New Member Spotlight: Tina Zhang

Tina Zhang
Occupation: General Manager of Polaris Asia
Hometown: Shanghai, China
Member since: October 2014

How do you want to leave an impact at Polaris and beyond?

As we grow older, we try to find the meaning of life. I’m 41 years old, and during this time, I have realized that I want to make an impact.

Impact means different things to different people. To me, it has three dimensions.

First, to truly see the business grow bigger so that when I retire, I can say, “This is my mark,” something I can leave behind. Polaris is still young in China, and the off-road vehicle market is still in its incubation period. If in five years, people know it like they do BMW, that would be a great success.

Second, I think it’s important to take that family feeling, that warmth, and to extend it to friends, too. If I can help them to have a better life, that would be making an impact.

Third, I’m not putting a lot of effort on this front yet, but I respect people when they become senior members who contribute back to society. At age 50, I want to go back to a college as a coach or teacher to share my experiences with others and raise the next generation.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I ever received was from the person who encouraged me to go Harvard Business School, Mr. Tao Xinbo, an entrepreneur. He said in order to be a responsible person in the world, you should do three things right. First, be passionate about what you do. Second, be transparent in dealing with people. Third, when things go wrong, don’t blame others. Rather, try to seek the reason within yourself. I’ve tried to follow these tips ever since.

What’s your favorite book?

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

On weekends, I watch Korean dramas. For some people, it’s very difficult to link this with an image of a company’s top general manager, someone who’s supposed to be very serious and read economic magazines and newspapers. Yes, I read lots of books during the weekend, but I also watch Korean dramas. Somehow, the love stories take me back to the feeling of when I was a 20-year-old girl.

What’s your favorite destination?

Sanya in Hainan province. It’s relaxing. The first time I went there was for a business trip, and my husband came with me. We were preparing for a press conference by the swimming pool area. I still remember working hard and overseeing the whole setup while my husband swam around in the swimming pool. Every five minutes he came out and asked, “Are you finished yet?”