David Farr, CEO of Emerson Electric, raised eyebrows last week after subjecting a conference-room full of analysts and investors to a potty-mouthed tirade attacking the company's critics. Some present said Farr's profanities and aggressive demeanor called into question his leadership abilities; others, though, took a more forgiving view. "You have to respect a CEO who is that passionate about his company," says Eli Lustgarten of Longbow Research.

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