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Paul Donkers

My professional journey is a lifelong commitment to developing companies, nurturing management teams, and empowering entrepreneurs and business leaders. Over the span of 27 years, I'm dedicating myself to the pursuit of creating enduring and meaningful value in the corporate world and NGO's.

I believe that successful organisations are led by leaders who know themselves, open to rethink their business models, unlock business purpose, embrace digitization, see culture as an important enabler.

I feel privileged to have worked with hundreds of leadership teams and over 2000 individuals. I learn from them, they learn from me.

I enable our clients to unlock purpose: for companies, teams and individuals. Translating purpose into strategy. I contribute to their business as an outsider/insider. Ideas flow for me naturally.

Every week I work with our clients around the world to develop their organisation, their teams and their leaders. I deliver my contribution as an independent entrepreneur wìth deep corporate experience. My roles are: business coach, management consultant, teacher, investor and facilitator.

I started three companies. All three are still in business. Navigating them through good and through very challenging times.

Business #1

Business #1: In 2000, under the umbrella of a Fortune 500 parent company, I introduced a HR consulting firm from New York in The Netherlands. This 'intrapreneurial' venture grew into the profitable market leader within a decade, providing me with invaluable financial, commercial, and operational experience from the ground up.

Business #2

Business #2: In 2009, I left my corporate career to start my own firm. Despite the financial crisis it was time for me to move forward. Today, tèn company developed into a global coaching and consulting firm.

Business #3

Business #3: The year 2018 saw the inception of the Ikigai® Coaching Institute, a project close to my heart with dual objectives—nurturing a community of healthy coaching practicioners and enabling at least 100,000 individuals globally unlock their Ikigai.

Venturing into the realms of business coaching, management consulting, teaching, investing, and facilitating, I operate as an independent entrepreneur with a wealth of corporate insights. My journey from a senior executive at a Fortune 500 company to building independent enterprises has been transformative, with every success and mistake contributing to a deeper understanding of what it takes to thrive in today's dynamic business landscape.

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Global Experience
  • Founding partner of tèn company, with a global client portfolio.
  • Creator of Ikigai Coaching Institute.
  • Working in the Global LHH Organization in a senior management role from 1999 - 2009.
  • Working as General Manager for LHH in The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg between 2006 - 2009.
  • Languages: Dutch mother-tongue. English full professional proficiency. French & German advanced. Basic understanding of Italian and Spanish.

Corporate experience
  • Initiated and launched American Human Resources consulting firm Lee Hecht Harrison in The Netherlands in 1999 as intrapreneur. Served as it's General Manager from 2000 - 2006
  • General Manager LHH Belgium, LHH The Netherlands and LHH Luxemburg from 2006 - 2009
  • Member of Executive Committee of the parent company of LHH, The Adecco Benelux group from 2006 - 2009 (size: 1 billion € in revenue)
  • Member of European leadership team of Lee Hecht Harrison

Lifelong learning
  • MIT Sloan Executive Program. Platform Strategy: building and thriving in a vibrant ecosystem (Cambridge, Boston, USA, 2019)
  • Harvard Business School Executive Program. Leading your small business through it's lifecycle. (Harvard, Boston, USA, 2014)
  • Personal Directions™ from Management Research Group (Dublin 2013)
  • Hogan Dark Side Assessment™ from Hogan Assessment Systems Inc. (London 2012)
  • Sales Performance Assessment™ from Management Research Group (Dublin 2012)
  • Stakeholder Centered Coaching, Marshall Goldsmith Institute/Prism (Salt Lake City, USA, March 2011)
  • Management Research Group ( 360 degree Strategic Leadership Development, (London, UK, september 2009)
  • LHH (various trainings in delivery & sales worldwide between 1999 - 2008)
  • Myers Briggs Type Indicator (Brussels, Belgium, 2002)
  • SHL, Occupational Personality Questionnaire (Utrecht, The Netherlands, 1999)
  • Fontys University of Applied Sciences. Human Resources & Services, graduation in 1995, cum laude, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Honors and awards
  • Global coaching leadership award, World Coaching Congress, Mumbai, India, February 2016
  • President's award for Exceptional team performance in 2004 (strategic team sale & delivery to Sara Lee worldwide) from Lee Hecht Harrison Worldwide, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
  • President's award for Exceptional Performance by a General Manager in 2001 from Lee Hecht Harrison Worldwide, Naples, Florida, USA
  • 2nd prize Thierry award for best Thesis from Catholic University Brabant in Tilburg, The Netherlands in 1999


The secret of Ikigai 2021. White paper explaining the Ikigai concept and its application. Please find the digital version of this paper here

IKIGAI™ Questions Game October 2017. Unique Card game to help people identify their daily purpose, their IKIGAI.

Master of your own destiny
. e-book. November 2015. In their powerful book, global executive coaches Herman van Herterijck and Paul Donkers share the proven methodology they use with their clients around the world. Available for download via

Regisseer je eigen loopbaansucces. ISBN 978-94-91121-02-9. Authors: Paul Donkers & Herman van Herterijck, 2014. Dutch book on how to become the master of your own career success. Pragmatic tools on how to approach your own career as a small business owner. Using proven techniques from corporate environments and integrate them into personal & professional development.

Areas of Expertise
  • Start-up. Creator and founder of tèn company early 2009
  • Intrapreneur serving two companies: LHH The Netherlands (created in 1999) & LHH Luxembourg (created in 2008)
  • Revitalizing a company and turn around management (e.g. LHH Belgium: 2008)
  • Executive Coaching - Leadership Development. I love to work with successful strong characters and I'm not shy in confronting them to enable them to become even more successful.
  • Global and Multicultural Team building
  • Executive leadership and board positions
  • Succession and next generation leadership
  • Public companies / Fortune 500
  • Large family owned companies
Levels of Experience
  • Board of directors
  • CEO – CFO
  • EVP's, SVP
  • Medical Specialists (mostly in the surgery specialism)

delivering a workshop

Charity & non-executive work

Global Executive Coach - International Committee of the Red Cross - ICRC (2014-present)
Executive coach for their worldwide leaders. Leaders who are selected to participate in the Red Cross' global leadership development program are entitled to some one-on-one coaching. To accelerate their development. Paul works with the Red Cross on this project since their start of the program in 2013. Paul has delivered coaching and consulting to the leaders in Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Afghanistan, Congo, Kenya, Ghana, Haiti, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Libya, Tunisia, Jordan, Geneva Headquarters and some other countries.

Thesis supervisor Masters in Humanitarian Leadership - University of Luzern, Switserland (2020-present)

Industry and functional experience
  • General Management and c-suite
  • Finance & Administration
  • Human Resources
  • Risk Management
  • Working in matrix organizations
  • Fast Moving Consumer Goods
  • High tech electronics
  • Pharma
  • Non Governmental Organisations
Selection of current and past clients
  • Royal Philips Electronics
  • Electrolux Professional
  • Maastricht University Medical Center
  • Zuyderland Hospital Heerlen / Sittard
  • Barry Callebaut Gourmet
  • Fagron
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • D.O.R.C.
  • Sol Group (Vivisol)


Paul's work has been been featured by several media. Please find a selection hereunder.

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