I was at a gathering of HR managers and executives yesterday held at Pixar, and one of the participants made this observation at one point. Frankly, there were a lot of people and we kept rotating among groups, so although I write it down quickly so I wouldn't lose it, I got so lost in thought about it that by the time I looked-up, we were all rotating to different groups and I lost rack of who said it. I will try to figure out who it was -- yes, it is an oversimplification, but one of the most compelling ones I've heard. I especially like that word "tolerate" as it conveys the subtle notion that there are often many things that happen in the workplaces that bosses don't try to discourage or stop because they have so much other stuff to do, they don't know how to go about stopping it, they believe they have more pressing matters to deal with, or they just don't have the emotional energy to deal with.
Then, I started thinking about this quote again when I was watching The Office last night and saw how the tolerant Jim (now co-manager) brilliantly dealt with a level of defiance and screwing around by Ryan that he couldn't tolerate by assigning him to an office in closet (see the episode here on Hulu).