Relentless: The Forensics of Mobsters' Business Practices


In war, the better led, more effectively run team wins, regardless of moral right or wrong. In Relentless, we get a fascinating window into the murky world of organized crime – from the Mafia to Drug Cartels – and find that the same hold true. As mundane as it sounds, the frightening bosses who orchestrate the wrongdoing that simultaneously terrifies and mesmerizes us are, in the end, talented leaders and managers. There’s much we can learn from them.

General Stanley McChrystal
Former commander of US and International Security Assistance Forces Afghanistan and the former commander of Joint Special Operations Command

This intriguing and thoughtful book illustrates the power of sound economic thinking in understanding organizations. It takes the concepts that help us understand successful business enterprises and shows that the same concepts are at work in successful criminal enterprises. In so doing it validates the power of the underlying economic concepts while offering a fascinating window into some of the most long-lived criminal organizations.

Charles Plosser
Former President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Drawing on insights from perhaps the most unlikely of sources—organized crime—Jerold Zimmerman, the co-architect of organizational architecture theory, and Daniel Forrester, CEO of THRUUE Inc. provide unique insights of how effective leaders rely on both incentives and values/culture to build successful organizations. Because mobs must overcome so many challenges in order to succeed, Relentless provides especially compelling illumination of the Zimmerman-Forrester valuable leadership model.

Mark Zupan
Alfred University

Focusing on what make mobster enterprises successful and what leads to their failures, Zimmerman and Forrester provide an intriguing economic analysis of organized crime enterprises and derive corporate governance lessons that are applicable to legitimate enterprises.

Thomas Z. Lys
Eric L. Kohler Professor Emeritus
Kellogg School of Management
Northwestern University

Relentless provides a vivid reminder that long-term survival of any business, legitimate or illegitimate, requires creative thinking and adherence to key business principles.

Cliff Owens
Vice President (retired)

Relentless deploys the novel device of comparing subjects that on the surface seem to have little in common—lawful and unlawful organizations— to identify important management principles while educating the reader about life and leadership in the criminal underworld. In this regard, Zimmerman and Forrester have really hit the mark. And they do all of this in a highly entertaining manner. Well done.

Graham McDonald
Senior Vice President (Retired)
Great-West Financial

Relentless is thought provoking and very enlightening in terms of driving managers of lawful organizations to really understand the essential elements of management and leadership and how they must be tailored to their unique circumstances.

Jay Busch
Former President
Triax Telecommunications