An international assignment can be among the most exciting and challenging transitions that an aspiring leader can undertake. With the right planning and attitudes, taking on that kind of leadership role can stretch capabilities, challenge assumptions, and steer both people and profits in a positive direction. But an expat assignment can also be a harrowing journey. Indeed, if they've never made an international move before, emerging leaders can fall into common traps that can severely stress their family bonds, negatively affect their performance at work, damage their businesses, and even lead to outright career derailment. In this article, Clouse, the managing director of Kraft Foods Brazil, and Watkins, the author of The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels, offer three best practices for handling the personal-change challenges that go along with an overseas assignment. Settling the family in, adapting your communication style, and ensuring that you understand the new regulatory environment you're operating in are all critical for a successful transition, they advise.
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