Everyone has a passion to pursue, and in every stage in life comes a different perspective depending on one’s intellectual maturity and their outlook on life. This passion may, for example, be linked to being successful in business, academic achievement, or reaching a competitive level in a sport.
Everyone tries to find their own passion, and for me it started with the passion for enriching my knowledge. As I was trying to assess the level of fulfillment of my passion, I figured that numbers were often the best way to make such assessment. When we are young, we are brought up to learn that academic achievement is measured through the grades we attain. Hence, my first aim was to score high grades so that I could choose any major to apply for at a university of my choice in Saudi. I applied to King Saud University and King Fahd University and got accepted. I also received scholarships from Aramco and The General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI).
I chose GOSI's scholarship and opted to study Computer Science. My passion for learning never ceased, and grades continued to be the yardstick of my success. After graduating with honors, I began my career with the same passion I have always had. Despite my first job being limited to programming, I began to network with people from different fields like information and network security and operating systems. My first major project was to link the GOSI system to Aramco, and once that was completed, it had an impact on multiple levels such as minimizing operational costs, increasing client satisfaction, and achieving timely social security payments.
To me, learning, whether programming languages or indeed any other advance technology, is only a means but not the goal, or ultimate objective. Therefore, I started to look for initiatives, which could make a bigger impact and as a programmer focus on where I was able to contribute to building and developing many diverse services.
From working with a team, influencing, and being influenced by them, I sensed a new opportunity and challenge arising. This was to assume a leadership role, and my passion for making an impact helped me take the decision and embrace this challenge.
I thought about the number of products I could develop with my own hands and the individuals these would impact, but quickly realized I would limit the scope of the impact by just relying on my own hands and mind. As I was consumed with developing products that could generate impact on a larger scale, it was then that I decided to embark on this leadership journey not only to maximize impact through other minds, but also to combine this with the use of a powerful tool such as Information Technology. The impact grew exponentially as it attracted the most passionate and curious of minds. This was an important moment as my passion for learning turned into a passion for making an impact and this resulted in the transformation of more than 98% of operations to digital, as early as 2005. It proactively provided pensions to those who needed them and avoided the need for prior requests by the different beneficiaries such as heirs, widows, and the unemployed. Naturally, this begged the next question of how to measure this impact to understand its boundaries!
Assessing impact is different from assessing academic achievement, as multiple dimensions are involved when assessing impact. These dimensions include the number of individuals affected, the duration of impact, and the depth of impact. In most cases, individuals work on specific initiatives within the scope of their organization and the impact, usually confined to this scope, will be rather limited.
Here comes the entrepreneurial mindset, as it is important to emphasize that it is not just limited to the private sector, as many may suggest. On the contrary, it is possible to undertake entrepreneurship in the government sector, where creative minds are needed to innovate and design solutions to reach goals that can serve our communities. For instance, I devoted time to develop an unconventional way to serve small enterprises with cloud solutions that could better regulate salary transfers and human capital management, while protecting the rights of private sector employees, all these culminated in the "Madad" initiative.
So how can we maximize our impact and ensure that we are delivering our very best? The Saudi Vision 2030 spells out how I, as a Saudi, can have a greater impact at a national level by contributing towards it. Because of the vision, I have reached another milestone in my journey of maximizing my impact that was influenced by my joining the exclusive 2030 Leaders Program. The program is designed and developed by Misk, the organization that carries the name of our leader. What’s more, because it is customized for Saudi, like no other leadership development program, it offers participants the chance to maximize their impact and add value towards the advancement of Vision 2030.
The program enables accomplished leaders to assume responsibility beyond their workplace and the area they live in and develop a sense of ownership towards the Kingdom. Any idea that crosses one’s mind or an action one takes is seen as an opportunity to create an impact for the nation, since the vision removes boundaries and extend ambitions beyond today and tomorrow.
So how do you become an inspirational leader who thinks ahead and unleashes creativity to make tomorrow’s impossible possible?
The 2030 Leaders Program takes a group of exceptional leaders on a learning and development journey to achieve a higher level of impact, a level that matches the ambitions of our country. 2030 Leaders doesn't only aim to instill 2030 values, but it also equips leaders with the necessary tools to analyze the world around, foresee the future and evaluate the opportunities to make a bigger impact. During the program modules offered in person, in Riyadh, leaders find themselves surrounded by brilliant minds from different sectors and with whom they gain and exchange knowledge.
The Capstone Project, an essential component of the program, is a practical opportunity to delve deep into challenges related to the vision, put forward innovative ideas and solutions and turn these into recommendations for key stakeholders. These may reach decision makers to adopt in the future.
The coaching part of the program provides the chance to better understand oneself, realize how to maximize leaders’ capabilities to maximize their impact.
The combination of the different components of the program are the perfect recipe as we cannot expect to maximize impact without preparing individuals intellectually to make that impact.
My journey started with a passion for learning after which I focused on making an impact. Our Kingdom’s vision inspires us to make an impact, and though my impact may be a drop in the ocean, I, as other leaders, continue to be motivated by the vision. My hope is to achieve exponential growth through the impact I and my fellow citizens make, and that it’s bigger than we had wished for.