Gordon the Gnome:
A Career Parable
Imagine Gordon — a business gnome — who is on a short-list for a promotion.
He only has five days to decide, “Should I stay or should I go?”
Gordon is a business gnome who has been with the company ten years and is up for promotion.
And he only has five days to decide whether to take this promotion and stay with his company where he is valued and appreciated or pursue other goals he’s been quietly considering.
Can he figure out what’s calling him and incorporate it in his current job? Does he really want a job with more administration, or is his current position “enough”? Is there a way he can get what he wants while staying where he is?
In this engaging parable, Gordon encounters mentors in the form of a slick PR fox and a wise owl. He learns from his larger-than-life CEO, his poetry-slamming tech team, and a nature-inspired artist. With their profound advice, he finds the courage to craft a work life that fulfills and thrills him.
Gordon’s story unfolds over six chapters (about 20,000 words in total). Each chapter ends with three pithy lessons that mirror Gordon’s insights, and three questions you can apply to your own career or life. This format makes the book relevant for book clubs and corporate teams alike.
As a gnome, Gordon transcends human stereotypes. (He does, however, conform to several gnome stereotypes.) Readers can see themselves in Gordon and the characters who guide and mentor him along the way.
Through the story, we come to know the true Gordon, who wants to be an even more effective leader and just isn’t sure what that looks like.
No matter where you are in your life and career, you will relate to this story. You will ask yourself questions you haven’t dared to think about. You will gain the clarity you seek about which career path feels congruent for you, and whether you can find your ideal work life right where you are.
Audience & Market
Gordon the Gnome appeals to three primary markets:
- Professionals who read business parables like Who Moved My Cheese?
- Decision makers who want employees to stay and take responsibility for their own career success and satisfaction within the organization.
- Individuals who welcome growth, who enjoy inspirational self-help books.
About the Author
Karen Kelloway is endlessly curious about how people have applied the classic story elements of a hero’s journey to their chosen career path — how they launched their careers, what obstacles they faced along the way and their resulting lessons learned that help them live and leave a meaningful legacy. An award-winning leadership coach and Founder/CEO of the Career Story Project, Karen coaches high-performing professionals on how to live their best career stories.