When I get down and out about my professional life, really down and out, I'm talkin' a talking-to-myself-while-walking-down-the-street-kind-of-down-and-out, I take a day off and go for a walk around the Jackie Kennedy reservoir in Central Park. I feel the ground under my feet, look up and I say out loud "This life is my home."

Then I go into the NYC subway and replace my judgments with blessings for every human I see. Once I arrive at my apartment in Harlem, I pick three random fresh ingredients from the fridge, and make up a dish no one has ever tried before. In the evening, people join me and we feast on our lives.

Then I feel at home in the world again.

As an Executive Life Coach I help high achievers master the alchemy of courage, compassion, and connection in the corporate and entrepreneurial worlds, adding meaning to their success. If you too are done with half-hearted living, I would be delighted to have a conversation.



High achievers in financial, healthcare, and information technology industries turn to executive life coach Samir Selmanovic when they want to feast on their lives.

Samir believes that the solution to the widespread problem of corporate employees’ half-heartedness is leaders’ engagement with life itself. Existence is sacred; nothing is ordinary; work is intimacy.

As a young alternative theater leader in Europe, an engineer and pastor in the United States, and finally as an executive coach in New York City, Samir has helped develop more than 100 leaders, from ambitious entrepreneurs to sagacious CEOs. He takes his clients through a highly personalized and co-creative relationship to places where they never thought they would go.

Samir was born into complexity and natural chaos. Growing up with a Muslim father, a Christian mother, and an atheist school system—with capitalism to the West and communism to the East—he learned at an early age to elicit and escalate the best in others. Samir’s passion for ideas and problem-solving propelled him through a B.Sc. in Engineering, an M.A. in Psychology, a Master of Divinity, and a Ph.D. in Human Development. Samir is also a graduate of Georgetown University’s Leadership Coaching Program and is an ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC).

As a “secular pastor for business leaders” Samir is focusing on the humanization of business. He serves his clients with experience and insight gleaned from a long list of individuals and organizations with whom he has worked, including Harvard, Princeton, Glasgow-Caledonian, Freddie Mac, the Tropical Health Alliance Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, World Vision, Get Storied, Agile Boston, and the Florida Hospital. Samir loves his home country of Croatia, the streets and humans of New York City, and the changing seasons in Central Park, next to which he lives with his wife Vesna and daughters Ena and Leta.

When the going gets tough, Samir goes into his kitchen and cooks up kindness for family, friends, and strangers.

Here is your welcome gift!


At first, I thought the meaning of life was to ski with my dad...

I began my human experience in Croatia (former Yugoslavia) between East and West Europe, the Adriatic Coast and the Alps, Christianity and Islam, atheism and religion, Balkan wars and Balkan songs, and at the crossroad of five cuisines. I grew up:

  • on the milk of communism and the energy drink of capitalism
  • on the asphalt of the capital city and alternative theater productions across the country
  • highlight: guest-hosting a cooking show on national TV in 6th grade

Then I thought the meaning of life comes from stuffing my head with stuff...

School ad nauseam:

  • a B.Sc. in Structural Engineering, finishing first in my class, pale like a wall
  • dizzying dive into Theology (MDiv), Psychology (MA), and Human Development (PhD)
  • highlight: assistant teaching behavioral statistics to business students

Then I fell in love with a difficult girlfriend: New York City...

She is gorgeous, but she wears you down. I think that after 12 years now, she is finally loving me back. The love story with the city includes:

  • knowing and caring for business professionals and entrepreneurs in Manhattan, encountering the glitter of the rich, the grit of the poor, and the homelessness and kindness of both
  • full immersion into corporate and startup worlds and stories
  • highlight: learning about spiritualities other than my own and writing a book about it

Today, I find meaning in helping people be present, tell a bigger story, and befriend the unknown...

I have come to believe that the humanization of business, and organizational leadership in particular, is the defining challenge of our century. Paradoxically, work is exhausting us because it is not asking enough of us.

These days, I ask myself:

  • How can I shape my life to match the astonishing privilege and beauty of being born, being brought into light, and being called to let go all the way into my final act of disappearance?
  • What is the story I am choosing to live?
  • Who am I practicing becoming?

Samir has worked with organizations, teams, and individuals, including:

Agile Boston | Avalara | Avondale College | CARE | Cathedral of St. John the Divine | Center for Inquiry, NYC | Clock Wise Productions | Connecting the Dots | Cordoba Initiative | Dialogue Project | Different Drummer Marketing | Envision Conference | Florida Hospital Celebration Health | Freddie Mac | Friedensau University | Get Storied Inc. | Glasgow Caledonian University | Harvard University | Hebrew College | Inhabit Conference | Intel Corporation | Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility | International Labor Organization | Intersections International | Irish School of Ecumenics | Loma Linda University | Maternity Worldwide | Muslims Against Terrorism | National Conference on Innovation | New York Foundation for the Arts | N. Associates Research and Consulting | ONE.org | Park51 | Parliament of World Religions | Princeton University | Reconstructionist Rabbinical College | Religious Freedom USA | Society of Ethical Culture | The Splinter Group | State of Formation | State University of New York | Storahtelling | St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church | Trinity Wall Street Church | Tropical Health Alliance Foundation | Wall Street 50 | Wild Goose Festival | Winter Park Memorial Hospital | World Affairs Council of Southern California | World Vision International | 360.org | 92nd St. Y


Here is your Wisdom Workroom welcome gift!

"INTUITIVE COLLOQUY: THE ART OF REALLY SHOWING UP" is a simple and powerful coaching tool for individuals and teams, grounded in neuroscience, perennial wisdom, and contemporary best practices of leadership.

Join the movement

"My work is born out of 20 years of the muck and glory of nourishing brilliant leaders—from sage CEOs in the United States to teenage community organizers abroad. What made great ones great was that they had the courage to inhabit their own lives." ~ Samir Selmanovic


Samir also serves as the Executive Director of Faith House Manhattan, which he founded in 2006. Faith House Manhattan helps people experience their neighbor's faith in order to deepen their own.


Samir Selmanovic, PhD PCC, is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Leadership Coaching Program, an International Coach Federation (ICF) certified program. He is an ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and is committed to ICF’s high ethical and professional standards.


To explore your challenges and aspirations,
request a Strategy Consultation with Samir.