Espousers of the ‘Bender’ Attribute are primarily younger men – 60% are under 45 and almost 2/3 are men – who have a very ‘pragmatic’ approach to achieving their goals. There is little to no differentiation by Maslow Group – none of the three groups is significantly over indexed or under-indexed on the Attribute.
This aspect of the British values system can be disquieting to those who do not share this point of view. These are the kind of people who scare those who espouse the ‘Afraid’ Attribute. ‘Benders’ do not follow the rules if the rules get in the way of what they want.
They like the buzz of the forbidden. If you want to get them to do something, tell them they can’t. They enjoy being the ‘bad boy’. Their behaviour can be overt and confrontational, but can just as easily be a cheeky ‘try it on’ when they approach a task that they want to shine at. Many of them may be in high places but they will use street talk to make a point: Dick Fuld at Lehman Brothers was a classic case.
They mostly believe that others are just like them – that everyone bends the rules – and they are just more open or successful at it. They think others don’t have the ‘bottle’ to do what they do.
The measure of their ‘bottle’ is the amount of money they can make. Taking a risk is all part of a way of life – be it on the trading floors in the City, in a back street bookie's shop - or just a game of chance that results in a bet and posturing when they win on a random flip of card, a throw of the dice or a spin on a slot machine.
Theirs is a macho world where random violence is not unexpected: the buzz of danger is part of the world of these espousers. There is little to no room for morality or ethics, and if you take the risk you take it in full knowledge of the possible consequences. These espousers know they could get caught, but the adrenaline rush of ‘getting away with it’ is just too powerful.
Personal violence against others is only one factor in their approach to the world. They are also attracted to civil disturbances up to and including street riots.
It is likely that many people espousing this Attribute were involved in the London riots and other street level disturbances several years ago. Violence is cathartic to them. As this Attribute demonstrates, this way of thinking and behaving is not limited to teens and twenties living in deprived conditions – it includes some of the richest people in the country and women as well as men.
‘Bender’ espousers have a finely-tuned sense for the cracks within systems and find it easy to find ways to bend the system to their advantage. They can be found everywhere.
They are the ones who find ways of hitting targets without actually delivering. It is quite likely that these very active people, focused on their own objectives, have been deeply involved in the ‘tick box’ culture originally intended to create better systems and deliver better results but do no such thing. Failings in the NHS, the MoD, in merchant banks and other huge organisations will contain these espousers at all levels, and they are the most likely to bend ‘un-bendable’ rules - just because they can.
1) Over indexed: Male, under 45
2) Under indexed: Female, over 55
Bender espousers also espouse other attributes. The top five most highly correlated attributes of Bender espousers are, in order of the strength of relationship:
In total those who espouse Bender also over-index significantly on 45 other Attributes.
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