Yes, the disciples followed Jesus, but they were following a follower, he was not in himself a leader*, they (He) chose to be led by Him. [although he chose them to be followers]. Adam was a follower of God up until he stopped following and instead began to follow himself, in independence of God.
Jesus was following his Father, following the Spirit, doing only what he “saw his Father doing”, and he did “nothing of myself”. We need to see the Spirit as leader, to be led by him, and not to follow ourselves, our own sense of judgement or understanding.
Paul said, “Be imitators of me, even as I am of Christ.” It was a call to follow the example set by those before and above. To follow ourselves means we are more than likely to be following the “flesh”, from our own deficient understanding.
The opposite of led by the Spirit is led by law which is to follow the machinations of the flesh as it responds to the slavery of the first (old) covenant. Do not be like the “foolish Galatians” who were reverting to the old covenant again.
*[incorrect according to the N.T. but this was written to make a point.]