This is a difficult card to quantify- for me, at least.
A man with a laurel crown is sitting on a magnificent chair. He holds a scepter (shaped like an ankh, the egyptian symbol for truth) in one hand and a globe in the other. Golden rams' heads decorate the chair back and arm rests. He is middle-aged, dressed in regal robes.
This card is the essential male--he could stand for the querent's father, husband, brother, boss--some male with authority. This man is the leader/father of the Tarot. He has great responsibility and power and uses it wisely. If the Empress is about emotion, then the Emperor signifies the pre-eminence of the intellect.
To men, it may show the idealized male role model--loving dad, passionate husband, tough successful guy at work--he brings home the bacon! The Emperor is never caught out by an unexpected layoff, or kids that won't behave. He is in control.
To women, it may indicate this figure in their life, or his energy in their life. The emperor shows control and mastery--is the Querent a control freak?
Are they developing mastery? Perhaps they have been promoted to a position where they have more authority over others.
In fact, nearly every person has a point in their life where they must excercise authority over others: be it kids, a committee, the PTO, or a regular poker group. Dealing with power over others, and having others with power over us is a universal human experience, even though we may like to pretend that our relationships are free of power plays. This card asks us to consider how we use our power, and indicates when we may need to re-think our strategies.