Shuaib Ahmed is the very definition of the American success story. A first-generation Indian American lawyer, who now is in the process of giving back literarily with the release of his new book entitled Personal Business: Using the ASA Way to Build an Inspired, Purposeful, Team. As the book suggests, it is a showcasing of a methodology Ahmed has invented that he calls the ASA Way. In effect, the ASA Way is what one could call ‘method professionalism’ – in the spirit of the concept ‘method acting.’ Essentially, it involves the drawing from personal experience to inform distinctive leadership styles, sometimes seeing personal struggles and vulnerabilities as cruxes for some great opportunities, and even out-and-out successes. There’s never the sense Ahmed is preaching to a specific choir.


What he’s pushing with the ASA Way is something considerably straightforward, if not in some ways universal. “…if you’re an employer, it’s time to foster an environment of care and concern for your employees. Now more than ever, you owe it to them to cut the crap and act beyond the stiff, rigid, traditional boundaries separating employers from employees. Accept them as humans, as people. It’s not okay to bury your head in the sand and pretend the new world we live in is a short-term situation that will have no long-term impacts,” Ahmed writes, in decidedly plainspoken prose.

He adds, “…If you’re an employer who actually gives a shit about any of the above, you might find the following question floating through your mind: How can I invest in an environment where employees feel appreciated and cared for without breaking the bank? I’m glad you asked. Because I’m going to walk you through some ideas in the pages to come. One thing working to your advantage is the virtual environment that’s come alive as a result of the pandemic. People are more accustomed to navigating technology than before— making it a powerful tool in your arsenal (and saving you serious dollars) as you leverage it to implement the ideas you’ll find in this book. A virtual strategy also enables you to reach and empower employees across practically any geographic location. But more to come on that.”


This unapologetic humanistic front Ahmed applies to his conduct as a leader is something setting Personal Business apart. The book seems heavily influenced by the singular experience people faced during the initial, 2020 Covid outbreak. “…think about the word professionalism, and you’ll realize it’s become near synonymous with leaving your personal baggage sealed up at home,” Ahmed states, in this vein. “…If you’re a leader eager to run a successful organization, tolerating or embracing this kind of dismissive thinking is toxic to your organization and its staff. Every person is unique—so unique that there can never be an exact replica of that person. There will never be another employee like employee A. Recognizing the uniqueness of each individual and fostering a culture where it’s acceptable for staff to feel and express emotions so they can process and grow from them is more conducive and beneficial to you and them.”

Garth Thomas