at the helm

at the helm

Meaning

  • in charge of an organization, group of people, etc.
  • while being in control of an organization

Example Sentences

  1. Lara resigned after a couple of years at the helm of the company.
  2. We are confident of success with Ronnie Albert at the helm.
  3. With Steve at the helm, Apple was bound to prosper.

take the helm

Meaning

  • to assume complete control or authority over an organisation

Example Sentences

  1. The university’s new president is ready to take the helm next month.
  2. An investor made a lot of money by selling his stock while the price was at its helm.

at its helm

Meaning

  • at the peak of something
  • a feeling of being in full control
  • the busiest moment of a day

Example Sentences

  1. The person who is at its helm in the political system is the President.
  2. While working a job shift at its helm, there can be times of stress.
  3. Walking fast, at its helm, takes a lot of energy out of a person.

Origin

It is a nautical term. Being at the helm would mean being in control of something. The original meaning can be explained as being in a position to steer a ship. If you transfer the meaning of “being in control of a ship” to a person in an organization, then you can say that the CEO, at the helm, can be successful by the end of the day. Steering a ship can translate to being in command of an organization. A person can easily use the idiom “at the helm” to refer to a person that is in charge. This idiom has been popular in the past and is familiar when mentioning people who are CEOs of companies.

The phrase began to appear in print in the early 1600s. The oldest known use of it we can trace referred to in print is by Robert Cawdry in A Treasury, Or Storehouse of Similes, 1609.

“The world is a huge sea through which we must pass, our ship is the conscience of every man, the wares are our religion and salvation, and all other gifts of God; therefore it stands us in hand to be always at the helm, and to carry our ship with as even a course as possible we can do to the intended port of happiness, which is the salvation our souls.”

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