Josh Ensign is Chief Operating Officer at Proterra, a company that designs and builds 100% battery electric buses, chargers, and powertrains for the heavy duty market.  

He’s also held senior leadership positions at Tesla, Honeywell, and the US Army.

Throughout his years, Josh has managed 42 different factories across 16 countries.  

Josh’s career path has included multiple international assignments:  Germany, Mexico, China and Switzerland. 

He holds an MBA from the University of Southern California and an engineering degree from Gonzaga.

Josh’s LinkedIn Profile


  • The challenge Josh faced on his first day as COO of Proterra, involving 160,000 square feet of Ugg Boots.
  • Why Proterra is described as the "Tesla of the Bus World". 
  • What Elon Musk taught Josh about thinking big and goal setting.
  • A powerful strategy that gets every employee to “buy in”.
  • The most exciting thing going on at Proterra today.
  • Josh’s big career accelerating moment.
  • How to create your own path to the C-Suite.
  • The seed Josh planted that culminated in a big opportunity four years down the road.
  • The power of being a leader worth following and bringing your team with you.
  • How to run your business with a single sheet of paper.
  • 3 success routines that increase performance.
  • The two big components of leaving a leadership legacy.
  • How to use meditation to boost focus and decrease stress.
  • The one trait that he’d instill in every employee… positive energy!
  • A simple strategy to present your idea of the C-Suite.
  • The true catastrophic impact of turnover.
  • The book Josh hands out to his team and takes on his flights.
  • Three keys to professional and personal success.


Leadership lessons from Elon Musk:

  • Think big.
  • Set ambitious goals.
  • Develop your capacity for speed in getting things done.

Josh's legacy:

  • Getting big results.
  • Being the kind of leader people want to follow.


“The most important asset in a company is the employees.”

“Losing employees is expensive and losing top talent can break a company.”

“Focusing on your employee turnover and 'A' players can make the difference between being a good company versus a GREAT company.”

“Life is short. Make sure when you wake up you’re doing something you enjoy with people you enjoy doing it with.”

“Find a way to give back.”

About influencing opportunities: “Part of it is luck, but the other part is being prepared when you get lucky.”

“It’s the leaders who can get results....and then when they leave the company everyone wants to follow them. That to me is the definition of a career success.”


Defy Ventures 

Tools of the Titan by Tim Ferris  

Honeywell Tri-Fold


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