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Which is correct: support team lead or support team leader?

I think team leader should be correct since leader is a persona while lead looks more like a verb. But I see some multinational companies use team lead in their job description. Is there something I am missing?

  • Check the dictionary for "lead":thefreedictionary.com/lead a. The first or foremost position. b. One occupying such a position; a leader. – JeffSahol Sep 21 '11 at 2:51
  • True, but what is the difference, JeffSahol? – Thursagen Sep 21 '11 at 4:08
  • I meant that they are synonymous...posted as an answer, @Thursagen. – JeffSahol Sep 21 '11 at 4:36
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In my experience, a team lead is appointed (by a manager), and is assumed to be taking on some leadership responsibilities in addition to his normal duties as a team member...generally for no extra pay, I might add.

In another sense, a leader is someone who "steps up" and takes on challenges and/or inspires others, regardless of whether they have the official standing to do so. I have never heard the word lead used in this sense.

Otherwise, though, the phrases "team lead" and "team leader" are synonymous.

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The only use of ‘lead’ to describe a person that the OED records is the theatrical one: one who plays the principal part in a play. I have not seen it used as a synonym for ‘leader’. ‘Support the team lead’ surely means something subtly different from ‘support the team leader’. It highlights the position and its role rather than the person occupying it.

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Lead is for a leader who leads the work without authority but by influence and he/she does not have direct reports. Leader is for a leader who leads the work by having direct reports led by influence and authority together. So the difference is around having/not having direct reports

  • Generally speaking, anyone who has direct reports will be called a Support Team Manager. Nobody in an organisation should lead without authority. – Chenmunka Mar 5 '18 at 15:23
  • citations for your answer are always helpful – lbf Mar 5 '18 at 16:15

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