Johansson was a player for fourteen years with Kalmar FF and Lindsdals IF, though he did not win any trophies as a player. In 1977 he was appointed coach for his former club of Kalmar FF, a job he held for two years before switching to local rivals Öster IF. He would remain there for three years, leading Östers IF to back-to-back Swedish Allsvenskan championships in 1980 and 1981. Bo Johansson went on to coach Norwegian club FK Jerv, Greek club Panionios NFC, and started an international career coaching the Iceland national team. He would have to wait 13 years for his next title, until 1994 when he led Danish team Silkeborg IF to the national Danish Superliga championship.
In 1996 he was appointed Danish national team coach, taking over from Richard Møller Nielsen who had managed the Danish team to the 1992 European Championship (Euro 1992) title, but had subsequently suffered lacklustre results. Bo Johansson presented a more offensive way of playing and he was successful in revitalising the Danish team, leading it to the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, which was to become one of the heights in Danish football. Despite a loss in the group stage to later tournament winners France, Denmark managed to go through to the final 16 where they put an attractive style of football on display, beating Nigeria 4-1 before losing out 2-3 in the quarter-final to the later silver medalists from Brazil.
"Bosse" couldn't live up to the result and play at the 1998 World Cup two years later at the Euro 2000 in the Netherlands and Belgium. The Danish team lost all the games in the group stage and was eliminated. In 1999, Bo Johansson had made public that he wouldn't continue with the team after the tournament but he always remained popular. Following the Danish exit he was applauded off the pitch by the Danish fans. Totally, he coached the Danish national team throughout 40 matches, resulting in 17 victories, nine draws and 14 losses.
In 2003 he was appointed coach for the Swedish club IFK Göteborg, he retired in 2004. He made a comeback in 2005, leading Molde F.K. to victory in the Norwegian Cup. However, the club had a disappointing season in the league, and Johansson quit after the season. 2010, he returned to coaching as assisting coach in the Swedish club Åtvidaberg.
Apart from being a football coach, Bo Johansson is also a public speaker, primarily talking about management, as his approach to football coaching is somewhat different from many football coaches. He works from ten clear ground rules:
Be open to others. Consideration gives you the feeling of well-being, which leads to progress.
Remember, we're all different. We can be in different moods. Don't always point out the errors and short-comings of others. Respect others eccentricities. You have some yourself!
Don't demand you have to be perfect. There are a number of factors in most situations, which you can not control or alter. Don't take accidental adversities too seriously.
Do not destroy the belief in yourself by comparing your weak sides with the strengths of others.
Be aware that encouragement and praise brings out the best in people. Too much negative criticism brings out the worst in people. By showing that you trust your friends, you show them their importance and skill.
Be grateful for what others do for you. Be kind to your friends. Treat others like you want them to treat you.
Be helpful to others. Show respect, sympathy, and understanding to the one who seeks your help. Do not worry. Keep a hold of the goodness that you have in you.
Keep the thoughts of others to yourself. Be dependable. Never promise anything that you are not sure you can keep.
Always think positively.
What you want from life comes from other people. If you want to be admired, respected or loved, it will entirely come though other people. Never through material things. Therefore you must understand other people. And you won't be able to do that before you understand yourself.