There may be a church board, a group of elders, or an impressive pastoral staff with seemingly accomplished credentials, but rest assured such stations are a sham in a closed system where one leader holds absolute supremacy.
In fact, others who hold rank in the group are chosen for their unconditional obedience to the leader’s sovereignty; not because they possess any substantive authority themselves.
Sometimes exceptions are made for a person who is less controllable, but only when the leader stands to gain something significant such as financial resources or professional prestige. Still, even in such cases, their sphere of influence is ether limited or illusory.
Often the leader will cultivate a, ‘Jesus and apostle’ relational dynamic within the church board. The leader will transition his power from functionary leadership to psychological control; he or she doesn’t just lead the staff, they have them convinced that they’ve spiritually transcended them. Take for example Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion, who actually appointed twelve literal disciples of his own.