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Paul Donkers

"I've always been fascinated by companies, teams and it's people. At my deepest level I want to assist organisations create value, while helping them to navigate through the big challenges of our time: disruption, digitization and sustainability."

I think that successful companies in this market are the ones who are able to reinvent their current business models, embrace digitization and organisations that work sustainably. And who are serious about it!

I work on the execution & people side of strategy. Entrepreneurial and out of the box. Bringing focus and discipline. Taking calculated risks. Translating strategy into results. Connecting hard and soft side of management. 

For me, the behavior of the executives needs to be connected to the businessplan. I always try to be hard on the matter and soft on the people. 

My career started as General Manager for a Fortune 500 company. I felt lucky to be able to work as an ‘intrapreneur’. To be trusted with a big responsibility in those early years. A steep learning curve. I always had full profit & loss, commercial and operational end responsibility for the businesses I ran. I built up Lee Hecht Harrison in The Netherlands from scratch into a multi million € business. And later relaunched our Belgian outplacement business. 

Then, early 2009, I took a leap of faith. I changed my career direction and decided to do a start-up. Despite the difficult economic conditions, I thought it was time for me to make a bold move and to take a new direction in my professional life.

Through personal experience I've learned what it takes to work as line management executive in corporate life. To have corporate success and to make my share of mistakes. 

My experience as corporate executive, combined with my experience as independent entrepreneur, enable me to be a soundboard for our clients. As coach, consultant, speaker, trainer, facilitator and as writer. 

My wife and I live with our two teenage daughters in Breda, in the southwest corner of The Netherlands. Which is ideally located, an hour from Amsterdam, an hour from Brussels and two hours from Düsseldorf. With direct fast train acces to Amsterdam Schiphol and Brussels airport. I'm a hobby cook, really like slow food, the outdoors, music and reading.

International Experience
  • Founding partner of tèn company, with a global client portfolio, international projects
  • 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 outplacement 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
  • Leading your small business through it's lifecylce. Harvard Business School (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 between 1999 - 2008)
  • Myers Briggs Type Indicator (Brussels, Belgium, 2002)
  • SHL, Occupational Personality Questionaire (Utrecht, The Netherlands, 1999)
  • Bsc. (undergraduate) in Career Management & Human Resources from Academy Man Labour in 1995, cum laude, Tilburg, The Netherlands

  • 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


IKIGAI Card Game October 2017. Unique Card game to help people identify their purpose, their IKIGAI. Sold globally. More information here

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' of 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)

Charity & non-executive work

Global Executive Coach - International Committee of the Red Cross - ICRC
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 this leadership program back in 2013. Paul has delivered coaching and consulting to local 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.

Member of the supervisory board- Stichting de Uitdaging
Member of the supervisory board overseeing the work of Foundation 'De Uitdaging' in The Netherlands. The goal of the foundation is to coach young adults with a mental handicap, through offering them employment and experience in their own restaurant, to the regular labour market.

Industry and functional experience
  • General Management and c-suite
  • Finance & Administration
  • Human Resources
  • Working in matrix organizations
  • Fast Moving Consumer Goods
  • High tech electronics
  • Pharma
  • Non Governmental Organisations
A selection of some current and past client companies
  • Royal Philips Electronics
  • Electrolux Professional
  • Maastricht University Medical Center
  • Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products
  • Barry Callebaut Gourmet
  • Royal DSM 
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Ahold
  • Sol Group
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