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Self=Defined LeadershipTM


The Self=Defined Leadership concept was created and developed by Marjorie E. Blum, Ph.D. While working as a psychologist and coach in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia for over 25 years, she has studied and applied the concepts and observed the efficacy of the content offered in these workshops. She is adjunct faculty at Georgia State University and Emory University School of Medicine where she regularly teaches and supervises. She has worked with local and national businesses including at BellSouth Leadership Institute, Delmarva Corporation, First Union/Wachovia, CARE, Microsoft and KPMG. She is a member and approved supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists and holds a certification in Clinical Hypnosis with the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. Dr. Blum is also a member of the American Psychological Association and the International Leadership Association.

Dr. Blum has had the opportunity to develop this work at Harvard Kennedy School and Emory Goizueta School of Business graduate programs. She was recently appointed a Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership where she offers ongoing study sessions on Self Defined Leadership. Click here to read some recent attendee feedback.


"The leadership community is just now discovering how powerfully family history and dynamics nourish -- and sometimes limit -- the capacity of men and women to lead others.  Dr. Marjorie Blum is one of the nation's foremost thinkers about this critical area of understanding and managing oneself -  in organizations and other systems.  As a psychologist with a thriving clinical and coaching practice, she is now offering to share this knowledge with organizations and rising leaders.

Dr. Blum is filling a critical gap, helping to bring the insights of psychological research into leadership practice.  I discovered for myself just how helpful she could be to rising leaders when I invited her to work with my students at the Kennedy School; they were so appreciative of and impacted by her work that I have invited her to return -- and often."


David Gergen

Director, Center for Public Leadership

Harvard Kennedy School


"Home is where one starts from," wrote T. S. Eliot, and it's definitely where the journey of leadership begins. Marjorie Blum's idea of using the genogram as a tool for helping leaders develop greater self-understanding--and the resilience and interpersonal skills that flow from it--may be a bit unorthodox, but it is spot-on. I think the visual nature of the genogram sharpens students' awareness of the multigenerational patterns, roles, and influences that have shaped their family of origin--the home that all leaders start from. Marjorie's presentations are always splendidly prepared; she explains the key concepts succinctly, and her teaching style encourages participation and entertains at the same time. Each time she has led a workshop here at the Center for Public Leadership, students have given it excellent ratings."

Loren Gary

Associate Director, Leadership Development and Public Affairs

Harvard Kennedy School


“Effective leadership requires an awareness of others as well as depth of knowledge of one’s self.  Dr. Blum is a pioneer in leadership development.  Self Defined Leadership, using the creation of one’s genogram, provides a unique bridge between the disciplines of Family Psychology and leadership development.  She has created a superb training model that has the potential to improve not only professional leadership skills, but personal lives as well.”


Sylvia Shellenberger, PhD

Co-author Genograms: Assessment and Intervention (WW Norton, 1999)

Psychologist and Professor of Family Medicine, Mercer University

Fulbright scholar  





2005 Self Defined Leadership All Rights Reserved.