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For Leaders Aspiring to
Become their Better Selves

Leadership Assessments
Placed Senior Executives
CEO Successions
Leader Integrations

About Us

The Paradoxes Project is a continuing and evolving journey. It’s a road for the curious, and for those ready to engage in growth through personal transformation. It‘s anchored on the idea that becoming better leaders occurs when we embrace the complexity of our contradictions, and when we value what’s counterintuitive.  It’s about finding ways to go beyond “this or that” to embrace a “this and that” mindset.  It’s about unlocking leaders, teams and Families to achieve their dreams, create a vision, and then make it a reality.

I believe that separating our personal and professional personas is a hard ask. And when we bring our whole selves to our professional activities we become our most authentic. Accordingly, integrating Health & Wellness practices is central to all my work.

Purpose & Meaning

My purpose is to partner with organizations in support of their sr. leaders when they’re ready and curious about how to become their better selves. Seeing executives breakthrough to higher levels gives meaning to my work.  And supporting Families in Business is extraordinarily gratifying.


My name is Manuel de Miranda, and I grew up in East Timor, Lisbon and in Ontario, Canada. My career began at Bain & Company before holding commercial and General Management roles with Shell working in various markets in Europe, Asia, Brasil, Australia, and across Africa. I then joined Holcim-Lafarge in Washington DC as Head of Strategic Marketing for North America prior to becoming a partner in the NY office of Egon Zehnder. At Egon Zehnder I founded the firm’s Washington DC office before retiring from this Swiss based partnership. While attending University I served in the Canadian Reserves as a Tank Commander.

My reputation as a Leadership Advisor to CEO’s, Boards and Enterprise Leadership Teams was forged while leading Egon Zehnder clients on CEO Succession, Executive Assessment and Leadership Development. I built insights on What Good Looks Like in Executive Leadership from placing over 200 C-Suite business leaders across five continents. For the last decade my focus has been on Coaching and Developing business leaders. A deeply rewarding aspect of this work focuses on supporting owners of Family Businesses in designing Family Governance and helping with NextGen transitions. I have formal training in Health & Wellness and Executive Coaching from Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. in Political Theory from Cambridge University.

As a former marathoner and tri-athlete I try to swim everyday, surf when I can, and enjoy working from homes in Washington, Lisbon and Paris.


Coached Clients became CEO's
Coached CEO's in Fortune 500
Working Languages
Leader at a Time

Executive Coaching

Each client is unique, and each engagement is designed for that uniqueness. The majority of my work requires a 4-9 month engagement process:

“Mentors have been critical to me throughout my career. But mentorship is not executive coaching: it’s advice from someone you know. Coaching is a rigorous conversation that led me to confront the person that others experienced”

Susan Kelliher, CHRO, The Chemours Company (NYSE: CC)

What if your better choice was pursuing the counter-intuitive path?

Assessment & Development

Succession Planning


Family Business Advisory

Focusing on Enterprising Families I help families create the Governance structures that lead to sustainable continuity for those intent on creating a Family-in-Business legacy. My experience of advising family owners focuses on the following areas:

“I can’t overdo how important it was to work with The Paradoxes Project in building our Family Constitution.  After all, we had to trust them with our most intimate family conversations.”

– Founder, Global Family Business Client

Teams & Boards

Most top teams, whether it’s a Board of Directors or an Executive Leadership Team, are not broken when they seek support.  Most of the time they are facing a specific challenge, often due to a pivotal internal change.  To support team work I always partner with a community of practitioners selected from a network of like minded specialists, team coaches, and facilitators. We focus on a few key dimensions:

“The offsite was critical to our success.  Having a team building process tailored to our context made all the difference”

Chief Operating Officer, Private Enterprise

Health & Wellness

For leaders to be at their best we need them to be present to our collective Health and Wellness. This starts with each one of us taking responsibility for self-care. It requires investing the time to deepen our understanding of who we are, what we can become when we are at our best, and build regenerative practices to feed our souls.  

My own experience has taught me the extraordinary balance that is generated when we are physically, spiritually and mentally attentive to our needs. Not everyone will want to consider integrating a Lifestyle Wellness conversation into their Executive Coaching work. But for clients for whom this matters – such as building a physical or meditative practice into their daily routines – I work with the processes laid out by the National Board of Health & Wellness Coaching to create holistic and more sustainable approaches to leadership development. 

Below are some resources that can help you explore these topics.

Moonrise over Fissile Peak, British Columbia, Canada (2023)

Recommended Resources

Tara Parker-Pope has become one of the more experienced commentators on Health & Wellness today. Her weekly column “Well + Being” is published in the Washington Post

The most important and influential book published this year on the Lessons from the World’s longest scientific study of happiness is in Robert Waldinger’s and Marc Schulz The Good Life, here reviewed in The Atlantic

Regular exercise can help protect against age-related diseases and help people get more from their later years – what if the most powerful way to live longer is just exercise?


I’ve been fortunate to have learned much from observing and working with many fantastic colleagues throughout my career. To support team work I always partner with a community of practitioners selected from a network of like minded specialists, team coaches, and facilitators. I’m grateful for their support and honored to cite them as the tribe that I partner with as needed.

David Noble has decades of experience in operating roles as well as advising CEO’s and their teams globally on leadership and strategy.  He recently co-authored Real Time Leadership published by Harvard Press. David is based in Miami, New York and London.

Joana Domingues began her career at McKinsey before dedicating herself exclusively to helping leaders develop themselves through Executive and Team Coaching. A native of Lisbon, she works in multiple languages, and across Continents.

Verena Renze-Westendorf spent 15 years between the US and Germany as an expert in Egon Zehnder’s Leadership Assessment practice. She is a trained Team Facilitator, Executive Coach and experienced in Organizational Culture Assessments. She resides in Dusseldorf.

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Supporting Leadership Transitions

Sometimes it’s about unblocking a career path by coaxing new perspectives from within. Sometimes the focus is on renewing your sense of purpose. Other times it’s because an important life event led you to confront a professional pivot. Whatever the source may be, my work supporting leaders making a transition is focused on helping them design their best landings

“Partnering with an experienced leadership advisor during internal transitions absolutely accelerated the impact of our senior leaders in their new roles”

– Susan Kelliher, Global CHRO

Succession Planning + Executing Succession

Perhaps the most consequential decision that CEO’s and Boards grapple with is selecting the future leader’s from inside of an organization. This process not only gets you to the Who, but it also shows you the How to execute a succession based on a decade of experience leading complex successions at global enterprises

“I cannot imagine engaging in a CEO Succession without using a structured and independent process like this one”

– Nominating Committee Chair, Publicly Listed Company

Leadership Assessment / Development

Relying on world-class and publicly documented methodologies that combine quantitative and qualitative approaches, Leadership Assessments are the proven method to build an accurate and fact based photo of an individual leader.  It’s also the most useful tool to measure the aggregate capacity of a team if applied to a group during succession planning or in an M&A situation.

“These Leadership Assessments were a cathartic experience.  They awakened each Partners’ awareness of where they stood individually, and provided a collective view of the Firm’s leadership capacity”

Pedro Rebelo de Sousa, Founder and Managing Partner, SRS Legal