What managers don’t do is give orders, set goals, and define processes. The expectation is that engineers, motivated by Airbnb’s mission and equipped with enough information by their managers, will figure those things out themselves. “It’s not your manager’s responsibility to tell you how to have impact,” says Curtis. […] Where Airbnb has standardized around processes, it’s generally a bottom-up process, lightly steered by management. In meetings, Curtis and his engineering managers tell stories about successful practices, which then spread from team to team.
Airbnb’s Mike Curtis takes ReadWrite on a tour of their engineering teams. The whole post is worth a read.