The person at the helm is the person in charge, and if you happen to be at sea, that person is the one steering the boat with a device called a helm, the mechanism that keeps the boat on course.

When someone takes over from someone else — as when a newly elected official takes office, or when a company appoints a new head — you would say that new person has taken the helm. But if you're going to take the helm or be at the helm, you can't have an empty boat. There's got to be a group in there with you that you're taking the helm for, guiding them all.

Definitions of helm

n steering mechanism for a vessel; a mechanical device by which a vessel is steered

a circular helm to control the rudder of a vessel
Type of:
steering mechanism, steering system
a mechanism by which something is steered (especially a motor vehicle)

n a position of leadership

“the President is at the helm of the Ship of State”
Type of:
leadership, leading
the activity of leading

v be at or take the helm of

helm the ship”
Type of:
channelise, channelize, direct, guide, head, maneuver, manoeuver, manoeuvre, point, steer
direct the course; determine the direction of travelling

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