Do you want to be the tail of a lion or the head of a mouse? Strange question and the answer is probably neither. This may be an unusual way of phrasing a very real dilemma for staff and managers. In the context that this expression was used the question is, would you rather be part of a struggling organisation in the top division or a leading organisation in a lower division. If your answer is top division every time but I would expect to be involved in turning the organisation round then you're chief executive material. If your answer is to be the best in our group then you're probably already a senior manager. If your answer is where ever my talents will be valued, my opinion sort and my job doable then it's not so much where you work as who you work for.