Gentle Giant Moving Company started as a small group of strong leaders with the goal of bringing excellent customer service back to the moving industry. By setting forth an example of honesty, enthusiasm, respect, and teamwork, new members of the Gentle Giant team quickly became strong leaders themselves. 33 years later, this tradition remains at the core of the company.
The leadership skills taught on the trucks at Gentle Giant are learned and tested by fire day in and day out on the job to prepare our leaders for demanding customers, demanding crewmembers, demanding (physically and mentally) jobs and access, finances, and accountability to the company to get it all done correctly. These are skills the Giants count on throughout their entire careers, in or out of the moving industry.
Lou Insalaco; Gentle Giant 2004-2010
Lou Insalaco is an impressive young man that has benefited from this leadership program in his pursuit towards finishing medical school and becoming a Head and Neck Surgeon. Lou was still in high school back in 2004 when he started at Gentle Giant after encouragement from his Uncle Pat, a longtime leader at Gentle Giant.
On his very first day, Lou trained with some of the best leaders in the company, Senior Crew Chief and Gentle Giant Hall of Famer Jon Powell and quick witted powerhouse Blake McCauley. Despite completing Gentle Giant’s in-class training before he beginning work on the trucks, nothing could have prepared him for the physically and mentally exhausting aspects of the actual job.
“Being young and the new guy on the job meant I had to really prove myself to Jon and Blake”, explains Lou. “On the 3rd floor walk-up, I was the middle man on the stairs. The job was moving so fast I didn’t have the time to think about how difficult it was, I just had to keep up the fast pace set by the Crew Chief. By the time the on-load was finished, it was already 3pm, and I didn’t even realize that we’d worked right through lunch!”
Being with such an experienced crew gave Lou a lot of insight into the subtleties of a successful move, including communication with the customer, taking the time to work with a less experienced crewmember, and setting a positive, accelerated tone for the move. From this day forward, Lou modeled his leadership style after Jon Powell.
Lou’s enthusiasm and hustle quickly began making an enormous impression on every customer and crewmember he worked with at Gentle Giant, which led to him becoming one of the youngest Crew Chief’s in the history of the company. While it was a lot more responsibility to take on, Lou had been mentored by the best, and was up for the task.
Lou relished the challenge of running jobs, and quickly advanced from being the Crew Chief on small, one truck moves to commanding large crews on several day jobs requiring multiple trucks.
One job Lou recalls as being exceptionally challenging was supposed to be a straightforward one, but upon arriving at the job, Lou immediately identified that he was going to need a lot more manpower. “This job could have turned into a real nightmare,” Lou recalls. “But I knew how to handle the situation.”
By referencing the leadership skills he learned from his Giant mentors, Lou was able to communicate effectively, calmly and swiftly alleviate the problems that arose, and become a true leader himself. Lou contacted Dispatch to get more Giants sent out to the job, as well as the Swift Lift to help with the horrific access in the building. By handling the situation like a pro, the job got done, and the customer was thrilled. Today, Lou is often complimented on his grace under fire by the doctors he works with. Lou explains, “Entering into medical school, a lot of my peers simply did not have as much experience performing in high pressure situations where each second counts, people are depending on you, and you have to think quickly on your feet.”
Lou has counted on his experiences at Gentle Giant to help him succeed in college, medical school, and now in the hospital. During residency interviews, Lou discussed in detail how he overcame all the challenges he faced while on the job as a leader at Gentle Giant. “What it boils down to,” Lou confides, “is that to be a good doctor, you have to make good decisions. I learned the importance of making good decisions running jobs for Gentle Giant.”
Gentle Giant wishes Lou the absolute best in his upcoming graduation from medical school, and all of his future endeavors. We are excited to witness his continued growth into a respected leader within the medical community.