I have a friend who is struggling with Multiple Sclerosis and had to make a very difficult decision. He was the CEO of a multimillion dollar corporation. When he started as CEO the company bounced a check they had issued him for moving expenses. When he retired, the company have over a million in the bank and was thriving beyond belief. They had just expanded into a brand new facility.
He was forced to retire due to his MS. It was a difficult decision but the stress of his position exacerbated his condition. He had to choose between leadership or survival. This made me think of Tony Snow. Tony Snow took on one of the most difficult jobs on the planet at a time when his job was unpopular. Day after day Tony Snow was a punching bag for the hostile White House press corps. Added to this was the struggle Tony Snow faced with cancer.
I applaud Tony Snow for leaving the comfort of a show he controlled to the cage match of giving White House press briefings. I had to admire the tenacity of Tony Snow as he faced a hostile room day after day. Tony Snow really had an impossible job.
While looking online I found an interview between Tony Snow and Doug Wead. They were talking about the children of the presidents and how difficult the White House was on kids. The children of the presidents unfortunately had a bad track record. Tony Snow seemed genuinely surprised as Doug Wead told how time and time again the children of presidents died prematurely. Little did Tony Snow realize that he would be entering into that fray.
My friend made the difficult decision to step down from his position of leadership. Adding to his struggle with MS the stress of being a CEO just made things more difficult. I was there when he made the decision to step down and it was a difficult one. He felt that there was so much more work to be done. I can only imagine that Tony Snow felt the same way. The footage of his last day at the White House was bittersweet. There is a physical toll that leadership takes. Tony Snow is a reminder of how to confront that toll with class and dignity.