For me the three things that make great design happen are empathy, candor and optimism. Without empathy for whom we design for, we are designing in the dark. Without candid feedback one does not know what to improve. And without optimism there is no reason to ever start a project or let alone bring it to its conclusion.
The best project teams I have ever been part of worked hard every day to make this happen. They invite and celebrate curiosity. They are able to evaluate ideas free from personal attachment. It is in this environment I find myself the happiest. It’s when being a designer is the best thing in the world. And it is what makes me want to tackle things I am afraid of.