049 – Embracing Your Onlyness

In her previous books, Nilofer Merchant has taught us how to “create business solutions through collaborative strategy” (The New How) and has shared the 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era. Now she’s back with a new tome, The Power of Onlyness, and such luminaries as Susan Cain, Amy Cuddy, and Dan Pink are already singing its praises. Its premise is this: the Internet has been the great leveler, demolishing hierarchies and giving all of us, regardless of our status, a platform to spread our message and change the world—as long as we embrace and harness our “onlyness”, that one thing that sets us apart from everyone else. During our chat, we touch upon the following:

  • Why you no longer need to be part of an organization or require capital to make a dent in the world
  • How do we define—and own—our onlyness? Can we do it ourselves?
  • Those questions that you can’t answer and don’t leave you alone are really the first step in discovering your onlyness
  • Encountering fear and anger while striving to embrace your onlyness
  • Bringing our authentic selves to our interactions with others (and the sobering fact that 61% of us don’t reveal our true selves in the workplace)

We all have the power to make a dent in the world, and it lies within our onlyness.

Note: Unfortunately we encountered an audio issue during the recording of our interview with Nilofer. We apologize and hope that the quality of the conversation will help make up for it.

Actionable Quote
“Onlyness is that idea that only you see–and as you see it and pull on it, it tugs you [in the direction] of your own meaning, your own purpose, your own manifestation.”

The Power of Onlyness summary
The Power of Onlyness excerpt
Avoiding the Air Sandwich (2011 Actionable Books video interview)
The New How summary


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