take the helm

take the helm

To take charge; to become or assume the role of the leader (of something). The phrase originated as a nautical term, meaning "to steer a ship." Jack has taken the helm, so I know they'll get this project done on time! Nancy took the helm of our department so long ago that I can't imagine what it will be like once she retires!
See also: helm, take

take (over) the ˈhelm

take control of an organization, etc. from another person: When Mr Davies retired, his daughter took the helm.
See also: helm, take
References in classic literature ?
"Take the helm, and let us see what you know." The young man took the helm, felt to see if the vessel answered the rudder promptly and seeing that, without being a first-rate sailer, she yet was tolerably obedient, --
"At any rate," murmured he, "if it be, so much the better, for I have made a rare acquisition." Under pretence of being fatigued, Dantes asked to take the helm; the steersman, glad to be relieved, looked at the captain, and the latter by a sign indicated that he might abandon it to his new comrade.
I let him take the helm, while the rest began a thorough search, all keeping abreast, with lanterns.