Re: Qualities of a good employee
IMHO, a small business employee is one who is capable and WILLING to wear multiple hats, has self-start initiative, needs little supervision and can juggle well. How do you find them - well, they may typically find you. I have always felt that a corporate type (needs security, focus, benefits, etc. - or wants the power/prestige associated with climbing a big ladder) will not consider your job unless it is a person you already know. I have always been pretty good at interviews and reading people, so the ones who are just looking for a job typically "out" themselves in the interview and the ones looking to work and add value will shine no matter what size the business. Good luck!
We're talking about different definitions of team players. Most of the time in business a team player is considered to actually be part of a team and doesn't function well or completely when left to his/her own devices. What you described is considered an entrepreneurial attitude and, yes, is absolutely necessary in small companies. Without employees who are willing to do anything and everything they can, many small companies would never survive. However, as companies grow that entrepreneurial attitude gets pushed out and replaced by people who are more regimented team players.
I don't think there's such a big difference really. It all boils down to how hardworking a particular employee is over another. You can find such employees almost anywhere. You only need to motivate them, train them to be accountable for their own actions and conduct proper vetting prior to hire to make sure you are getting the right person.
Too me someone who has good qualities as an employee is someone that's very resourceful, follows through on all their assignment and ain't a lazy person. There are many distractions in the work setting environment and if you do not hire serious diligent workers, you may end up suffering as a business in the long ran.