A useful distinction can be made between "rule" and "leadership" when considering the continuum of African political formations. "Rule" refers to the absolute authority of a divine or sacred kingship, while "leadership" has to do with consensus and influence in societies that lack kings or paramount rulers. Among Lega peoples in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, there are no specialized or autonomous political roles or institutions. Spiritual, moral, social, and economic powers are dispersed among all members of society, although members of the highest grades in the Bwami association play the most significant roles, politically and otherwise. The exercise of authority in Lega groups is intermittent and derives its sanctions from the group. For Lega, then, it is more appropriate to speak of influence rather than of the power to coerce.