view on leadership. Frustrated with his findings that the Chinese often focused their efforts on leadership development too late in the process, Liu was drawn to the progression of leadership development, changing the scope of his career and leading him to a two-year stint in Claremont.

As Liu’s time at KLI draws to a close, he is quite pleased with what he has accomplished. As a full-time researcher at KLI, he took part in several leadership development programs and worked with Professor David Day on a chapter in Professor Ron Riggio’s newly released edited book—What is Wrong with Leadership Development and What can be Done about it?

Much of his research will be published soon as well. Liu wrote an article regarding the harm that over parenting can inflict on an adolescent’s leadership development in the Applied Psychology Journal that will be out later this month. The study surveys 1200 families in China and examines the impact that over parenting has on leadership emergence and self-efficacy in adolescents, which remains relevant today given helicopter parenting in the United States and China.

Another of his publications, titled “Across the Life Span: Dynamic Experiences-Grounded Approach,” uncovers his conclusions on lifespan leadership which will be published in Leadership Quarterly, coming in August 2019. From his research, Liu notes that “leadership currently focuses on adults in the workplace but it should focus on other stages in life such as preschool, childhood, adolescence, emerging adulthood, and late adulthood. There are important benchmarks and experiences to develop and have at each stage.”

Before returning to China, Liu presented his research on leader development across a lifespan at the 27th annual Kravis de Roulet Conference. In Beijing, he will be taking a professorship position with the Beijing University of International Business and Economics with plans on integrating his KLI experience to his teaching career.

“KLI has a very warm, productive, interpersonal culture which really impressed me. When I first arrived, I felt pressure because of the well-known professors here, but when I settled in, I realized that everyone was really close. Anytime I had a new idea that I wanted to discuss, professors David Day and Ron Riggio always welcomed me in.  I think that this encouragement, especially toward undergraduate researchers, is something that I really appreciated. I hope to bring this attitude to my future students. I want to encourage students to think more and view me as an equal to promote discourse,” Liu said. 

When reminiscing about his time here, Liu is very grateful for his experience: “I was very happy to work with professors and meet the students. KLI and CMC is a wonderful place, everyone is positive, friendly, and warm. KLI is my family because everyone treats me as a family member here and always includes me in events. I benefited a lot from this institute and I would like to give something back to KLI. I will miss the people here.”

With research experience from KLI as part of his Ph.D. program in his repertoire, Liu is slated to graduate from Beijing Normal University in May 2019.