Fred Bailey: An Innocent Abroad
Fred Bailey gazed out the window of his 24th floor office at the tranquil beauty of the Imperial Palace amidst the hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo. Only six months ago, Fred had arrived with his wife and two children for his three-year assignment as the director of Klien & Associates Tokyo office.
Klien & Associates is a large, multinational consulting firm with offices in 19 countries. Fred was now trying to decide if he should simply pack up and tell the home office that he was coming home, or whether he should somehow try to convince his wife and himself that they should stay and finish the assignment. Given how excited Fred thought they all were about the assignment to begin with, it was a mystery to Fred as to how things had gotten to this point. As he watched the swans glide across the water in the moat that surrounds the Imperial Palace, Fred reflected on the past seven months.
Seven months ago, the managing partner of the main office in Boston, Dave Steiner, asked Fred to lunch to discuss ‘business’. To Fred’s surprise, the ‘business’ was not the major project that he and his team had just finished but was instead a very big promotion and career move. Fred was offered the position of managing director of the firm’s relatively new Tokyo office which had a staff of 40, including seven Americans. Most of the Americans in the Tokyo office were either associate consultants or research analysts. Fred would be in charge of the whole office and would report to a senior partner who was in charge of the Asian region. It was implied to Fred that if this assignment went as well as his past ones, it would be the last step before becoming a partner in the firm.
When Fred told his wife about the unbelievable opportunity, he was shocked at her less than enthusiastic response. His wife, Jenny, thought that it would be rather difficult to have the children live and go to school in a foreign country for three years,...
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