That's a question I ask me often, too. And speaking frankly, I haven't a straight answer yet, but I found three recurrent topics:
And remember: Context matters! The necessary skill set to start a new business in web design is going to be quite different from the necessary skill set to start a gold mining operation. Only the soft skills shall remain for sure.
I would say its "break-wall-ness" meaning that it is a person who overcomes obstacles.
I can answer about entrepreneurs.
I say you need to be a bit obsessive about your business idea.
In the time that any cold logical analysis indicates you should drop your idea, you will keep going.
Many other qualities mentioned above are good for managers. However, I have seen too many successful managers with completely different set of skills.
It seems that the business game can be played effectively in too many ways.
There are 3 important skills :
For all the rest you can always find somebody to do it !
I would add to the mix of consideration: humility.
I think that the entrepreneur of a start-up needs to be prepared to confront the reality that everything they thought was true -- isn't. Everything they were certain of -- might not be. The way they knew it should be -- might not.
Like the surfer that respects the deadly power of the sea, or the mountain climber that honors the danger of the mountain -- I think that a good entrepreneur must be humble in the face of the enormity of the process of creating something new.
From that humility comes the willingness to surround themselves with people smarter than they. The ability to truly listen to the customer who request a different set of feature priorities. The skill to adapt to the realities of the changing market around them.