Polymaths – And Why You Don’t Need to Be One

Polymaths are extremely well-rounded people.  They are talented in the arts and the sciences all while having a perfect physique, and they also have the peculiar talent of making anyone feel inadequate in comparison.  These Renaissance men and women are surely to be admired, but there’s a reason they mostly stuck to the Renaissance era.  We simply don’t need them anymore.

Today, we have teams.  Diversity in the workplace is celebrated because we thrive on diversity.  Tom’s awesome at making charts and being real quiet, while Carol is the creative genius, while Rachel is the notoriously aggressive and unrelenting challenger at every turn in the project.

It makes sense.  If you had an entire team of Toms, things just wouldn’t get done.  Too many Carols would mean that direction would be lost.  And too many Rachels…..well I’m sure you can imagine that for yourself.

Team members need to be diverse in personality.  I provided a few quick examples in my article about building an efficient team.  Because each member can specialize in a certain area, the project will move much more smoothly and without hiccups.

This is where you come in, mighty project manager!  You are the hero of the people.  You manage personalities more than you manage projects.  The title “Personality Manager Hero” just wasn’t dry enough for the companies that needed to hire you, so they had to change it.  Unfortunate, really.

Your job is all about breaking a project up into tasks, delegating those tasks to the right people, and managing time so that everything comes out just right.  Kind of like a master chef, throwing ingredients in a pot and watching the kitchen timer.  You don’t need to be each of those ingredients, you just have to know how to pick them out and put them in the right spots.

So, should you ever meet one of these famed polymaths, feel a little sorry for them.  They went through a lot of trouble to get to where they are.  Then, feel AWESOME about your job, because it is a pretty neat feeling juggling all those personalities.


If ever juggling gets tiring, pick up a tool like Copper Project Management Software to easily delegate tasks, track timing, and even manage invoices with integrated Xero software!  No worries, there’s a free trial available for thirty days, so you can see for yourself how simple and easy project management can be.  As always, leave your thoughts in the comments!

Sara Border is a guest author for Copper Project.  She loves researching business management and is passionate about cultivating creativity while managing time to be efficient and productive.  She also likes to consider herself a hero and master chef, though she should probably work on not burning the steaks next time.