One problem that many leaders have had, both now and in the past, is that followers view rewards differently based on their needs, their desires, and their personalities.
Understanding and navigating the difference between money (which is what many leaders think their followers want) and status (which is what many leaders fear giving their followers—both emotional and material) creates the great gaping delta between leaders who are effective and leaders who aren’t.
Titles and money cost the leader nothing to give away.
There is always more money.
There are always more titles.
True, meaningful, rewards are ones that the follower will fight and strive for, not for the leader’s sake, but for their own.
The true cost to the leader is the consequence of giving out rewards that may not matter much to them, but that matter quite a bit to the other followers who may have received nothing.
Or, nothing that was valuable to them, at least.
The easy way out of this bind, is for the leaders to remind their followers that the work itself is plentiful.
What is scarce is the interest, the energy, and the enthusiasm to accomplish it with quality and competency.
And then, watch who steps up for a bigger reward.