SPE-KSA Technical & Professional Program NMO Roundtable Discussion: Leadership Journey  

By Rawan Tahifh & Faisal Aldossary, SPE-KSA T&PP Team Members

SPE-KSA Technical & Professional Programs committee successfully hosted its first event of the term on October 25, 2023, a captivating roundtable discussion titled “Leadership Journey”, organized by the NMO team. This thought-provoking discussion delved into the essential characteristics of exceptional leaders and emphasized the significance of the journey itself. Moderated by Rayan Alghanim, a Petroleum Engineer at Saudi Aramco, the discussion was enriched by distinguished guests Majed Al-Dubaikel, CEO of Shabab Mujtamaie; Bedoor Al-Kaabi, Career Development Manager at Saudi Aramco; and Dr. Mohammed Al-Naimi, Leadership Instructor at Saudi Aramco. Each shared invaluable perspectives, sparking engaging conversations and profoundly impacting the SPE-KSA community. The event witnessed an impressive attendance of 105 enthusiastic participants, setting them on their own transformative path to effective leadership.

According to our distinguished panel, leadership goes beyond commanding a team or holding a title. A leader serves as a guiding light, a mentor, and a source of inspiration. Their combined wisdom sheds light on the nuanced aspects of leadership in the modern era, delving into the principles that surround the evident qualities of a leader and the prospects for aspiring young individuals within Saudi’s Vision 2030. The discussion unveiled intrinsic qualities that distinguish exceptional leaders apart, such as empathy, mindfulness, consciousness, and visionary thinking.

Effective leadership begins with the ability to establish meaningful connections and articulate ideas clearly. Building robust networks and nurturing open lines of communication are foundational skills. The speakers emphasized that leaders are motivators who lead by example, infusing positivity and instilling a sense of purpose in their teams. Open communication and a feedback-driven environment were conveyed as pivotal, fostering trust and collaboration.

Leaders are entrusted with making crucial decisions, often in high-stress situations. Their ability to make well-informed, timely choices is crucial to progress. The speakers acknowledged that mistakes are inevitable, but a great leader learns from them, demonstrating resilience and growth. Great leaders are adept problem-solvers who confront challenges head-on, offering innovative solutions that drive their teams forward. Self-awareness, continuous self-assessment, and self-discipline were emphasized as catalysts for personal growth. The concept of “starting with why” as quoted by Simon Sinek, was mentioned, underscoring the power of giving people a purpose and its impact on the entire team. Leaders with high emotional intelligence can understand and connect with their teams on a deeper level, resulting in higher morale and productivity. The speakers stressed that leaders are committed to nurturing the growth and success of those they lead, while maintaining a positive attitude that reflects on the workforce.

To encapsulate the key takeaways from the discussion, empathy was highlighted as a cornerstone of effective leadership, building trust and strong connections. The importance of having a vision was also emphasized, along with simplicity and authenticity. Leaders who keep things straightforward and remain approachable create an environment where individuals feel comfortable and engaged.

Amid the demands of leadership, our speakers offered a heartfelt reminder to young professionals: prioritize a balanced life. It is essential to set clear boundaries, maintain meaningful relationships, and allocate time for self-care. Achieving this balance enhances well-being and fosters long-term career satisfaction and success. Leadership is a continuous process of improvement and personal development to be savored along the way. The current generation is willing to take risks and lead, but they need to learn and listen to navigate difficult conversations.

The event concluded with a discussion on the most important qualities of a leader, as highlighted by each of our panelists. Dr. Mohammed Al-Naimi explained that empathy is the greatest tool, while esteemed speaker Majed Al-Dubaikel emphasized adaptability and the ability to make decisions swiftly. Bedoor Al-Kaabi stresses the importance of work-life balance to avoid burnout and insists that experience enhances leadership but is not essential. Pursuing leadership cultivates personal growth and necessary skills, shaping one’s character.

The discussion underscored that leadership must be adaptable and ready to embrace change, emphasizing that it is a skill that requires ongoing refinement. A leader should perpetually learn, grow, and continuously evolve because leadership is not just about wielding power; it’s about influencing, nurturing, and forging connections. Effective leadership is a continuous journey that can be profoundly rewarding when embraced with the right mindset and values.

A crucial takeaway from the discussion was the importance of self-awareness. The panelists highly recommended “The Extraordinary Leader” as an invaluable resource to partake in a comprehensive 360-Degree Assessment, which aims to assist individuals in identifying areas of improvement and key strengths. 

[[The Extraordinary Leader™️ – ZENGER FOLKMAN] (https://zengerfolkman.com/solutions/360-degree-feedback-experiences/extraordinary-leader/)]

To gain insights into the roundtable discussion, scan the QR code. [https://www.instagram.com/reel/Czgix7hiTMb/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==]