'Relentless' cover

About the Book
Title: Relentless
Author: Tim S. Grover
Length: 256 pages (hardcover)
Publisher: Scribner
Copyright Year: 2013

In Relentless, author Tim S. Grover introduces his three personalities as they relate to performance. Coolers are the role players, performing well as needed but happy to let others take the lead. Closers are the reliable clutch performers who put in more work and perform under pressure. Cleaners are the top level of competitors. They are always on, always driving to be the best at what they do.

Why are top-level performers called Cleaners? They’re named after the janitors who have the keys to the building and do their work while everyone is asleep. Cleaners take responsibility for everything, often doing the work that goes unnoticed, and the job always gets done whether people understand how it happened or not. The author also asserts that being a Cleaner has nothing to do with talent, or even being an athlete. According to Grover, anyone from a bus driver to a salesperson to a professional athlete can be a Cleaner, because it is about mindset and hard work.

Using Michael Jordan as an example of one of the ultimate Cleaners, the author discusses the difference between thought and action. Cleaners don’t think; they just do. In sports, they don’t worry about what the other team is going to do; they make the other team adjust to what they will do.

The author also takes a different approach to positivity. Rather than trying to think positively, Grover says that true Cleaners don’t think at all. Whether you are thinking positive or negative thoughts, these are thoughts that take you out of the right mental state to simply take action. Don’t think; just do.

Another area where Grover differs from more typical sport psychology is in his discussion of people’s “dark side.” Much like comic book characters like Bruce Wayne becoming ...

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