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You are on lead 25% of the time and can often be the difference between a top and a bottom in duplicate.
It is not straightforward.
Here are two introductory articles from MrBridges on leads
Ron Klinger's 1 hour video on leads - dated look but good content.
A good discussion on options of passive or active leads in different situations.
Standard Leads Lists
A table of standard leads against no trumps and suit contracts.
Bridgehand's list of leads.
Their videos on lead's (from 4mins point)
EBU Convention card in word (*.doc) format that include standard leads.
As always - agree with your partner lead expectations and responses.
The double of an artificial bid by the opposition can often lead to a safe or a lead that gives the defence a crucial additional trick. Make it easy for your partner.
Typical sequences are doubles of transfers or stayman over NT bids.
The normal requirements are 3 out of top 5 honours if a 5 card suit or 2 out of top 4 honours with a 6 card suit.
Here is a link to a good article from Larry Cohen on Lead Directing Doubles