I've been trying to think of a fitting analogy for the unusual situation that unfolded with Nick Caserio and the Miami Dolphins over the last few days.
Here's what I came up with:
Let's say you worked in product development for Coca-Cola and had a key role in the company's strategic plans. You are happy in your job, like the people you work with, and are paid a solid wage in the neighborhood of seven figures. You don't have complete control over the direction of the company's plans, but have a seat at a very small table of people who do.
It's a solid spot to be and you're not looking to move on ... but then the phone rings and it's Pepsi.
They're inviting you for a visit to corporate headquarters because they have a similar high-level job opening and are interested in you to fill it.
You didn't pursue it. This opportunity came to you and with the blessings of your current work colleagues, you are given the green light to explore it. Everything is above board.
You go through the process over two days, get a feel for the inner-workings of a top competitor, and then receive an offer that would come close to doubling your salary. You owe it to your family to consider it, as it's a chance for increased financial security, similar to a player hitting the free-agent market.
But in the end, you decide the fit -- for whatever the reason -- isn't for you. You're staying with Coca-Cola.
As you return to work, you do so with additional insight on the power structure of one of your top competitors, in addition to a feel for what they might be thinking strategically at this time. The level to which that insight and intelligence can help you is debatable, but it seems fair to say it will have some value in planning going forward.
It was a rare chance to peek behind enemy lines.