King Abdul-Aziz the First King of Saudi Arabia Introduction Leadership according to management experts involves the social influence of people by anindividual. Leadership entails winning the support and assistance of other people to achieve a common goal. There are several charateristics that good leaders should posses, others that they should not manifest. Stated in other words, there are certain characteristics that bad leaders do not have. Some of the desirable characteristics of leaders include honesty, courage, confidence, assertiveness, humility, empathy, selflessness, competent, inspiring, and intelligent just to mention a few. This paper will analyse the leadership traits of King Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia. Courageous and Uniting King Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud, was the first king and the founder of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the third Saudi state. Abdul Aziz, commonly referred to as Ibn Saud, was born on 15th January, 1876 in Riyadh in the Najd region, central Arabia. His early life was not such a pleasant one. When he was 14 years of age, his home area was attacked by the Al Rashid and this forced him and his family to seek refuge with the Al-Murrah, a tribe in the desert of Saudi Arabia. The family later moved to Kuwait. He and his family survived by conducting raids on the Najd. In 1902, while observing Ramadan, Abdul Aziz decided to attack Riyadh, his ancestral capital and recapture it from their rivals, the Al-Rashid. After re-capturing Riyadh, Abdul Aziz continued with his conquests in the east, the Hijaz along the red sea coast and the remaining central region of Najd. After the re-capture of Riyadh, many people who were initially supporters of the house of Saud joined his call for arms. Together with his force, they recaptured close to half the region of Najd from the Rashidis. This was between 1913 and 1926 (Troeller, 145). Abdul Aziz made a declaration calling the three regions as unified as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The actions of the king as noted above show that he was very courageous and sought to unite people, although he might have used violence in doing this. Great Achievements During the time of the World War I, the British government set on pace some good diplomatic relationship with Abdul Aziz. In 1915, the British government entered into a treaty with the House of Saud called the Treaty of Darin. This treaty caused the House of Saud to become a British protectorate. It also defined the boundaries of the up coming Saudi state. For as long as the Treaty of Darin, remained and was still enforceable, Abdul Aziz extended his boundaries as beyond Anglo-Ottoman Blue Line. After this treaty, he stock piled all supplies and weapons provided to him by the British government. After the World War I, Abdul Aziz was further supported by the British government including surply of munitions (Troeller, 145). Shwadran (235) explains that in 1925, the forces of Abdul Aziz captured Mecca, the holy city, from Sharif Hussein bin Ali. On 10th January, 1926, Abdul Aziz became the self-proclaimed king of Hejaz in the Great Mosque at the holy city of Mecca. According to Shwadran (276), the most remarkable things about king Abdul Aziz was his innate ability to judge men. As he progressed in his rule, he gained more wisdom and knowledge on how to manage his country’s natural resources for the benefit of his people. Oil was discovered in Arabia during his reign and it is he who gave American oil companies substantial authority over Saudi oil fields. According to Meulen (126), another of the king’s greatest achievement is the unification of many tribes which were constantly at war. Each of these tribes was proud of their own traditions and lineage. During this time, he not only asserted that many tribes which were nomadic had to abandon their vendettas and petty wars but also to settle down. It is this unification of tribes by Abdul Aziz which laid the foundations for the modern Saudi Arabian state. Abdul Aziz fought against crime, in general, in Saudi Arabia inspiring his subjects to embrace peace. Apart from solving fighting and attacks among his people, he also fought against crimes directed against pilgrims visiting the two holy cities of medina and Mecca. In taking time to unite different waring factions and fighting crime, the king is seen to be selfless and considerate of his subjects’ welfare. Abdul Aziz was able to gain the loyalty of nearby states like Jordan. During the World War II he positioned his country in a neutral position though he was generally perceived to be in favour of the allies (Shwadran 256). Since 1937, Abdul Aziz was not in good terms with the British due to some of his actions. For example, in 1938, in the kingdom of Iraq, there was an attack on a main British pipeline. The attack was later found to be connected to Dr. Fritz Grobba. Abdul Aziz sheltered Grobba from political wrath. Abdul Aziz was able to participate in the Arab-Israeli war (Troeller, 145). His Islamic faith and his determination to built on and maintained on the traditions of the region were his sources of success. It is this unique merging of respect for tradition and faith coupled with an adaptation of technological advancements that marks out the kingdom of Saudi Arabia even today. Abdul Aziz’s reign ended in 1953 after over 50 years of reigning. He was succeeded by his son called Saud, who reigned for 11 years. Conclusion Abdul Aziz’s achievements and effort as a pioneering king shows that he was a great leader. He inspired his people to embrace peace and to unite. He also made assertions that helped the nation remain peaceful and united against common tradition. His greatness is celebrated even as current citizens see what Saudi Arabia has become over the years. Works cited Meulen Van. The Wells of Ibn Saud. London. John Murray. , 1957. Shwadran Benjamin. The Middle East, Oil and the Great Powers (3rd ed). New York. Wiley. 1973. Troeller Gary. The Birth of Saudi Arabia: Britain and the Rise of the House of Sa’ud. London. Frank Cass. 1976.