Linkedin Twitter Facebook YouTube Mail

Paul Donkers

"my purpose is to assist companies, teams and their business leaders to continue to be successful in our time of sustainability, digitization and disruption."


I've always been fascinated by companies, teams and it's people. At my deepest level I want to assist organisations create value, while navigating 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!

In my delivery I work on the people side of strategy. Helping translate strategy into results. For me, the behavior of the executives and their teams needs to be connected to the businessplan. What do we want to achieve? And when? I help connect the hard and soft side of management to make a difference.

My career started as General Manager for a Fortune 500 company. I felt lucky to be able to work as an ‘intrapreneur’ and to be trusted with a large responsibility in those early years. I always had full profit & loss, commercial and operational end responsibility for the businesses I ran. I initiated and introduced Lee Hecht Harrison on the Dutch market in late nineties. And built it from scratch into a multi million € business. Later I also downsized and restarted 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 another 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 enjoy slow food, cooking, enjoying 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, specialty: working with strong characters and global leadership teams
  • 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

Charity work & 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.

Columnist Hearst Magazines. Dutch Quote Magazine.
Paul writes on a regular basis for Hearsts Dutch Quote Magazine. Access Paul's columns for Quote via

Industry and functional experience
  • General Management and c-suite
  • Finance & Administration
  • Human Resources
  • Working in matrix
  • Fast Moving Consumer Goods
  • High tech electronics
  • Pharma
  • Non Governmental Organisations

Representative Clients
  • Royal Philips Electronics
  • Electrolux Professional
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products
  • Barry Callebaut Gourmet
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Dell computers
  • Ahold (
  • Vivisol (Sol Group)
Stay inspired and receive your new column every two weeks

We want to give the people in our network a little bit of inspiration on a regular basis. We will never send you any spam.

Prefered language