HRH Prince Abdulaziz: Youth comes with energy, and with energy comes ambition
As part of YLAB’s Global Leaders Dialogue series, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud takes time to share his thoughts on leadership with young employees.
The global energy industry continues to face strategic challenges, whose solutions will almost certainly come from tapping into the creativity of talented, ambitious, and energized Saudi youth.
This was the message of Saudi Arabia’s Minster of Energy, HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, during his engagement with Aramco’s youth at the Global Leaders Dialogue, a series of encounters with local and global leaders organized by Aramco’s Young Leaders Advisory Board (YLAB). The Global Leaders Dialogue is a platform that empowers the youth of Aramco to engage with role models across various industries, to obtain firsthand advice and lessons learned, embodying learning through engagements. More than 120 young employees from across the company attended the dialogue, held at the Plaza Center in Dhahran.
In a panel discussion, moderated by two YLAB members, Wesam A. Al-Zamil, a cybersecurity governance specialist, and Mohammed A. Al-Khalid, a Berri Gas Plant engineer, the minister engaged in a dialogue on a range of topics, including leadership, the future of energy, and Saudi Vision 2030. The heart of the dialogue was leadership where the minister focused on the paramount importance of it, and the need for youth to take ownership and be proactive in addressing global challenges, and also for leaders to trust and empower the youth to tackle such challenges.
Lessons of leadership
“Youth comes with energy, and with energy comes ambition,” Prince Abdulaziz said, noting that the Ministry of Energy has its own organization to promote the aspirations of its young employees.
You cannot go wrong by reaching out to the youth and asking them, ‘What are your dreams, and how would you like to be part of the company’s story line?’ People need to own what they do, and if they have a sense of ownership, that gets more buy-in, and then you have more assurance that the objectives will be achieved.
— HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud
Prince Abdulaziz shared inspiring stories from his own days as a young leader, bearing great responsibility at the Ministry of Energy during challenging times for the Kingdom. “That hot seat taught me so many things,” he said. “The best of you can come from being put into the thickest of challenges,” he added, and he encouraged young Aramcons to take on challenges that took them out of their comfort zone.
When asked about some of the most important values to uphold to ensure achieving one’s goals, he emphasized first on faith and trust, which he said was the biggest pillar that allowed him to be what he is today. The second value is honesty, which he said, “solves 70% of the problems we face.” The third value in leadership is hard work. “I wish you all could have walked through life with me, then you would really know that there is no such thing as a free lunch. You have to earn it.”
Value of a great team
During the dialogue, it was emphasized that great leaders know the value of a great team, and they surround themselves with people who will succeed with them. They work “together” and not “for each other,” and they avoid arrogance and condescension. “Be humble and share that success with others,” Prince Abdulaziz advised.
Being humble with one’s team does not mean being soft in defending the interests of the company, Prince Abdulaziz said. He urged his young audience to be proactive in finding solutions to difficult challenges.
This engagement was remarkable and left a great impact on the hearts and minds of the young Aramcons, who are now more motivated than ever to proactively and innovatively pioneer in tackling the industry’s challenges.