Most people would say creativity, hard-working, problem-solver. But here are some additional traits to consider.
1) Taste. Creativity is highly subjective. Some may like one thing, others something else. However, great ad people have an instinct about what is avante garde and what’s just over the top. It’s not a perfect instinct, mind you. Though you’ll find they’re right most of the time.
2) Judgment. Again, this is a hard one to clearly define. But a great ad person simply has a honed sense of what’s the right thing to do in a given situation. They may not always be right. But they usually took the best action given the circumstances.
3) Flexibility. Great ad people can adapt to a constantly changing environment. They have a keen sense of where the wind is blowing and are able to redirect themselves as needed.
4) Obstinacy. At the same time, they also know when to stand their ground for something they believe in. They’re not afraid to fight and are willing to fall on their sword for a good idea.
5) Hunger. There is not a single agency partner, creative director, director of accounts, or any other director in an agency that doesn’t have a ton of passion for what they do.
6) Respect. It would be nice if this was a blanket-wide feeling towards everyone they interact with, but we’ve all met very talented ad people that don’t necessarily respect everyone equally. But they do respect those that can play the game as well as them.
7) Interest. Everyone says, “passion.” But it’s more of an insatiable curiosity in the craft. They want to explore and learn and grow. There’s no end to it. Just, “what’s next?”
8) Accountability. Winners want the ball. They put themselves in situations where it’s all on them. Win or lose. They also realize that it’s not about the number of times you fail. What matters is how many times you win big.
Are there more? Sure. But you’re off to a great start if you can live up to these.