Leading Globally with LaVonne
Updated: Apr 11
LaVonne Moon - Director, Global Executive Talent Acquisition at Eaton Corporation
While being a mom of three is impressive in itself, LaVonne Moon is also a leader of a global executive search team, and she has quite the resumé of leading teams and building careers. LaVonne began her professional career in the retail cosmetics industry throughout and after college, but she soon learned that she strived for more. She longed for an opportunity to develop in another direction and that’s when she pursued a recruiting opportunity for Barney’s New York. Although she was unsure of what the title of “Recruiter” would bring to her and knew that the opportunity brought a salary decrease, LaVonne took a chance after visiting a career fair where she learned about the recruiting space and then started her 20+ year journey into recruiting.
After undergoing initial training to prepare her for this field, LaVonne was introduced to Executive Recruiting through a Cleveland-based connection. “I was thrown into a very new, much higher-level client space…and that’s where I found my passion,” she said. She also mentioned that taking the non-traditional career route is what gave her a deeper admiration and value for how and where she is currently making her mark on the world. In this field, she marries her incredible people skills and technical skills to progress her career by leading teams and building careers under her. As a current Director of a global team, she both leads colleagues and completes executive recruiting searches while valuing the backgrounds, differences, and efforts of all those involved.
Knowing how difficult it can be to enter a male-dominated field as a woman, we asked about her experiences with workplace challenges such as promotions and advancements. LaVonne shared, “I felt very lucky to have the chance to be in a situation where I was exposed to groups of people that I had not been with previously. I knew early on that I would have to be the best.” She quickly realized that ‘good’ wasn’t good enough when you're the only woman in the room and turned this into the motivation which she needed to become successful and respected in her field. She says, “the fact that you’re one of very few in some situations makes it clear that you have to put yourself out there in a different way.” This perception pushed her to work harder and beyond what should be expected of her role. Now, with the knowledge of what it takes to be successful, she reflects on her journey and says that the current culture has shifted to allow for more flexibility when it comes to putting yourself first over your career. She also recognizes the changing nature of society and says she notices exclusionary behavior changing for the better, thanks to those who have come before us.
Having a mentor is a pivotal pillar of LaVonne's advice when it comes to creating and maintaining a successful career. She explained, “My role in executive hiring has enabled me to see every industry and I will confirm that no matter where you are at, you need partnership. You need an allyship. You need people you can go to and idea share, role play with, and react to different situations and scenarios.” She talked about how the workplace can mirror social life in many ways. Similarly to having a small-knit group of close friends or confidants, having a mentor can allow for advice and options to flow freely and can create a nurturing and uplifting environment. While still being realistic about expectations and capabilities, a mentor—at any stage of your career—can help support growth within your work life. LaVonne shared, “I’ve always heard in my career that there are people that are nice and there are people that are kind. Nice in a business setting is not viewed as positive because it is surface-level. What is viewed as being kind, is when you and I can speak truth to each other.”
Throughout our chat, LaVonne continuously highlights vulnerability, honesty, & encouragement as key pillars of growth and success. She repeatedly revisited the idea that what you may need at one point in your career can vastly change as you continue to advance and navigate a new path. She suggested keeping your past connections and recognizing them for how far you’ve come, but to continue to stay open to future opportunities which may help you go even further.
No professional role is without struggle, and we asked LaVonne how she continues to channel confidence and resilience in the face of challenges. She had one word to define the way she stands up in the face of adversity: Preparation. “In any situation where I haven’t felt confident, it’s because my level of preparation missed some areas. I rarely feel that there is a lack of self-confidence when you know your material,” LaVonne said. She recognizes that knowledge is power and advises that becoming the most educated person in your specialty can give you an advantage when it is time to show your skill. She also stresses the importance of various perspectives and how having multiple views of a situation can give you the advantage of being someone who can balance multiple ideas and help others make their own decision.
Outside of the workplace, a successful career presents additional challenges when it comes to life outside the office. Most women have dealt with the idea of work-life balance and how to achieve the ratio which works best per their circumstances. LaVonne touches on her experiences with both her corporate career role and roles as a mother and wife. She credits her partner for his support and explains that for them, “Everything is a shared responsibility. We have some areas that he takes the lead and others that I do.” LaVonne also recognizes that although she has found somewhat of a system that works for her currently, things are always changing in both her career and family life. She admits that care for herself often falls through the cracks which is a very relatable truth for many women who are seeking to keep up with the demands of both professional and home life.
Finally, we asked what LaVonne sees for the future of business and how she imagines companies can evolve to further support women in the workforce. First, she acknowledges flexible work. “I don’t care about the time. It’s not about when they are going to be sick or busy. It is about the core of the person and where they desire to go. Life is going to be constantly happening and coming at you,” she mentioned. LaVonne touches on transparency and how being honest about needs and performance abilities can not only help create realistic work expectations, but also makes for a more understanding workplace.
LaVonne is a shining light and exemplary in how to be a global leader and navigate oneself in a professional, male-dominated workplace. She has worked hard for over 20 years and thousands of hours to nearly perfect the process of performing executive retained searches and aims to pass on to other professionals on her global team. She knows that developing the next generation of leaders is to prepare them to be next in the role and to ensure that they feel supported. Serving as an extraordinary example of the power that mentorship and kindness can hold, LaVonne continues to do an incredible job of supporting and honoring those beginning to navigate the corporate world. We are lucky to have learned from such an excellent role model and hope to channel her wise words as we all continue to support the women in our lives.