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Paul Donkers

I'm dedicating my professional life to the development of companies, management teams and their business leaders. My goal is to enable them to create more value and create real impact as business leaders.

I truly believe that the most successful companies of our time are led by leaders that know themselves, open to rethink their business models, unlock business purpose, execute strategy, embrace digitization, develop their teams and work sustainably.

My track record covers 25 years of developing global businesses and leadership teams. I started three companies that are still in business. I led my businesses through multiple downturns over the years. Navigating them through good and through challenging times.

I feel really privileged to have worked with many leadership teams and over 2000 leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs one-on-one. I learn from them, they learn from me.

I help unlock purpose: for companies, teams and individuals. Translate purpose into strategy and bring lasersharp focus, embedding a routine of strategy execution. I develop leadership teams. I contribute to the business. Ideas flow for me naturally.

Every week I work with our clients around the globe to develop their organisation, their teams and their leaders. I deliver my contribution as an independent entrepreneur wìth corporate experience. As business coach, consultant, speaker, entrepreneur, teacher, investor and facilitator.

Sofar, I've started three businesses from scratch.

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. I worked as an 'intrapreneur'. With my team, we grew the business organically into the profitable market leader in a decade. I always had full financial, commercial and operational responsibility.

Business #2

In 2009, I took a leap of faith. I left my corporate career to do a start-up. Despite the financial crisis I strongly felt it was time to move forward. Today, tèn company has grown into a global boutique firm in management consulting and business coaching.

Business #3

In 2018 I created the Ikigai® Coaching Institute. With our global community of Professional Certified Ikigai Coaches we enable at least 100.000 people worldwide to unlock their Ikigai before 2025. Second, we assist our community of licensed Ikigai coaches to build their healthy coaching business. All of this results in our small contribution to better career, better life, better planet.

I grew up and became a senior executive in the corporate world. Having success and making my share of mistakes. In the last 12 years, I learned what it really means to build independent companies and to work in deep partnerships with our clients.

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Instagram: @donkers.paul

Happy to connect via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via social media channels.

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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