Judging from the comments, the "Six Qualities" list sparked one of our more interesting debates. The comments certainly had me thinking and reflecting. Some clarifications:
1) I apologize if anyone thought I was deliberately belittling Dr. Henry Jones or the Indy movies. At least one commenter seemed to have taken it personally. Not my intent. Raiders is still one of the greatest screenplays of all time and one of the best movies in anyone's film collection, including mine. But I honestly think that what I love most about that movie is its subversiveness towards the classic movie-hero tropes--most notably that if you take Indy out of that movie, the plot stays virtually intact. Okay, yeah, it might take the Nazis a little longer to find the Ark out there in the desert, but they still get their faces eaten off by tampering with Forces Unknown. ("Find the ark and get it to the US Government. He did that." Please. Only because the Villain Defeated Himself.) I really don't mind this. And, more importantly, I surrender to it.
2) I still feel like you have to stretch the definition of "successful" in order to make it fit Indy, who loses things almost as often as he finds them and manages to leave an awful lot of archaeology-unfriendly destruction in his wake, but I certainly accept that "successful" doesn't always mean "at the obvious goal" and can mean "at an unintended goal" so long as you can sell the audience on the idea that the latter's just as significant. (Not always a given.)
3) I have no idea how Frodo manages to bypass this list, but I'm convinced I could figure it out if I liked him as a character even remotely and hadn't spent eight moviegoing hours silently imploring his comrades to just leave the little bastard behind.
4) I probably should have added the word "altogether" to the statement "if my hero is missing one or more of these qualities". Not backpedalling, just emphasizing the earlier point--not every hero has to have all six qualities firing on all cylinders all the time. But, as I said, if I look back on some story of heroic fiction that I've written and realize I failed to have my protagonist hit these touchstones even once, the story feels "off" unless I did it on purpose.
Agreed all around that sometimes the most interesting stories are about the protagonist acquiring one or more of these traits as part of his journey. In fact, to further the discussion, let's let's expand on the original list. Here's how I interpret the Six Qualities. YMMV. (In fact, since it's not even my list to begin with and I no longer know how the original author interpreted these terms, MY mileage may be the one that's varying.)
COMPETENT--this doesn't leave a whole lot of room for interpretation. Hero doesn't have to be consistently brilliant--that's dull--but it seems like you want your hero to be at least baseline not-a-total-buffoon. I suppose there are exceptions--within the world of the Pink Panther, Clouseau is a hero, I guess--but I'm not sure these guidelines translate well to slapstick comedy.
BRAVE--again, pretty self-explanatory. Fundamental, I'd say. Because no matter how quirky or comically cowardly your hero seems, anyone who's willing to start down the path of the Heroic Journey however reluctantly is, to some degree, "brave."
MORAL--I take "moral" at its strictest definition: demonstrating a consistent ethical code, not necessarily MY ethical code. Dr. Doom is actually "moral" in that sense. I do think that if your hero's all over the map morally, it's much harder for the audience to keep his motivations straight.
SELFLESS--toughest to infuse consistently without making your hero a dull boor. Personally, I like selfless heroes more than heroes with feet of clay--personal preference--but I fully understand why they don't resonate widely. In Back to the Future, one of my favorite movies of all time, Marty McFly shows only the occasional flash of selflessness--his goal is, in fact, 100% selfish and his own welfare is almost always at the forefront of his actions. But the key word there is "almost"--there are the occasional flashes of selflessness in act three, and I'd argue that without them, the story would be more hollow.
RELEVANT, at least as I interpret it, means that the hero's goals or needs are in some way relatable to our own--the more relatable, the better. The reason Spider-Man's popularity overtook Superman's back in the '60s was that Spider-Man's problems were relevant to us--family worries, trouble at school, feeling like you can't catch a break. Meanwhile, Superman's biggest problem was that he couldn't figure out how to enlarge the Bottle City of Kandor.
And SUCCESSFUL we've already discussed. Successful at something important to the audience, something the importance of which (if it isn't the stated goal) clearly supersedes on an emotional level any failed goals.
I repeat: not a recipe. Rules of thumb. But, for writing pulp adventure, rules I find useful.