Reviews of ‘The Boss Factor’

In this highly practical, thought-provoking book - rated one of HR Magazine's "Best of HR" - Richard offers 10 lessons learned in the course of his work that will help you get the most from your relationships with the people who lead you.

Whether you’ve just one boss or you’re working in a matrix with multiple senior stakeholders, you’ll find the book full of tips, tools and challenging questions to help you and your boss get the most from what is one of the most important relationships in your working life. It’s also a book that’ll get leaders thinking differently about the way they lead. They’ll want to share it with their teams, because this isn’t a book about judging your boss or tricking them into making life easy for you – it’s about managing up for mutual gain.

In the UK, The Boss Factor has been featured in The Telegraph, The Financial Times, HR Magazine’s “best of HR” books, Sloan Magazine, Executive PA, and even The Sun. The journalist who interviewed Richard and two other experts for the piece in the FT triggered quite a debate online, so it’s worth reading the comments and Richard’s responses to them.

The Boss Factor also features on Working Mums and Graduate Fog, and Richard has been interviewed, talking about the book, on BBC Radio, on the no-holds-barred podcast My Career Crisis and on the wide-ranging series Prosperity Kitchen.

Here’s what people are saying about the book…


“An insightful, enjoyable book that offers the kind of instant payback that’s critical to anyone working in a fast-growing, entrepreneurial business. It challenged me to look closely at myself, how I operate and how that plays out with others. In doing so, I discovered that – despite my best intentions – sometimes my attempts to help others aren’t actually that helpful. This deepened my understanding of my relationship with my boss and ways to further improve it. It also enabled me to adapt my approach to leading others.”

Michael Borthwick, Group Financial Controller at Claranet


“An incredibly useful and accessible book that has transformed my thinking and approach to both managing upwards and leading my team. As a leader, it’s crystal clear to me that the relationships I have with my team are critical to the success of the work we do together. The ten ‘lessons’ described in this book offer us a way of examining and discussing those relationships to set us all up for success. It’s a book I know I’ll read and refer to more than once and the author makes that easy: there’s a lot to reflect on and the way The Boss Factor is written is like having him in the room with you.”

Simon Haskey, Consulting Practice Lead at Dell EMC


“Richard Boston has nailed it. If only I’d known this earlier in my career, I’d have saved myself a lot of grief, done a much better job, and had a happier boss! With so many books for leaders and so few for those they lead, this will be invaluable for anyone in their first or second job, as well as for those in middle management looking to enhance their relationships upwards.”

Peter Young, Director and executive coach at Bladon Leadership


“Insightful, practical, enjoyable and accessible. There are a lot of books out there, many of them hard to finish. This one hooks you in with a combination of stories, facts, ideas, theory and challenging exercises that encourage the reader to pause and reflect on what the content really means for them. As much as you’ll want to read on, it’s well worth investing some time in that reflection: you’ll remember more, you’ll apply more, and you’ll find the various questions and exercises trigger powerful conversations with your boss and any people you lead.”

Rebecca Stevens, whose previous roles include heading up leadership, talent and organisational development at Kimberly-Clark, Deloitte and BP


“A really important book on a really important topic. Every one of us has a boss: even as a CEO I had people who could call me up in the middle of the night and make demands of me. The great leaders are the ones who’ve lived up to Richard Boston’s ten lessons when working with the people above them – whether they’ve done so by accident or by design. This book will save you the pain of learning the hard way. It’ll help you craft your own, informed recipe for success. And it’s a really easy read: I like it so much I’ve already read it twice and will no doubt come back for more.”

Tony Cooper, retired Partner at Deloitte, entrepreneur and ex-CEO of Merryck & Co


“I had a great time reading this book. When I first read it, I was a few months into a new in role in a complex, pressured environment and it took some of that pressure off. It’s an interesting and enjoyable read, rich with new ideas and material, and was directly relevant to conversations and challenges I was having at the time. Not only that, it challenged my assumptions about what it means to lead and be led. It helped me see patterns I’d built up over the years. It encouraged me to be honest with myself and it got me thinking differently about myself, my boss, team and peers; about the relationships between us; and about the world in which we operate.”

Catherine Poyner, Head of Transformation in central government


“A refreshing book that takes a new perspective on the relationship between leaders and the people they lead. I really loved the practical tools and exercises, which made this book a directly relevant, interactive and memorable experience where so many are a passive stroll through theories that are all too easily forgotten. This book actually made me think far beyond just reading it. It made me do something. It made it stick.”

Geoff Morey, Learning and Organisational Development Consultant at Macmillan Cancer Support


“An inspirational and highly enjoyable read… especially given the current situation in my career, having just moved into a new role, in a new team, with a new manager, in a new company. I have always been intrigued by the fact that, across a range of jobs, I have sometimes struggled with my bosses while at other times things went really, really smoothly. This book offered some powerful insights into why that is and encouraged me to reflect on what I bring to those relationships. I am sure many, many other people will enjoy it as much as I did!”

Vicky Monsieurs, HRD Manager, Center Parcs Belgium-Netherlands-Germany


“I took a lot of value from this book both as a leader and as a follower of leaders. It also felt realistic, showing that Richard Boston understands that it’s not possible to be perfect in either role at all times. It has helped me become a better boss for the people I lead and has inspired me to change the way we work as a team. Like most leaders, I cannot be successful without the people I lead. This book has helped me begin to create an environment that’s intentionally designed to enable a team to excel in their roles, get the best from me and allow room for growth. I’d recommend it to other leaders, either as a book to give to your people, as a reference point for one-to-ones and team meetings, or as a blueprint to use behind the scenes.”
Mark Griffiths, Director of Account Relationship Management at WorkForce Software


“A very useful, highly educational book that distils a huge amount of knowledge and a multitude of methodologies into a format that is very easy to digest and apply. Each chapter stands alone and provides its own concise guidance. However, the greatest value is in the whole: this is a book that challenges stereotypes, looking at leadership from the other side of what is after all a two-way relationship. By understanding and applying the book’s 10 lessons we enhance our understanding of both sides of that relationship, which can only enhance our ability to lead.”

Seb Henkes, founder of Sabio, a multi-award-winning tech company listed as one of the UK’s best places to work


“A concise, eminently readable book that offers an interesting counterpoint to the mass of books written on leadership. It made me challenge myself – especially on the topic of courage in the relationship with one’s boss. As a ‘middle manager’ I’ve found it helpful to combine this new book with insights from the author’s previous book, ARC Leadership, to ensure a 360° approach to my workplace relationships. Highly recommended.”

Matt Champkin, Recruitment Manager at Blick Rothenberg


“I really enjoyed this book. Not only did I find its core concept intriguing, it provoked a lot of self-discovery. The book gave me plenty of ‘aha’ moments and made me look differently at the way I’m leading my team. I strongly recommend you treat this as something to make part of your day-to-day, not just something to read once from beginning to end. Read it, apply it, come back to it. Maybe even keep it with you as a point of reference. I’ve also used the book as the start of a new conversation with my team about the ways we work together. So I’d suggest you also consider who else to give a copy to: maybe it’s a team member; maybe it’s your boss.”

Mary Donnelly-Wells, Multi-site manager for a leading Australian supermarket


“A really useful – sometimes controversial – book, whether you’re keen to improve the relationship you have with your own boss, to look at your leadership through the eyes of the people you lead or to build a better class of ‘followership’ in the teams around you. It’s a book that builds on the author’s previous work without relying on it, and it’s a book that applies just as much to people working in small, complex, matrixed, fluid, fast-paced and flatly-structured organisations as it does to those in more traditional hierarchies.”

Colin Clarkson-Short, long-standing partner in a professional services firm


“Ever since I picked this book up I’ve been sharing its lessons with my peers. The author asks us to consider some fundamental questions many leaders and their people have never asked themselves – the answers to which any current or aspiring leader needs to know. Perhaps the most pertinent in my view is ‘How can you be seen as a Leader, if you don’t understand what it means to follow?’ The book itself was insightful, enjoyable, well-researched, informative and rewarding. It got me thinking and I approached every exercise the author suggested with enthusiasm, knowing I’d get real, practical value out of it. If you’re keen to succeed, whether that’s as a leader or as a team member, I strongly recommend that you read this book. I also suggest you share it with your boss and the people you lead, so they’re clear what you’re trying to achieve and you’re all speaking the same important language. The Boss Factor has earned its place on my ‘go to shelf’ as a constant reference”

Tony Wringe, senior manager in a professional services firm


You’ll get a discount on this book at Blackwells online. Alternatively, you can buy the book as a paperback or eBook on and and all the usual places. If you’d like to read some of it first, just register using the button below to receive a free sample.