rule with an iron rod

rule with an iron rod

To rule, govern, or control a group or population with complete, typically tyrannical authority over all aspects of life, work, etc. A noun or pronoun can be used between "rule" and "with." He rules with an iron rod, and moves swiftly to gain control over any entity that is not already in his grasp. She has ruled this company with an iron rod for three decades, and it's going to be difficult for her to let go of control.
See also: iron, rod, rule