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What is C2D? Is that a new Chemical compound?

No, it means ‘Courage To Decline.’

It takes exemplary courage to say “No” particularly when the chips are down.

‘Job loss’, ‘Pink slip’, ‘Furlough’ are common terms now. There’s rampant blood bath all over the canvas as an IMF estimate says the global economy will cumulatively shed around $ 9 trillion because of the Covid19 impact.

Lure of lucre? Lure of glitter that ain’t real? Lure of fake accolade that would vanish in a flash? Lure of Tin medals? Lure of a bounty not commensurate with one’s profile?

Maybe some, maybe all on offer yet there are some around us bestowed with steely resolve and audaciously decide to look the other way.

One may occasionally come across a shady offering that would compel to bring out pearls of tenet from deep within – you take a stand and boldly turn it down.

Here’s a laundry list that has stood the test of time helping me decide when to turn down an offer :


  • Plate full : One needs to constantly gauge the professional commitments in hand before tendering acceptance or refusal. The fine work-life balance is paramount. And, is non-negotiable. One works to live and not the other way around. Accept a challenge only if you are convinced to do justice to it. Do not overburden oneself with tasks only to give shoddy outputs later. It is better to decline an assignment than to tarnish reputation. Remember your personal brand matters and often before you as an individual arrive, your brand does.


  • Over stretching : Many swear by the dictum of multi-tasking particularly in start-ups where they are expectantly need driven. Fine but do remember there’s limit to elasticity before excessive stretching ruptures the cord. Do not add the proverbial last straw on camel’s back that it collapses under the sheer weight i.e. expectations.


  • Restrained by principles : Strong principles and high moral values are the cornerstones that guide you in case of a dilemma. One strong ‘anchor principle’ of mine has been staying away from competitors within the same industry. On multiple occasions have closed the door on overt attempts to get swayed by companies jostling in the same domain. Trading your success-story for few zeros more to your salary from the one you despised till the other day, is not kosher.


  • Humanly unattainable : There might come situations that on the face of it you instantly know is better to let go e.g. For executing these 3 tasks in 3 months you are offered $ 1 billion – Win Wimbledon, Hit 6 sixes in an over and Scale Mt Everest. Thanks, but no thanks!

What is the point when you know such challenges are raw cruel jokes!


  • No to temptations : Drawn by momentary inducements people fall for them, to regret immensely later. Ample examples are there where we see star performers falling to temptations only to flunk miserably, in no time.


  • Fake bravados : Noticed, swayed by peer pressure or because of high demand quotient, people agree and take assignments only to fail with their commitments. Deadlines missed; silly excuses offered. Do not traverse that path instead refuse upfront.

It is suggested to learn the art of not saying ‘Yes’ under duress. Many times, it becomes difficult to reverse such commitments. There is a popular adage in corporate world – ‘Never Overpromise and Underdeliver’

  • ‘Red Flag’ proposals : Often proposals come that have ‘red flag’ attached, inherently. Have seen year after year folks offering hundreds of awards, each with a price tag dangling. Once, an agency even offered a discount coupon to redeem for agreeing to ‘buy’ their award within 3 days. No wonder people forget such awards as soon as they are conferred. On the flip side, this practice of buying awards has sadly devalued the whole noble gesture of celebrating each other’s success.

Stay strong and learn to say a loud & clear ‘No’ to any such solicitation.

We all learn from mistakes. Falling to temptations is one where even seasoned professionals have erred. Better is to steel oneself and learn to decline offers that do not add value in the long run. Be your best judge – after all no one knows the person in mirror better than yourself.

(Author – Sabyasachi Dutta, Managing Director – Vidatec India)

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