George Wootan is a retired physician living in Port Richey, Florida. He is 87 years old, the parent of 11 children, and very active in his ward. George and his wife recently served a mission in the Tampa, Florida mission office, and are currently serving as ward missionaries.


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2:00 Introduction. Kurt is speaking at the Zions camp retreat with a live audience and introduces guest speaker, George.

5:20 George talks about how he spent his life living outside the box while trying to convince people that he’s inside the box.

7:40 George has severe dyslexia but still made it through med school and has what he calls an interesting brain that comes up with solutions. He loves creating solutions and sharing ideas, especially in his ward.

8:30 Even though George is 87 years old he still wants to be a part of leadership and have a role in the ward. He just barely retired from being a doctor last year and he still has a lot of life to give.

12:40 George’s leadership experience and the mission he and his wife went on in the Tampa mission office.

17:00 George speaks on ward unity and implementing ideas. He talks about how he organizes activities and even though it’s not technically his calling he takes initiative to plan things in the ward.

21:40 George talks about how he met his wife and the dynamic in their marriage.

27:00 Setting up a new program so that people that can’t afford to feed the missionaries can still feed them with help of the bishops storehouse. George also sets up less active families to help feed the missionaries too.

28:30 Maintaining engagement in the ward. Learning people’s names. One of the traits of leadership is that Christ knew people’s names and changed their names.

30:00 Another one of George’s ideas is baking bread for the ward with the help of the youth. Each week ministers will be assigned to deliver the bread.

31:15 Did you ever have an idea that wasn’t taken well by a bishop and how did you handle it? The difference between the gospel and church policy.

33:00 Starting a men’s group for single men over 40

35:20 Advice to future leaders

  • Focus on learning names.
  • Use first names instead of last. We call our friends by their first names.

37:50 Reaching out and finding people who are on the records but the bishop doesn’t know about. George talks about how he is going about finding those people and reaching out to them.

40:50 How can we elevate women’s voices in our wards and stakes?

42:00 Final thoughts on leadership

45:40 How 87 years of leadership has made him a better follower of Jesus Christ. Be a disciple not just a follower.

The Leading Saints Podcast is one of the top independent Latter-day Saints podcasts as part of nonprofit Leading Saints’ mission to help Latter-day Saints be better prepared to lead. Learn more and listen to any of the past episodes for free at

Past guests include Emily Belle Freeman, David Butler, Hank Smith, John Bytheway, Reyna and Elena Aburto, Liz Wiseman, Stephen M. R. Covey, Julie Beck, Brad Wilcox, Jody Moore, Tony Overbay, John H. Groberg, Elaine Dalton, Tad R. Callister, Lynn G. Robbins, J. Devn Cornish, Bonnie Oscarson, Dennis B. Neuenschwander, Anthony Sweat, John Hilton III, Barbara Morgan Gardner, Blair Hodges, Whitney Johnson, Ryan Gottfredson, Greg McKeown, Ganel-Lyn Condie, Michael Goodman, Wendy Ulrich, Richard Ostler, and many more in over 600 episodes.

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