It's firing season in college football and apparently for NBC's Matt Lauer.

What do Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Tennessee all have in common? They have fired their football coach and are in the market for a new one. This time of year is often referred to as the coaching carousel.  Athletic Directors are firing coaches for years of underdelivering and other coaches are getting hired for performing well in a season or two.

There is never a good time to exit an employee.

Whether it's before Christmas so they don’t overspend on gifts or after Christmas so they can enjoy the holiday, it’s never the perfect time to be fired.  With that said, as a leader, there is no better time than the present if they aren’t putting enough points on the board to win deals or calling plays that move the ball forward on projects. If you know that an employee is no longer a fit for the position, you have to take action.

And it’s equally important to thoughtfully consider and plan the exit process.

Mismatched employees need to be treated with dignity, respect, and grace during the exiting process.

How will you notify colleagues and clients? Samantha Guthrie held her composure on live television just moments after learning the fate of her colleague and friend.  In my opinion, NBC handled the notification process rather callously.

Lauer was a well-respected journalist. These coaches were successful elsewhere and earned the role that subsequently got them fired. Whether it was the circumstances, the culture, their leadership, poor recruiting, or something else, they simply were not a match for the organization.  They will likely go on to be successful elsewhere. (Although it might be harder for Lauer.)

If you have been coaching your employee on the expectations of their position all along the way, they shouldn’t be blind-sided when it comes time to part ways.  Who are you delaying taking action on because it’s not the right time?

When I work with leaders on developing their team, they never fail to tell me that in hindsight, they wished they acted sooner. Just like football fans wish Athletic Directors’ would make coaching changes sooner, your team and your clients might be wishing the same thing.