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Summary

An innovation expert illuminates why your power to make a difference is no longer bound by your status.

If you're like most people, you wish you had the ability to make a difference, but you don't have the credentials or a seat at the table, can't get past the gatekeepers, and aren't high enough in any hierarchy to get your ideas heard.

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" on 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 meaningfully mobilize others around your ideas. 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 one of the five ideas that will shape business for next 20 years.

Why do some individuals make 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.

©2017 Nilofer Merchant (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"For any would-be activists who hear the voice 'not me' or 'not now', Merchant makes the strong case for 'yes you' and 'yes now' - and even shows you how to jump in." (Van Jones, host of CNN's The Messy Truth, author of Rebuild the Dream and The Green Collar Economy)

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ed Shepherdson
  • 07-09-17

Everyone has a purpose

Overall story and message the author was communicating is a very important message. Every voice is important and we should all learn to listen to these voices and create an environment to take action.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Derek Brookmeyer
  • 10-06-18

Inspiring stories of people making a difference

I read this book while in transition out of full time corporate employment into a self employed freelance career. It was great timing to be empowered by Nilofer’s theory on onlyness. She shares beautiful and inspiring stories of people making a difference in the the world by harnessing their uniqueness. While the book is filled with great rhetoric, it was Nilofer’s personal stories that have stuck with me. She is an excellent storyteller and her message will resonate with anyone looking to make the most of life. I listened to the book and really enjoyed hearing Nilofer narrate, which solidified the authenticity of her words.

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  • Micaiela Reid
  • 20-11-17

Listen up!

The Power of Onlyness is amazing. It takes you on a journey toward finding your purpose and passion and how others have taken those steps and where to really begin. I highly recommend!

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  • Deanna
  • 17-10-17

Exceptional

I will figure out what to use my power for...you have inspired me. The difficult part is figuring out just one thing. I would love to help with numerous things!!

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  • Brett Rieser
  • 19-09-17

Not what I expected

Would you try another book from Nilofer Merchant and/or Nilofer Merchant?

possibly.

Has The Power of Onlyness turned you off from other books in this genre?

no

Would you be willing to try another one of Nilofer Merchant’s performances?

maybe

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Power of Onlyness?

the stories were ok.

Any additional comments?

I expected more than what was delivered in this book, I was hoping to gather some kind of knowledge from experiences and take notes from the book. It didn't deliver what I was expecting and I wasn't able to finish the 8 hours... i read about 4 hours in and it just didn't keep me interested to finish.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful