47. Redefining Leadership and Exploring Human Capital and Compassion with Cecile Munoz, Founder and President of U.S Executive Search & Consulting

We’re so excited to welcome Cecile Munoz, the CEO and President of U.S Executive Search & Consulting. There are many words used to describe Cecile Munoz – Founder, Serial Entrepreneur, Podcaster, and Ballroom dancer. 

Coming from a modest and humble background, Cecile Munoz is a serial entrepreneur who started at the age of 11 with a pop-up concession stand during movies in her backyard in a very small rural hometown. Upon graduating from the University of Arizona, she became the founder and president of U.S. Executive Search & Consulting, a leading nationally recognized financial services, recruiting, and consulting firm for over 28 years. She’s one of a very small group of executive search firms owned and run by minority women working Wall Street investment firms.

Cecile admits that finance was not the industry of her choice. She wanted to do something different and even considered going into the diplomatic core. However, under the guidance of her mentor at university, she landed her first job as an analyst (before starting her own business) and fell in love with numbers, math, and describes the sector as the ‘Rubik’s cube’ she was looking for. 

She is a motivated, strong, courageous, and a glass-half-full person who has an insatiable hunger to learn and understand.  

Coming from a Hispanic background, Cecile went through her share of challenges. The higher up the ladder you got, the white and more male dominating the organization was.  However, thanks to professionals like Cecile Munoz, the structure is changing in a meaningful way.  

In our podcast, Cecile gives a refreshing and transparent narrative about how her experience as a Hispanic woman inspired her to create an executive search company that’s helping advisory firms redefine what leadership looks like, especially post-pandemic.  

She says that she never lets challenges define her goal. Instead, because of the inequality and discrimination she experienced in the business world, she was motivated more than ever to channel her difficult experiences toward a positive future, in which she can help herself and others avoid what she went through.

Through her financial and consultancy services, she’s committed to empowering everyone, especially women from minority groups and challenged backgrounds. Furthermore, she serves the boards of numerous civic and non-profit organizations and is a designated media representative for the California Republican Party on issues affecting the Hispanic community. 

Cecile is equally fascinated by understanding the deepest emotions and exploring the depth of human passion and compassion. From her 28 years of experience, she explains that female-identified characteristics such as being cooperative, social, self-deprecating along with being empathetic and adaptable are skills that lend themselves well to the financial services industry.

Cecile also talks about her life outside work. When she’s not in the office, you can find her co-hosting a podcast with Juan Fernandez called “Ends With Z” to inspire people on how to thrive in life, as individuals, and as a community. 

When Cecile was around 50 years of age, she had a serious accident and had to undergo surgeries on her legs, hips, and thighs. Doctors warned her that she might not be able to walk. However, thanks to her fighting spirit and supportive family, upon recovery, she joined ballroom dance and even started competing!

She now aims to win the next ballroom competition in American Rhythm. WOW. 

Don’t miss Cecile’s tips throughout the episode if you’re searching for encouragement and empowerment. Listen to Cecile Munoz’s episode and utilize these three strategic concepts to help you become the best version of yourself. 

  1. Have an appetite to learn. “I am strong and courageous because I am centered. I know who I am, and I value the process of learning,” Cecile says. Her drive and passion for curiosity has led her to where she is today. Don’t be afraid to be curious about what’s around you and learn more about who and what inspires you each day. 
  2. Cultivate your entrepreneurial spirit. Cecile says that it is okay to be an entrepreneur, an employee, or whatever position you feel is calling you. She encourages women to get in touch with themselves and determine what makes you happy. 
  3. Never let your challenges define your goals. In Cecile’s words, she uses the challenges she faces to re-think her path. Don’t let your own limitations define your bath and push through. You can empower yourself through these challenges. 

Show Notes:

It is an absolute pleasure to welcome Cecile Munoz In The Suite for this episode. Cecile has been the the Founder and President of U.S Executive Search & Consulting for over 28 years, and a show host of the ‘Ends with Z’ podcast.

 

Cecile has been an entrepreneur since the age of 11,  when she built her first pop-up concession stand during movies in her backyard in a very rural hometown. With over 28 years of experience in financial services, she’s one of a very small group of executive search firms owned and run by minority women working specifically with Wall Street investment firms. 

Cecile is fascinated by numbers and understanding the deepest emotions and exploring the depth of human capital and compassion.  She’s committed to empowering everyone, and especially women from minority groups and challenged backgrounds. She believes that if women want to experience freedom and the variety of life,

“they better know their money.” 

says Cecile.

In today’s episode, Cecile gives a refreshing and transparent narrative about how her experience as a Hispanic woman inspired her to create an executive search company that’s helping advisory firms redefine what leadership looks like, especially post-pandemic.  

She is a motivated, courageous, and a glass-half-full person who wants to channel her difficult experiences toward a positive future. The power of her words and example is something we all need to remember:  “We become our own limitations of what’s possible” she says. 

Join the conversation to hear about:

  • Welcome, Cecile! 
  • About the company and why she chose this industry (3:48)
  • Her first customers (08:50)
  • How she responded to a stereotyping comment (10:00)
  • How can women amass money effectively (15:25)
  • Where Cecile’s strength comes from (17:00)
  • Cecile on her divorce (21.55) 
  • The gift of the pandemic (27:00)
  • How are women in the financial services industry dealing with the pandemic (30:35)
  • Advice women interviewing (38:00)
  • When should one seek the expertise and help of a recruiter? (43:48)
  • Ballroom dancing impact on personal and professional life (51:10)

Referenced Material:

Cecile Munoz Twitter
Cecile Munoz LinkedIn
U.S. Executive Search & Consulting
RIA Biz
Adapting Your Leadership Style with Cecile Munoz
Adapting Your Leadership Style to Meet the Current Times
Ends with Z Podcast
Ron Okubo & Cecile Munoz Ballroom Dance
Cecile Munoz Dances at USDC Finals Nationals 2017
Top RIA Business Executive Recruiter Hosts Event in a New York ballroom for second-guessing themselves
U.S. Executive Search Munoz
Bureau of Labor Statistics

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