In order to distract social climbers from jobs in the Civil Service System, local culture is primed to value certain largely ceremonial posts as "Leadership" roles. These positions are awarded through dominance through some form of zero-sum competitive process. They are designed to capture individuals who are most vulnerable to Sociopathy, and give them a positive place to put their energy where they can do little damage to actual ship operations.

The topmost "Tribal" position on the ship is that of Mayor. Mayors are popularly elected. A democratic election is a highly competitive, zero-sum contest. One who has the superficial charm and charisma to reliably win elections is generally lacking in the intellect and integrity required to engage in long term decision making. As such, on ISTO ships and colonies, the Mayor is a ceremonial post. Mayors have little in the way of power to actually alter the environment on the ship. They do possess some power to make superficial alterations. They can commission a statue, or dedicate a park, or decorate the streets. They plan holiday celebrations, they visit sick people in the hospital, they throw out the first pitch at ball game, they give inspirational speeches to schoolchildren. The job of the Mayor has a lot of social perks. Mayor is exactly the sort of job that every social climber on the ship strives to be some day.

Contrast that position with that of the head of Auditing. The role of Auditor is considered a "calling", bordering on hardship. The benefits to the individual are nill to non-existent. The ability to leverage job performance into personal benefits are prohibited by law. The job entails inflaming conflict with popular people to sort out why plans and projections have not been born out. In short: the job requires an assertive, focused person who places little value in external motivation. The person most qualified is probably the last person who would ever be elected to such a job, or nominated by someone who was popularly elected.

Several Tribal Primacy systems operate in parallel, to allow social climbers and other Sociopaths multiple ways to "power" (and away from critical infrastructure). These are:

  1. Businesses
  2. Community Feedback Organizations
  3. Festival Committees
  4. Local Government
  5. Local Sports Leagues
  6. Organized Crime
  7. Religions
  8. Societies for Creative Anacronism
  9. Performance Art Groups

Tribal Organizations are structured somewhere between a military host and an organized crime family. Each organization has one Boss. The boss has two direct reports: the Consultant and the Executive.

The Consultant is not in line for promotion to the Boss, and acts as an advisor or institutional memory.

The Executive sits between the Boss and the rest of the Organization. The Executive carries out the day-to-day orders of the Boss. The Executive is next in line if the boss steps down, dies, is excommunicated, or otherwise unable to perform his or her duties.

Tribes distinguish between the "Management" and "Associates". Management are the leadership elements of the organization. Associates participate, but are not considered part of the leadership structure. In a church, this is the difference between the Clergy and the Laity. In the armed forces, this is the difference between the Officers and the Enlisted. In Businesses, this is the difference between Management and the Employees.

Ranks in management depend on the number of subordinates:

Army Unit Total Organization Size Max Leadership Top Navy Rank Direct Reports Top Army Rank Top Business Rank
Team 1-4 Petty Officer (Third Class) Corporal Team Leader
Squad 5-15 Petty Officer (Second Class) 7-12 Associates / 2-4 Teams Sergeant Manager
Platoon 16-45 Ensign 2-4 Squad Lieutenant Supervisor
Company 60-200 Lieutenant 3-5 Platoon Captain Director
Battalion 300-1000 Commander 4-6 Company Lieutenant Colonel Vice President
Brigade 1500-3200 Captain 2-5 Battalion Colonel Senior Vice President
Division 10000-16000 Rear Admiral 3 Brigades Major General Executive Vice President
Corps 20000-45000 Vice Admiral 2-5 Divisions Lieutenant General Senior Executive Vice President
Army 50000+ Admiral 2+ Corps Lieutenant General+ Senior-Senior Executive Vice President

Leadership postions are competitive, and while ostensibly "merit based", sucking up to the boss is an important "merit", as is being in the right place at the right time.