First off, Wu-Tang opened a number of mental doors for me.
I got back into chess. Got back into my martial arts training, more for the mental aspects rather than just knowing how to defend myself too. The beats, well, it's hard to put into words.
The beats at first, during "36 Chambers" just got me crazy hyped.
Then around the solo joints, especialy "Liquid Swords", "Ironman",
"Cuban Linx" and "Supreme Clientele", I felt like my soul was being taken to distant lands. Places I'd never been, yet, somehow didn't want to leave from.
Wu-Tang was always more than just music. Wether it's Killah Priest's "Heavy Mental", or Killarmy's "Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars.", there's a lot more going n than what's on the surface.
I feel that's the reason why not only so many artists copy them, but also why the newer wanna-be's, G-Unit for example, try to implement that aura of an unbreakable unit of power. While Wu was always hip-hop, it was also soul, jazz and blues as well. All molded into one final masterpiece.
I think Wu-Tang helped me get a better sense of myself as an all around person. The music made me realise just how much more there was to me, and reminded me of who I once as also. I was always into military strategy and ancient wisdom, but I picked up "The I-Ching: The Book Of Changes.", and "The Art Of War"
based on RZA's praises of those books, and him saying that he incorporates that into his daily life and calculations of events.
As far as the Clan following RZA or not, that's hard to say. It seems like they had a solid foundation within themselves, but that they went to RZA or GZA for advice in matters of moral and spiritual wisdom. It was GZA that originally taught The RZA about the 5% Nation in the first place. Still, it's difficult to say.