【明報專訊】Gene: Marvin Lee is about the most successful businessman in this town.
Hillary: I don't think many people would argue with that. He's grown his business by 10% a year for the last ten years and there's no sign of that slowing down.
Gene: I know, but one of my friends is a senior manager under Lee and he gets pretty frustrated at times.
Hillary: Why's that?
Gene: Well, he says that Lee is a bit of an autocrat and keeps all his senior managers under a tight rein.
Hillary: You mean they all have to do what the big boss says.
Gene: That's pretty much it. They don't have much opportunity to show their initiative or be creative.
Hillary: Well, I can understand their frustration. On the other hand I've heard he keeps a very tight rein on costs as well. That's one of the reasons why the business is so profitable.
Gene: That's true, but it might be even more successful if he allowed his subordinates more freedom of action.
To keep a tight rein 直譯是「把緊繮繩」，常用以比喻「嚴格控制」，反義詞是to keep a loose/slack rein（放鬆繮繩），即「不嚴格控制」，常和介系詞on連用，例如：(1) Which is the better way of managing your staff, keeping them on a tight rein or a loose rein? （管理職員，是嚴格好，還是寬鬆一點好？）(2) He believes in strict discipline, and always keeps his students on a tight rein（他崇尚紀律，對學生向來都很嚴）。