Updated: Jun 23, 2022
Ego is a funny thing. It’s what gets you to the top of the corporate or political ladder - and also what brings you crushing down just as fast.
As the world witnessed Vladimir Putin get deeper and deeper into a political hole, the question must be asked - what on earth could extricate him and allow him. save face? You don’t need to be a political pundit or expert in Russian economics to conclude - not much!
It‘a the classic sunk cost fallacy combined with escalation of commitment. He has gone so far and made such a strong statement by invading Ukraine that he has little will to retreat and admit error.
Whats more, he likely has few, if any, friends and allies left.
Whomever he might have had is now long gone as citizens globally now pick up the economic pieces of his actions with exploding oil prices at the pump. Combined with inflationary pressures. the Russian invasion has cost mega-brands operating in Russia a small Tsar’s fortune to extricate themselves.
No brand or professional company was allowed to profit-reap without fear of being openly sanctioned by global customers or publicly cancelled by society and shareholders. When McDonald's was relatively slow to announce its immediate extrication, they felt the wrath of public scorn.
Now months later what can Putin realistically do to escape this conundrum with a modicum of dignity and political capital intact?
His plan failed. Zelensky is the celebrated heroic leader defending his people. The world united against bullying Russia. Even the oligarchs paid the price.
Surely it is only a matter of time. But whatever the time, it will be slow and a Vladimir volte-face is now in order.
We continue to wait.