Meglio essere testa di alice che coda di tonno.
It's better to be the head of an anchovy than the tail of a tuna.
The Romans had a similar proverb: "Meglio essere il primo in provincia che il secondo a Roma." (It's better to me number one in the provinces than number two in Rome.)
The idea in both cases is that it's better to be an important part of something small than an insignificant part of something big. Ciao for now!