Houseplants stop growing when they reach the limits of the pots in which they are planted. The vessel is simply too small to supply the nutrients needed for the plant to continue to thrive. Sometimes they even become sick — root bound — if left in the same pot for too long. If the plant is to continue healthy growth, it must be repotted.
You could say the same thing happens to many executives. They reach a point at which their employers can no longer offer advancement or growth opportunities. In order to keep growing professionally, they must move on to a new company, a new pot.
Opportunities can dry up for a variety of reasons that are unrelated to an executive’s performance. Sometimes the business is stagnant or contracting, which means it does not generate new opportunities for its people. In other cases, advancement is blocked by a boss who isn’t going anywhere. Or maybe the next rung on the ladder requires relocation, and the executive cannot or will not consider a move.
In all of these situations executives who want a better opportunity must leave their employer to get it.
Making the decision to leave is always risky. Beware of the trap of assuming the grass is greener somewhere else. Talking it through with a mentor or colleague who knows you, your work and your aspirations is always helpful.