A life lived to the full, with business success, phenomenal encounters, singing, flying and tennis with Victor Dial (MDE500)

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Minter Dialogue with Victor Dial

Victor Dial, who is also my father, had a long career in the automotive industry, rising to be Chairman and GM of Ford France, then VP of Sales and Marketing at Peugeot Worldwide. Simultaneously, he was Chairman, and then CEO as well of the American Hospital of Paris. He was board member for many companies and lived the majority of his adult life in Europe, between the UK, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Spain. In 1988, he was awarded the Legion of Honor by the government of France. In this chat, we discuss his life, biggest influences and lessons learned. Some of the incredible highlights of his career, his passion for flying and singing, and so much more.

Timestamps for this podcast:

  • Victor’s youth (1938-1952) 00:04:49
  • Groton (1952-1955) 00:19:20
  • Life at Yale (1955-1959) 00:28:40
  • Learning to flying 00:32:35
  • The importance of singing 00:39:45
  • Navy ROTC 00:49:25
  • Victor’s first job at Ford Motor Company 00:51:26
  • The role of mentors 00:56:40
  • Having friends at work 01:00:51
  • Negotiating the factory in Valencia Spain 01:02:40
  • Birth of my sister, Lisa 01:08:18
  • Moving back to France to become CEO of Ford France 01:15:50
  • Meeting President Pompidou and negotiating the Bordeaux factory 01:20:59
  • Attending Pompidou’s funeral 01:23:23
  • Choosing Eton 01:35:10
  • The transition to Peugeot and saving the company 01:39:15
  • Being ‘mayor’ of the Roland Garros village during the French Tennis Open 1:49:18
  • Becoming chairman of the American Hospital of Paris 1:54:24
  • Advice looking back over his career 2:09:28
  • The art of taking risks 02:17:36

Please send me your questions — as an audio file if you’d like — to nminterdial@gmail.com. Otherwise, below, you’ll find the show notes and, of course, you are invited to comment. If you liked the podcast, please take a moment to rate it here.

References cited during the interview :

  • The Last Ring Home documentary film and book about Victor’s father and mother.
  • “This is your brain on music” by Dan Levittin via Amazon
  • Ford v Ferrari, the film featuring Leo Beebe – trailer on Youtube

Further resources for the Minter Dialogue podcast:

RSS Feed for Minter Dialogue

Meanwhile, you can find my other interviews on the Minter Dialogue Show in this podcast tab, on Megaphone or via Apple Podcasts. If you like the show, please go over to rate this podcast via RateThisPodcast!

And for the francophones reading this, if you want to get more podcasts, you can also find my radio show en français over at: MinterDial.fr, on Megaphone or in iTunes.

Music credit: The jingle at the beginning of the show is courtesy of my friend, Pierre Journel, author of the Guitar Channel. And, the new sign-off music is “A Convinced Man,” a song I co-wrote and recorded with Stephanie Singer back in the late 1980s (please excuse the quality of the sound!).

***If you like my writing and are interested in fostering more meaningful conversations in our society, please check out my Dialogos Substack. This newsletter will feature articles on why and how we can all improve our conversations, whether it’s at home, with friends, in society at large or at work. Subscription is free, but if you see value in it, you are welcome to contribute both materially and through your comments. Sign up here:

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