Hubby and wife eggheads at Yale have penned a work together, The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America in which they claim three traits of individuals somehow translates into collective successes. These eggheads do not seem to know what success means. 

Success means getting what you want, when you want it and in the way you want it. That is all it means. Success isn't relegated to the measure of money.

Success is the end point, the effect from a string of other causes to effects that we call action. You get to success through focusing your action (causal chain efforts).

Having a driving, idealized purpose, focusing on that purpose to the exclusion of all else, having expectation of achievement, seeing oneself as a leader, catching glimpses in the mind's eye of what are intermediate steps contribute to success and experiencing those steps. 

Success is mostly about independence, the combo of  self-assertion and self-expression, being the one who does not succumb to peer pressure, who ignores the call of being one of many and instead rises above the peer group.

To outsiders, this drive to an idealized purpose, this self-assertion and this self-expression gets wrapped up in one word, ambition.