The word "lead" can be used as a verb, a noun, and as an adjective.
In the first set of examples, "lead" means to take someone or something to a place or into a situation. A person who leads controls others and makes decisions for other people. A thing that leads goes in a particular direction.
Where does this highway lead to? (Where does the highway go?)
A degree in business administration can lead to a good career.
Let’s follow this idea and see where it leads us.
We were led to believe something that wasn’t true.
The teacher is leading the class in a lesson on pronunciation.
The CEO leads an organization of over 500 people.
The President led the country into a difficult conflict.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. (This is a popular proverb in the U.S.)
This road leads to a farm.
In this next set of sentences, the verb "lead" means that a person or a group is first among others or winning:
He’s leading a large pack of runners.
The New York Yankees are leading 3 to nothing.
The story about a bombing in Pakistan led the news this evening.
Brazil is leading by two points.
You can also use "lead" as a noun. A lead is a person who is first or provides direction to others:
Who’s the team lead on this project?
The runner from Kenya took an early lead in the race.
Which team has the lead? (Which team is winning?)
Rhonda has the lead among other candidates for the IT position.
She has the lead. I think she’ll win.
The words "lead" or leading" are used as adjectives:
Rhonda is our leading candidate for the job.
Dr. Smith is a leading authority on this subject.
The lead role for the film went to Jennifer Lopez. (She’ll be the main star of the movie.)
The lead author of the report made an appearance before the commission.