Here is a great article from SEO Moz about "What Really Makes a Top SEO." SEO Moz continues to provide great articles for the industry. Here is a link to the exact article. SEO Moz
I pulled out a few quotes below and provided my feedback.
"You understand everything, absolutely everything that is posted on Google Webmaster Central Blog and Digital Point Design & Development Forums and more"
I agree that Google Webmaster Blog is important, but there are a number of credible blogs and sites that will help keep SEO professionals on top of their game. I don't feel one blog or site will set you apart from the rest.
"SEO is one part of a bigger picture."
Few clients understand this premise, but surprisingly most internet marketing companies don't understand this either. You must have a strong site that can convert visitors of your site or your SEO budget is wasted. Create and test your site first before you decide SEO and online marketing is the next step.
"You love a challenge, you are cautious but confident, aware but not arrogant,"
In SEO, there is a fine line in talking over the head of your client and not speaking with enough credibility. In SEO you must be confident in your services but also be cautious with the client about their goals and objectives. For a real estate agent to become # 1 on Google for "New York Real Estate" in 30 days, just isn't realistic. Inform them of obtainable goals and how to effectively achieve those.
"You have an organized, relevant set of high profile, interesting and knowledgeable blogs and forums (no names mentioned here) that you regularly read for the latest info."
I cannot stress this point enough. It is impossible, I repeat, impossible to stay connected with this industry unless you have a relevant list of sites to constantly monitor. Continue to add to that list and continue to read. In my opinion, half of your time, if not more should be spent towards research.