The all-powerful tribal chieftan is a position, like an office of the President. No matter who occupies the position, it is the position that is given respect.
Hunter-gatherer tribes have men of respect (tribal chiefs), and that respect is based only on personal accomplishment, persuasiveness and wisdom, because the tribes are too small for the hierarchy.
So, the tribal-chief is not the all-powerful tribal chieftan. One is a man, the other is the position.
It depends a bit on the particular tribe. They’re not all the same.
And in a lot of cases you’ll find that the extra status and social position afforded to males in these cultures is to offset the fact that, ultimately, they’re considered to be expendable. You find far more cultures where the males are expected to die bravely holding off the enemy so the women and children can escape than vice-versa. You only keep them willing to do that by offering high status to the survivors.