In Samoa, at the beginning of the game, both tribes voted for a tribe "chief". This chief (symbolized by a leadership necklace, not to be confused with the Immunity Necklace) would make decisions in challenges such as assigning tasks for tribemates, sit-outs, etc. After a Reward Challenge, the winning tribe's chief would also assign one of his tribemates to be an "observer". If a chief is eliminated, the tribe must select a replacement. Galu chose Russell Swan in a 5-3-2 decision, while Foa Foa chose Mick Trimming in a 4-3-1-1-1 vote. After Russell S. was evacuated, Shambo Waters was elected the new chief of Galu.
In Worlds Apart, two people from each tribe were chosen at the beginning of the game. The "tribe leaders" would be flown to camp ahead of time and given the choice between "honesty", a big bag of beans for the tribe, and "deceit", a small bag of beans for the tribe and a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol for themselves. Escameca selected Dan Foley, who then chose Mike Holloway to lead with him. Masaya chose Joaquin Souberbielle, who then selected So Kim. Nagarote picked Will Sims II who then chose Jenn Brown. The tribe leaders from Escameca and Nagarote chose "honesty", while the tribe leaders from Masaya chose "deceit".
In Ghost Island, shortly after entering the game, both tribes selected a leader, who in turn chose two people, one runner and one puzzle solver, for an immediate Reward Challenge. Malolo chose Brendan Shapiro, while Chris Noble volunteered for Naviti. In addition, if the tribe leader decided they wanted to forfeit the challenge during the puzzle-solving portion, their tribe would get to keep their fishing kit, but the opposing tribe would get 20 eggs and flint in addition to the shelter building kit. Chris decided to forfeit for Naviti, giving Malolo the full reward.
Unlike in Samoa, the twist was used rather loosely in Cagayan, Worlds Apart, and Ghost Island, as the tribe leaders were only seen doing their duties on Day 1.