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The Power of Onlyness

304 pages, 2017

business & management

business & management

1082 books


909 books


711 books

In The Power of Onlyness, Nilofer Merchant, one of the world’s top-ranked business thinkers, reveals that, in fact, we have now reached an unprecedented moment of opportunity for your ideas to “make a dent” in the world.

Now that the Internet has liberated ideas to spread through networks instead of hierarchies, power is no longer determined by your status but by “onlyness”—that spot in the world only you stand in, a function of your distinct history and experiences, visions and hopes.

If you build upon your signature ingredient of purpose and connect with those who are equally passionate, you have a lever by which to move the world. This new ability is already within your grasp, but to command it, you need to know how to mobilize others around your ideas meaningfully.

Through inspirational and instructive stories, Merchant reveals proven strategies to unleash the centrifugal force of a new idea, no matter how weird or wild it may seem. Imagine how much better the world could be if every idea could have its shot, not just the ones that come from expected people and places.

Which long-intractable problems would we solve, what new levels of creativity would be unlocked, and who might innovate a breakthrough that could benefit ourselves, our communities, and especially our economy?

This limitless potential of onlyness has already been recognized by Thinkers 50, the Oscars of management, which cited it as one of the five ideas that will shape the business for the next twenty years.

Why do some individuals make a scalable impact with their ideas, regardless of their power or status? The Power of Onlyness unravels this mystery for the first time so that anyone can make a dent. Even you.

Embrace Your Onlyness

In The Power of Onlyness, Nilofer Merchant encourages us to embrace our 'onlyness', the unique perspective and potential that only we can bring. It's about recognizing your individual value and using it to make a difference.

The Power of Ideas

Merchant believes that anyone, regardless of their status or position, can make a significant impact if they have a powerful idea. So, don't underestimate your thoughts, explore them, and see where they lead you.

Connect with Others

The book emphasizes the importance of connecting with others who share your passion. By doing so, you can create a network of support and collaboration, amplifying the power of your 'onlyness'.

Overcoming Barriers

The Power of Onlyness also explores the barriers that often prevent us from realizing our potential. Merchant encourages us to challenge these obstacles, whether they're societal norms or self-doubt, and find ways to overcome them.

Take Action

Finally, the book encourages us to take action. It's not enough to just have a great idea, you need to act on it. So, don't just sit on your ideas, take the leap and see what happens.

Quotes 4

Nilofer Merchant's The Power of Onlyness is a guide for us all to recognize our own unique value and bring it to the world.

Brene BrownBrene Brown - Research Professor

The Power of Onlyness offers a bold, inspiring, and actionable vision for how we can all make a difference.

Adam GrantAdam Grant - Organizational Psychologist

The Power of Onlyness is a book for our times, an essential read for anyone seeking to make a difference in the world.

Susan CainSusan Cain - Author, Speaker

Nilofer Merchant's The Power of Onlyness is a powerful and inspiring book that will help you harness your individual potential.

Daniel PinkDaniel Pink - Author, Speaker
Brene BrownAdam GrantSusan CainDaniel Pink


Kathryn Minshew

Kathryn Minshew


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