By  on February 8, 2013

Rewards for successful leadership may be as astronomical as ever, but so are the demands. “The chief executive officers in the cosmetics and fashion industry today face entirely different challenges than those of years ago,” observes Leonard A. Lauder, chairman emeritus of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. and the beauty industry’s master when it comes to leadership. “Today, they must wear multiple hats and be able to understand all aspects of the challenge in front of them. They’ve got to understand finance, be creative and be able to hire the most creative people in the world. They’ve got to also understand the world and the new technologies that are changing the face of business everywhere. That’s a large order.”

In the view of top thinkers both in business and academia, the increasingly slippery path of leadership for the typical ceo is looking more like a high-wire act. There’s more pressure from boards for quicker results, the lifespan of the job has shrunk, the speed of technological change has spawned competitors at a dizzying rate, globalization has widened the playing field and thanks to social media, everyone gets to be an expert critic.

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