I'm looking for an eloquent word, if one exists, for a role in one's profession whereby they direct and mentor a team with a particular set of skills, but also clearly engage in work with said skills themselves. My concern is that one might think a "Director" may not necessarily engage in the work themselves, but rather oversee it without getting their hands into it, per se.

For example, a "Design and Development Director" may not actually sit down and do design or development work, but rather oversee a team of designers and developers who actually do the work. That's how I've always thought of that type of role, at least.

I know roles that include "Lead" or "Senior" in the title are common, but I don't feel like those terms convey a true sense of the level of leadership and directional command that the term "Director" does.

Am I asking for a rare word, or even a word that doesn't exist? Or is there a common word that conveys both a sense of command as well as a sense of engagement, simultaneously? Alternately, if there's an eloquent word pairing that fits this quest, I'm open to exploring that as well.

  • You're going to hate this but: the standard phrasing on (American) resumes is player/coach. Try searching for that term on LinkedIn, if you can stomach it.
    – Dan Bron
    May 7, 2015 at 4:59
  • You're right. I'm not a fan. I also prefer "mentor" to "coach" but I feel like "mentor" is starting to gain 'buzzword' status, which is a bit disappointing.
    – purefusion
    May 7, 2015 at 8:11

2 Answers 2


I use "Lead" in my profession... but, I see your point - it doesn't pack much of a wallop. How about "Design and Development Facilitator" ?

  • Facilitator is decent. I think it does convey both words, with the exception of the part of the definition where it states "the facilitator takes a neutral position". But that's one definition among many. In the design industry, I think most people know it to mean both leadership and participation/engagement.
    – purefusion
    May 7, 2015 at 8:15

One term that has been used is

working manager


shows that this hit its peak usage in the 1980s. I don't know what might have supplanted it. It does occur in some job postings.

  • Hmmm. It does indeed sound like something from the mid 20th century.
    – purefusion
    May 7, 2015 at 8:17

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