NDILC Women Leadership Principle #4: Pass the Torch with Council Member Kellie Aamodt

Principle 4

As the CEO & President of Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) and Desirée Patno Enterprises, Inc. (DPE) Real Estate Brokerage, Advisor & Investor for AmicusBrain—AI for Aging Population, CSO for ZuluTime, Publisher, Connector and a National Speaker, Desirée Patno’s network and wealth of knowledge crosses a vast economic footprint. With three decades specializing in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem and owning her own successful brokerage, she leads her executive team’s expertise of Social Impact, Gender Equality and Access to Capital, and provides personalized consulting services to the Real Estate and Family Office community.

NAWRB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC) recently introduced their Ten Women Leadership Principles, which they collectively created to help women in the workforce become more effective leaders at any stage of their careers, and empower other women to reach their full potential. This is a universal guide for all levels of leadership, and any woman can benefit from applying them. This week, NDILC presents the fourth principle, “Pass the Torch” shared with a personal story by NDILC Member Kellie Aamodt, Board Member of Marine Research and Exploration (MARE) and Retired UPS Vice President of Corporate Inside Sales. 

In the upcoming weeks, each of these principles will be presented in detail with a personal message from an NDILC member about her experiences applying these principles to her professional and personal life. To learn more about the NDILC, please visit www.NAWRB.com/NDILC/.

Women Leadership Principle #4: Pass the Torch by Kellie Aamodt 

Pass the torch:  Give opportunities to future generations of women. Your legacy will be the people you help along the journey.

Passing the torch.  Doesn’t everyone want a legacy?  A reason to be remembered? What do you want to be remembered for?  As most people mature in their lives, they start to realize that their relationships, and specifically the people they have helped along the way, are more important than material things.  Although we all know this deep down; how do we really accomplish this? How do we create a legacy of supporting and helping others achieve their dreams? It’s by passing the torch to the next generation of women.  

With more and more women reaching higher levels in their industries, it is critical we utilize this opportunity to prepare and train the next female leaders.  The experiences of any individual leader can never be duplicated. And young leaders, both male and female, have so much to learn. The ability and opportunity to transfer knowledge has never been greater with leaders living longer and young talent being hungry for training.  Giving young leaders the ability to learn from your experience not only helps the young leader, but is one of the most rewarding things the leader, herself, can do.

Opportunities are one of the best ways to teach.  Giving a young female leader an experience she might not otherwise have received, is not only a way for the young leader to learn, but a way for the experienced leader to guide.  This guidance allows the young leader to fail, but not fatally, with the experienced leader by her side.  

In addition to experiences, exposure can be a great tool.  Connecting a young leader with others who can give feedback, offer differing viewpoints, and hone their skills amplifies the impact of the initial leader.  Being that connector, is another way to pass the torch.

Remembering that at one time, someone took a chance and promoted you.  Someone saw something and realized they needed to pass the torch. They invested time and money to ensure you were successful.  This typically leads to a mentor/mentee relationship which can last for a lifetime. The impact is life changing for both parties.  

Talent is critical to the success of any business.  Wasting talent can’t be tolerated. Passing the torch in an intentional way assures the development of talent and the continued growth of your people.  We all need to remember the importance of passing the torch, our legacies depend on it.

NDILC’s Ten Women Leadership Principles

  1. Acknowledge Trailblazers: Know and learn from the women who came before you. We are all standing on the shoulders of giants: “So, what does a trailblazer even mean? Defined in the formal context, it is a person who blazes a trail for others to follow through unsettled country or wilderness; pathfinder; a pioneer in any field of endeavor; a vigorous independent; a person who is the first to do something that other people do later.  Implied in this definition is the fact that these people are leaders, risk takers and are not afraid to push boundaries.” Read More
  2. Keep Achieving: Effective leaders always keep learning. There is always something to learn and improve upon: “Achieving. Learning. Growing. Changing…all words that are used very often to tell us what we should be doing and what we must be doing in order to survive and be effective in today’s world.  No one would debate the need for continuous learning and growth. Information continues to bombard us from every angle, but is that really knowledge?” Read More
  3. Believe: Whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve.Believe: “Think and Grow Rich is not about money. Does it seem out of place or sorts to reference a book whose title suggests financial aspirations during a once in a century pandemic when everyone is thinking about safety and survival instead of personal growth?” Read More
  4. Pass the Torch: Give opportunities to future generations of women. Your legacy will be the people you help along the journey.
  5. Know Yourself: Be authentic and lead in a way that is true to you. Own your unique talents and strengths, and empower those around you.
  6. Speak Out: Unconscious bias is present, but ignoring it only perpetuates it. Take a stand and speak out.
  7. Listen: Never assume anything about anyone. Everyone has their own story that makes them who they are.
  8. Be Present: Sharing your time is one of the most valuable gifts you can give. Do it with intention by truly being present.
  9. Prepare for the Future: Women with advanced skills today will be ready for tomorrow’s challenges.
  10. Lead by Example: Inclusion isn’t enough. Press for parity and strive for excellence in everything.

Stay tuned for other articles that will expound on each of these principles to assist women professionals in applying them to their individual goals. 


The NDILC is dedicated to raising the number of women leaders and growing women’s employment and empowerment at all levels in the housing ecosystem. The Council, composed of senior executive women, works diligently toward gender equality and obtaining equal opportunity for women across America. To learn more about the NDILC, please visit www.NAWRB.com/NDILC/.

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