“Success in any field – whether it’s sports, business, or life – is based on more than just the end result. It’s the daily interactions and consistent practice of fundamental values over time that bring about the winning moment.”

Tasked with developing a best-in-class leadership program for executives across 60+ countries, Rich Thompson set out to discover the formula for good leadership. Working with the world’s top business management schools, successful presidents and CEOs, and international consulting firms, he identified the exercises, assessment tools, and training methodologies for organizations to hire the right talent and develop their next generation of leaders.

But what he also discovered is that leadership isn’t all that complicated after all. He found that the truly good leaders consistently exhibited the same few traits, relentlessly. He also began to see clear parallels with what he had learned from coaches as a high-level athlete.

Highlighting stories and examples from both business and sports, Relentless delivers an entertaining read while providing management tools to put to use immediately.


  • Practical tools and strategies for effective people management that can be used by managers at any level.
  • Unique insights and a fresh perspective on how to create and implement strategies that create winning teams.
  • Ways to help managers think more like coaches, taking the best from Rich’s athletic experience under a transformational coach and applying those concepts to business.


Drawing from extensive expertise in leadership, operations, training, HR management, and talent development, Rich shares practical tools and strategies for effective people management that can be used by managers at any level. With his background in high-level sports, Rich offers unique insights and a fresh perspective on how to create and implement strategies that create winning teams.


Rich placed courage at the foundation of the skills it takes to build great teams. That’s because it’s the single biggest barrier to being the best leader you can be and getting the most performance from your team. Most managers know what needs to be done. They know what – and who – their problems are. Where they have trouble is finding the courage to have that conversation, take that action, or cut the cord when it becomes necessary.


Connection is what drives engagement. In order to do your best work, you have to feel connected to your work in some way.  Rich has found that over their careers, employees will be connected to at least one of four areas:

  • Their boss
  • The company / mission
  • Their job / role / the work they do
  • Their team

The goal for any manager should be to identify and strengthen connections whenever possible and foster multiple connection points, if possible.


Intent is the lens through which we hear all communication, especially in the office. That puts trust – and trustworthiness – at the forefront of good communication. Rich believes in feedback that is clear, direct, and often, and he outlines steps to better communication.


Rich says that management and coaching are two very different skills that achieve two different outcomes. Coaching is the process of taking good instincts and raw material and turning them into predictable performance. Coaches don’t just tell you what to do and how to do it; they also take the time to watch you do it over and over. Instead of looking for patterns, they stop patterns from forming in the first. 


There is no relentless without consistency- without it, there can be no true and lasting success. All of the work you’ve done on the other core values: courage, connection, communication, and coaching – means nothing if they are not practiced consistently. A vulnerable and courageous discussion or a great coaching session make a difference for a few days. But if what you’re doing contradicts what you’re saying, you’ll lose any ground you gained.

Because how you do anything is how you do everything. Commit to winning—all the time, in everything that you do.

"One of the best business books I have read in a long time! Totally entertaining while giving me a lot of meat to chew on. I'm an owner of a growing company and this book gave me useful information I can put to work right away."
"Relentless is the perfect playbook for both current and aspiring leaders. Rich Thompson and Ann Schulz did a wonderful job outlining clear guidelines for success backed by real-life scenarios, many of which will have you laughing out loud. I have known Rich for nearly 10 years and worked directly for him the last three. He consistently abides by the 5 C’s and encourages his team to do the same. By following these 5 C’s, you will also find yourself confidently ready to approach any management situation thrown your way. Relentless makes a great read for leadership groups and training classes. Do yourself and your team a favor and purchase it today!"
"This book was great because it deals with complicated issues in a way that allows for simple solutions. I had a number of light bulbs go off while reading it. I am facing a couple of management challenges currently that I am almost excited to work on based on Rich’s advice."

My story

About Rich

Rich’s passion for building strong cultures and winning teams started on the football field, as part of the revolutionary turnaround of the Wisconsin Badger football program under legendary Hall of Fame coach Barry Alvarez where Rich was 1st Team All Big Ten, Honorable Mention All-American and a semi-finalist for the Lou Groza award, given to the nation’s best placekicker. He was also a Free Agent with the Green Bay Packers for 2 years. More than 30 years later, he remains Wisconsin’s current record holder for the most field goals in a single season.