It is common-place to observe that Odysseus is brave, strong, and loyal, but perhaps the most over-looked qualities--two that save him time and again--are his nimble intelligence and his ability to endure.
Odysseus' intelligence is most-often commented upon in the Iliad. At several crucial points, Odysseus is called upon to think his way out of trouble, and he is referred to at least twice as the equal of Zeus (Jove) in counsel. At one low point in Greek morale, for example, after the Greeks been soundly beaten by the Trojans and have been pushed back to their ships, Odysseus convinces the army that they are on the path to victory--even though he doesn't quite believe that himself. In the Odyssey, Odysseus creates the plan that gets himself and his remaining men out of the Cyclops' hands, and even though he foolishly tells Polyphemus his name--after all, he is a proud warrior--he and his men would have been eaten by Polyphemus had not Odysseus devised their rescue. In this case, cunning triumphed over strength.
Considering that Odysseus survives a 10-year war with Troy and then endures another 10-year voyage home to Ithaca, his power to endure difficulties imposed by nature, man, and gods is, along with his intelligence, perhaps more important than bravery and a desire for glory. Endurance is not dramatic, and it is only important over a series of episodes and a length of time, but, from the perspective of survival, endurance is paramount. One can argue that, without his intelligence and ability to endure, no homecoming, no revenge, no re-uniting with Penelope and Telemachus could have occurred.
While it is true that Odysseus is often admired for more dramatic traits, his mind and spirit allowed him to beat both time, distance, men, and gods on his way back to Ithaca.