Helen Green

Forget Me Not

A ruling by the European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) has potentially given search engines a headache of massive proportions. The case brought by a Spanish man, revolved around the way in which searches brought up historic data which the complainant believed affected his right to privacy. The ECJ ruling upholds this “right to be forgotten;” thus opening up the potential for hundreds of thousands of individuals to approach search engines and request that private data not be displayed.

In this internet age in which if Andy Warhol is to be believed we all seek our “15 minutes of fame” it is hard for some to appreciate that fellow human beings may desire anonymity. But take time to look around and it soon becomes obvious that whilst some will do anything they can to be noticed, others prefer to stay out of the spotlight. And this desire to be forgotten or ignored reaches far beyond any challenge to search engines.

In business, for example, it can be all too easy for leaders to fall into the habit of ‘managing’ only those who push themselves forward. But this in turn means that everyone else is in danger of being ignored. So the quiet people, the shy ones, the team members who turn up and get on with their jobs every day become simply just so much background fodder. Passed over for promotion, they soon become disengaged and produce the bare minimum.

Leadership, if it is to mean anything, is for all. And leaders who take the time to notice and encourage every member of the team may well find that these quiet team members can actually contribute far more to the overall team effort than those who push themselves forward. The message is clear; taking time to encourage, to enthuse and to empower everyone can bring some surprising rewards.