at the helm

at the helm

In charge; acting as the leader of something. The phrase originated as a nautical term, meaning "in the position to steer a ship." Jack is at the helm, so I know they'll get this project done on time! Nancy has been at the helm of our department for so long that I can't imagine what it will be like once she retires!
See also: helm

at the helm (of something)

Fig. in the position of being in control of something. The president is at the helm of the company. Things will go well with Anne at the helm.
See also: helm

at the helm

In charge, in command, as in With Charles at the helm, the company is bound to prosper. This phrase transfers the idea of steering a ship to directing other enterprises. [Early 1500s] Also see the synonym at the wheel.
See also: helm

at the ˈhelm/ˈtiller

in control of an organization, etc: The company began to make profits again with the new managing director at the helm.
A helm or a tiller is used for controlling the direction of a ship or a boat.
See also: helm, tiller
References in classic literature ?
It was very pleasant, when I stayed late in town, to launch myself into the night, especially if it was dark and tempestuous, and set sail from some bright village parlor or lecture room, with a bag of rye or Indian meal upon my shoulder, for my snug harbor in the woods, having made all tight without and withdrawn under hatches with a merry crew of thoughts, leaving only my outer man at the helm, or even tying up the helm when it was plain sailing.
But one living creature was on deck--the man at the helm, dozing peaceably with his arm over the useless tiller.
The sleeper at the helm woke; looked up at the idle sails, and yawned in sympathy with them; looked out at the sea on either side of him, and shook his head obstinately at the superior obstinacy of the calm.
We both rushed up the cabin stairs, naturally under the impression that one of our crew had fallen into the sea: an impression shared, I ought to add, by the man at the helm, who had given the alarm.
The impetuosity of my ad- vent made the man at the helm start slightly.
I looked at the seaman at the helm, I had an impulse to speak to him, and, indeed, his face took on an expectant cast as if he had guessed my intention.
The man at the helm was watching the luff of the sail and whistling away gently to himself, and that was the only sound excepting the swish of the sea against the bows and around the sides of the ship.
If in three days the monster did not appear, the man at the helm should give three turns of the wheel, and the Abraham Lincoln would make for the European seas.
Doctor not to worry about a single thing--Susan is at the helm.
We hauled off upon the laniard of the whip-staff, and helped the man at the helm.
Veneering institutes an original comparison between the country, and a ship; pointedly calling the ship, the Vessel of the State, and the Minister the Man at the Helm.
And, gentlemen, when the timbers of the Vessel of the State are unsound and the Man at the Helm is unskilful, would those great Marine Insurers, who rank among our world-famed merchant- princes--would they insure her, gentlemen?
Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.
There was not a sheet which was not tightened not a sail which was not vigorously hoisted; not a lurch could be charged to the man at the helm.
In a few moments, notwithstanding their wet clothes, the icy blast that blew and the previous scene of terror, these hardy adventurers, with their iron frames, inured to every hardship, threw themselves down, intending to profit by the advice of Athos, who sat at the helm, pensively wakeful, guiding the little bark the way it was to go, his eyes fixed on the heavens, as if he sought to verify not only the road to France, but the benign aspect of protecting Providence.