20 Entrepreneurs Explain Some of the Traits They Admire in Innovators

Anyone can be an innovator, but it takes special traits to lead in innovation. It’s about how you implement the lessons you gain along the way and dare situations as they come. It’s about being future-oriented, paying special attention to details and putting yourself in a vulnerable situation when you think it’s worth the risk.

We asked entrepreneurs and business owners about the traits they admire in innovators and here are the responses;

#1- Unapologetic and driven mindset

Photo Credit: John Li

A trait that I highly admire with innovators is their unapologetic and driven mindset to focusing on the process of development. This is admirable because I resonate with their ability to constantly and consistently figure out ways to improve, even when situations seem impossibly difficult to gather. Just the mere fact of taking action is what pushes business initiatives Forward, and innovators with these traits have direction despite the bump and roadblocks that they face as leaders.

Thanks to John Li, Fig Loans!

#2- Several traits

Photo Credit: Alex Mastin

Innovators are a small percentage of the global society, and I believe are the dreamers that make our daily lives better. They work tirelessly to discover problems and tirelessly and often thanklessly work on finding a solution. Innovators inspire me to do more for the people around me, to be grateful for my successes, and appreciate from my failures. They’re able to manage to overcome the daily pressures that overwhelm the majority of the population to help people. I admire their ability to face adversity, have the mental discipline and strength to take a chance on opportunities willing to invest tremendous time and effort into making it happen. Innovators remind me there’s always room to improve and grow as a business owner and as an overall human.

Thanks to Alex Mastin, Home Grounds!

#3- Taking risks

Photo Credit: Michael Branson

I admire innovators who are fearless. They take risks and aren't afraid to ask tough questions. Sometimes it may produce an undesirable result but you never know if you don't try. As Wayne Gretzky once said You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take.

Thanks to Michael Branson, All Reverse Mortgage, Inc.!

#4- Consistency and persistence

Photo Credit: Naomi Assaraf

The trait I admire most in entrepreneurs is actually the willingness to persist even when things don't go the way you hope they will, which happens far more often than most of us care to admit. Consistency and persistence are very underrated in the world of entrepreneurship.

Thanks to Naomi Assaraf, cloudHQ!

#5- Valuing diversity

Photo Credit: Olivia Young

When you see someone who embraces various ideas from people with various backgrounds, you see they’re already on the road to success. It’s easy for people to shut down an idea from someone right away because they don’t trust it. But for someone to embrace it and actually listen is something I find really admirable.

Thanks to Olivia Young, Conscious Items!

#6- Originality

Photo Credit: Aylon Steinhart

In a world where everything is inspired by something else, it’s always fascinating to see someone come out and create or do something no one has ever thought of and that is so out of this world. People who stray from the norms are often the most successful and the most fun to watch.

Thanks to Aylon Steinhart, Eclipse Foods!

#7- Impact

CEOs whose mission is to make an impact and change people’s lives for the better. Whether it is education and technology, food assistance, bringing water supply to those who have none, among others. Our biggest responsibility is to leave the world a better place, or at least better than we found it, and to me this means helping people who need the most in our own communities and around the world. In addition, CEOs who encourage their own team members and employees to give back to their own communities. In order to help people, you don’t need to travel to a developing country, although it would be a great thing to do, but there are people in need of so many things in our city, state and country. In summary, I like to look beyond just the list of accomplishments in the business side of things, and see how much their impact on people's lives, usually the ones who cannot even return the favor.

Thanks to Chris Kindler, Alight (formerly American Refugee Committee)!

#8- Ability to resist the phrase, “This is how it’s done.”

Photo Credit: Seth Price

You know, when we’re young in our twenties, we never think that we will become the older person who is stuck in their ways. Then, as we age, many of us become comfortable in our routine and submit to the status quo. Innovators and entrepreneurs resist that. They take risks and try new things because they are constantly thinking there must be a better way. Sometimes that will get them into trouble, hence the need for business law, but other times it is incredibly fruitful and brings the world something that had never before been considered.

Thanks to Seth Price, Price Benowitz LLP!

#9- Three traits

Photo Credit: Kevin Sahin

Curiosity belies a fascination with mechanics, allowing one to view things in creative new ways. The drive for self-improvement takes raw curiosity and channels it into elegant forms.  The last bit is more personal but just as important to the innovative process. Being able to step outside yourself and view your work objectively means you could make better-informed decisions that lead to better results.

Thanks to Kevin Sahin, ScrapingBee!

#10- The confidence they hold

Photo Credit: William Taylor

This gives them a strong front that makes it easier to influence. Being able to influence and create a work efficient workplace are just few of the impacts of an innovator. Being an effective innovator also means you have excellent social and communication skills. This will create a smoother channel of ideas and suggestions by team members. Other than an innovator being able to talk, an innovator should also be a great listener. This helps employees build trust and be reassured that their efforts are valued by the company

Thanks to William Taylor, VelvetJob!

#11- Person-centered and positivity

Photo Credit: Chelsea Rivera

It's one thing to be able to come up with great ideas, but big-picture thinking has more than enough room to be able to account for the human side of the experience. How does the user feel about the tool? Does it feel like a friendly place to be able to work in? Do they get support? Those questions matter, and just makes for good UX. Constructive positivity. A positive mindset doesn't have to be ungrounded. In line with the person-centered approach I mentioned above, I also think that it's healthy to be critical of things in ways that improve the experience for everyone. How could I make this experience better given the feedback I've received? I'm not going to disparage anyone for not getting it, rather, it's on me to find out why my vision didn't translate.

Thanks to Chelsea Rivera, Honest Paws!

#12- Learning and taking action

Photo Credit: Michael Humphreys

I admire that innovators take action on their plans and hypotheses. This is one of the reasons why they always discover new things before anyone does. They allocate time and budget to understand and know if their ideas will work. Another trait I admire is that they can accept failure openly and move on to find out solutions. This keeps them actively learning and discovering new innovations without wasting time. I admire those people who don’t belittle other people’s ideas. A true innovator takes everyone’s comments, feedback, and ideas into consideration.

Thanks to Michael Humphreys, Z Grills Australia!

#13- Conscientiousness

Photo Credit: Francisco Remolino

Their customer-first approach ensured the stability of their business. They built lasting relationships with customers by carefully listening to their needs and solving them practically. As a result, they successfully expanded their businesses from one solution to another.

Thanks to Francisco Remolino, Remolino Associates!

#14- Going against the norm

Photo Credit: Lauri Kinkar

They don't let conventional restraints stop them from making breakthroughs. I think it's what I admire the most from every innovator I know. Great innovators don't have a box to think outside from. They know that such a box doesn't exist and they still manage to be creative in their own way. They don't follow the norm. They do things differently and they push boundaries despite what their naysayers might say. They push through with their ideas and focus on the things they believe in.

Thanks to Lauri Kinkar, Messente!


Photo Credit: Shivbhadrasinh Gohil

Experimenting leads to results and thus knowledge. Not just following the established results blindly but experimenting with things is what I admire that innovators have. What has not worked for others may sometimes be fruitful for us. Thus, I have learned that always experiment with things that you consider may be helpful in your industry.

Thanks to Shivbhadrasinh Gohil, Meetanshi!

#16- Innovators don't fear change

Photo Credit: Robert Johnson

Change is the only constant thing in the world, however there are some people that just can't accept it and don't know how to move on. On the other hand, innovators embrace change, they crave for change, they explore things, they always want to try something new. That's why they grow, learn and succeed because it takes courage to accept change, how much more if you are the one who's making a change.

Thanks to Robert Johnson, Sawinery!

#17- Critical thinking abilities

Photo Credit: Caroline Lee

Being a business owner, I admire innovators who have the guts to work smartly and take risks for betterment. Although anyone could be an innovator, it requires unrivaled traits to lead in it. Countless traits are there for an innovator to look into! But according to my personal preference, I prefer those who have the potential to go ahead amidst crucial situations. Innovators should have critical thinking abilities, which is highly admirable. Every innovator out there possesses similar attributes like a bias for action. Therefore, the leading game changers must include eye-catching attitudes towards investigating, which allows them to take steps today instead of tomorrow.

Thanks to Caroline Lee, CocoSign!

#18- Courage/bravery

Photo Credit: Arno Markus

Having the courage to face every challenge during their road to innovation makes me admire innovators more. They don’t give up easily and constantly pushing themselves to the limit just to make their ideas come to life. Not all people will understand them, but their bravery to accept criticism and their ability to not be affected by it makes them extraordinary.

Thanks to Arno Markus, iCareerSolutions!

#19-  Patience

Photo Credit: Deborah Sweeney

There is a mutual understanding that for an offering or service to succeed it cannot happen overnight. There needs to be an investment of time, energy, and effort to ensure it is a quality offering. Innovative entrepreneurs work hard to resolve any hiccups with their products or services early on. They also make sure to protect that intellectual property through filing for trademark, copyright, and/or patent protection. Being an entrepreneur requires patience in all aspects of small business. Some things may not happen according to schedule or as you envision, but that's usually for a good reason. Practicing patience allows you to comfortably accept this and steadily keep working towards your goals.

Thanks to Deborah Sweeney,!

#20- Ambition

Photo Credit: Ryan Salomon

Ambition is something that I love in every innovator. Being ambitious is really the most important trait that anyone should have when trying to innovate or disrupt an industry. If you can shoot for the stars and map out a way to make your goal successful, then you will find that people will want to join you on your journey. Ambition is something that everyone has, but not everyone knows how to put it to use. Let your ambition fuel your fire for success and push you to achieve your goals and reinvent yourself and the field you are in.

Thanks to Ryan Salomon, Kissmetrics!

What are some of the traits that innovators have that you admire? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

Mercy - CBNation

This is a post from a CBNation writer. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue 16 Media.

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