Thanks for the thought provoking Article, Vic!
My daughter is now 15 and still inspires me daily to express myself - we burst into dance and song on a regular basis (and occasionally try to communicate with just noises!) Oh yes, unless her friends are around, in which case, I have to act like an "adult" or she disowns me!
(Wow, how interesting that I/we associate the ability to hide our emotions an "adult" quality.)
In my mind, the true leaders ARE the ones not afraid to express, not afraid to inspire, not afraid to even cry with. Maybe my role models were different from yours. Leaders as expressors and connectors - I do like that idea.
As far as embracing negative emotions and messiness in the workplace, I'm torn. It sounds really great in theory, and in your article. But I recall being a restaurateur, and finding it necessary to challenge the more "immature" employees (there's that dichotomy again) - the whiners, moaners, and gossipers (very good at expressing their feelings) to choose between a better, sunnier outlook or a new job elsewhere.
Negative emotions can be like cancer in a work environment, they breed and attract more of the same, spreading until the employee is convinced that life sucks, their job sucks, and the customers suck, too. Oh yes, and the boss as well.
But magically, when the complainer either stopped complaining or moved on (voluntarily or not), the whole workplace would transform into a place where we supported each other in having fun - regardless of the circumstances. As I used to ask my employees, "You can come to work and have a good time, or come to work and be miserable - which do you want?"
Yes, I was a "problem eliminator." And I'd do it again!
I realize that's probably not what you're talking about (supporting complainers!), but I believe there is a way to honor and embrace our emotions without taking them too "seriously." We are not our thoughts and we are not our emotions, rather, we are the ones who think and the ones who feel. We are the generator of our emotions, not the victims of them.
I guess what I'm saying is that we can embrace ourselves as the ones who feel whatever we feel while also recognizing that we are not without choice in the matter of our thoughts. (And maybe that's what some admired about the old model of "leader", even though we yearn for a much less stoic model now.)
(Not sure that made any sense... this post probably explains why I shouldn't post past my bedtime...)